The Hamilton Case

The Hamilton Case

Book - 2003
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Set in 1930s' Ceylon amid tea plantations, decay, corruption and the backwash of empire, this gripping novel by the author ofThe Rose Grower, confirms her as a writer of real talent and originality. Sam Obeysekere -- "obey" by name and by nature -- is a Ceylonese lawyer, a perfect product of empire. His family once had wealth and influence but starts to crack open as political change comes to the island, and Sam's glamorous father dies leaving gambling debts. But the Obeysekeres' troubles reach back into the past, when a baby was found dead in his cot. And at the heart of the novel is the Hamilton Case, a murder scandal that shakes the upper echelons of island society. Sam's involvement in it makes his name but sets his life on course for disappointment. Full of irresistible characters -- Sam himself, a triumph of ambivalence, resentment and pathos; his beautiful, unstable sister; his flamboyant mother Maud -- this is a sinuous, constantly surprising tale. It paints a haunting picture of the end of an era, suffused with "the unbearable thought that everything might have been different."
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2003.
ISBN: 9780701175160
Branch Call Number: DEKRE
Characteristics: 297 p. ; 24 cm.


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Apr 11, 2005

At first a memoir full of delightful phrases and descriptions, the reader soon becomes aware that the narrator is very prideful of his bloodlines. However he seems to be honest about who he is and aware of his appearance being less than handsome. He tells of his life in ways that seem very forthright, characterized by his pride. That is the first part of the book. The second part is seductive, full of description of life in Ceylon, and a bit more true to his life. The third part is a letter. All of these add up to a portrait of a time and a man who are at the end of their usefulness. The future beckons. The narrator?s time is past. And the surprising conclusion blends each into a satisfying whole.

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