Book Notes: JG Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur

Oy yoy oy. Ay yay yay, my friends. This is a smashing, extraordinary, heart-stopping, brilliant book. This is real literature. This Farrell guy writes with the precision of Chekhov and the profoundness of Dostoyevsky. Of course, he also had to go and die in a stupid fishing accident in 1979 at the age of 44. I don’t even want to think what else he could have created had he lived because his was a once-in-a-generation talent. What a terrible loss.

The novel is set during the Indian Mutiny, and it’s an ode to the British culture and a story about how a horrible calamity brings out of people. . . absolutely nothing whatsoever. People stay exactly who they are, and that’s both terrible and wonderful.

Farrell’s sense of humor is truly British. His characters are as memorable as Dickens’s and his dialogues flow like Jane Austen’s. I don’t know why he isn’t better known because if the UK produced a better writer since Farrell died, I have no idea who it could be.

It’s so so good omigod please just read it already I can’t even omigod it’s impossibly wonderful.

I can’t believe the existence of something this perfect has been concealed from me until now.

5 thoughts on “Book Notes: JG Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur

  1. Are you familiar with George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman series? They are a satire on British imperialism where the main character, who is a sleazy coward and a bully, manages to find himself at the center of every major British military engagement of the mid-19th century. The books are incredibly well researched and include these gag footnotes about the historiography of the events.


    1. It’s before the Raj. It’s a mutiny against the East India Company. I detest the East India Company but I loved the novel. It didn’t feel like an excuse for the Company at all.

      But it’s not PC at all either.


      1. Ah, the sepoy mutiny, of course. Adding it to the reading list. BTW, I did finish Liquid Modernity and Liquid Love. Will be moving on to Byung-Chul Han next. 🙂

        Also, can I recommend the HBO show ‘High Maintenance’ to the readers of this blog. I found it to be a superb contemporary portrayal of liquid modernity. Subtle, poignant and quite funny.

        Liked by 1 person

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