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Friday, September 23, 2011

Master Georgie, Beryl Bainbridge

This novel relates the story of Master Georgie's life, as told in first-person narration by three different people who know him: a servant girl, his brother-in-law, and a sometime employee. I thought the author did a great job of revealing the character of each narrator in the narrator's voice. The ending did not satisfy me. I find as I get older that the hopes and desires of fictional characters seem hollow to me. I used to enter the secondary world with great gusto, and could almost believe myself an inhabitant of it. Now I am more aloof.


  1. So what happened in Master Georgie's life? What's the gist of the story? Would you read more by this author. Inquiring readers want to know. ;-)

  2. I'm sorry. I was intentionally brief, hoping thereby to have enough time to catch up on all the books I'm behind on. No such luck.

    Not a whole lot happened in his life, in terms of major adventures. He did end up serving as a surgeon in the Crimean War, but the war serves more as a backdrop, a setting, than as a thrust of the plot.

    As I've thought about the book and your question, I have to say I think the book might be more about the three narrators than about Master Georgie himself. He is a unifying theme for them, but we really learn a whole lot more about the narrators, only we learn it obliquely.

    I would be willing to read more by Ms. Bainbridge, but would not ardently search out more.

    Does that help?

  3. Yes, that helps! I'm always looking for new books although I'm more narrow in what I look for in books than you are. I admire the breadth of topics that your books cover. Wow! I'm more looking for a fun read that lets me explore a different world. Hence I don't like novels about depressing topics no matter how well written.

  4. In that case skip 'Master Georgie.' I also forgot to mention that the ending was not happy. But you might like 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell,' if you haven't read it already.