book cover

Old Filth by Jane Gardam

About the book

FILTH, in his heyday, was an international lawyer with a practice in the Far East. Now, only the oldest QCs and Silks can remember that his nickname stood for Failed In London Try Hong Kong. Long ago, Old Filth was a Raj orphan – one of the many young children sent ‘Home’ from the East to be fostered and educated in England. Jane Gardam’s new novel tells his story, from his birth in what was then Malaya to the extremities of his old age. Brilliantly constructed – going backwards and forwards in time, yet constantly working towards the secret at its core – OLD FILTH is funny and heart-breaking, witty and peopled with characters who astonish, dismay and delight the reader. Jane Gardam is as sensitive to the ‘jungle’ within children as she is to the eccentricities of the old. A touch of magic combines with compassion, humour and delicacy to make OLD FILTH a genuine masterpiece.

Reviewed by U3A Group 1:

We thought it was ‘witty and wise’ and an enjoyable read.

Star rating: ****

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8 thoughts on “Old Filth by Jane Gardam”

  1. Review by Entre Nous Reading Group:
    Much humour within a story depicting the deprivation of a Raj orphan. Within the group, some did not enjoy reading this book whilst others were impressed with Gardam’s ability to write.
    Star rating: **

  2. Review by Hawkley Book Group:
    Completed by all in the group and enjoyed. The consensus was that her writing provoked some vivid images and interest. However, some people didn’t like the jumping about of time periods. As a group this book did not provoke that much discussion.
    Star rating: **

  3. Review by Liss Reading Group:
    Enjoyed by the whole group – liked the way it was written. Made on laugh and cry.
    Star rating: ****

  4. Review by Koinonia Reading Group:
    Gave insight into how the much older generation coped with situations and emotions. Brought a tear to the eye.
    Star rating: ****

  5. Review by Stubbington Book Buddies:
    A refreshing read – unlike anything read before. Enjoyed numerous sub plots and their links. The reader was kept hooked utnil the end. A technically skilled writer shifting time frames.
    Star rating: ****

  6. Review by Ems Valley U3A
    A really good read. Insightful, beautifully written and moving. The reader felt involved with the text. We all want to read the other 2 books in the trilogy.
    ***-**** 3 to 4 stars

  7. Review by Parish Pump Reading Group
    Well written; different, easy to read, enjoyable, good descriptions through out the book although a sad story.
    Star rating: ***

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