"Aged 44. Fell into sea … Witnessed by a lady called Mrs Foley with three young children. Body not found - weather terrible. Did not appear to attempt to swim. No visible efforts. Screams. She tried to reach down. Suddenly he was swept under and disappeared. He was upright in water. Was wearing boots." That was the end of one of LI’s favorite novelists, J.G. Farrell. It came in 1979, when he was at the height of his powers, having just finished Singapore Grip. LI reviewed Singapore Grip for Newsday a couple of years ago, in a summer Sunday supplement devoted to rediscovering older novels. Alas, a cursory search via Google and Factiva has found no trace of our compressed masterpiece, but we like to think that it did some good – after all, last year NYRB books reissued Singapore Grip, along with Troubles and The Siege of Krishnapur. These three books – one set in Singapore in 1940, one set in Ireland in 1920, and one set in India in1856 – made up Farrell’s Colonial trilogy.
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Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann
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