Results of the Man Booker Prize in the year 1973.
A darkly humorous picture of the follies of empire, still as relevant as ever, The Siege of Krishnapur is thought by many to be J. G. Farrell’s finest book. Set in India in 1857 (the year of the Great Mutiny, when the Indian sepoys rose in bloody rebellion against their complacent British overlords), Farrell’s novel concerns a remote Victorian outpost in the subcontinent. Rumors of strife filter in from afar, but the colonial community remains confident of its superior values, culture, and, of course, military strength—that is, until it is actually under siege. Then gaping cracks begin to open in the veneer of civilization.
Bradley Pearson, author of three critically acclaimed but unsuccessful novels, has finally left his dull job as an Inspector of Taxes, but predatory friends and relations dash his hopes of a peaceful retirement. He is tormented by his melancholic sister, who has decided to come live with him; his ex-wife, who has infuriating hopes of redeeming their past; and his friend and rival, Arnold Baffin, a deplorably successful author of commercial fiction. The action includes marital cross-purposes, seduction, suicide, abduction, romantic idylls, murder, and due process of law. Bradley tries to escape from it all but fails, leading to a violent climax and altered perspectives.