The Man in the Wooden Hat

The Man in the Wooden Hat

Book - 2009
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The Man in the Wooden Hat is the sequel to Old Filth, about a barrister who becomes a renowned lawyer in the Far East whose nickname, Filth, speaks volumes: failed in London, try Hong Kong. This book concentrates on the courtship and marriage of Filth and his wife, Betty, and then flits across the years to their final days, revealing a backstory of secret trysts and desires that each concealed from the other during their long, childless marriage. Filth and Betty's early days in Hong Kong tingle with the weight of the past: Betty spent the war starving in a Japanese internment camp in Shanghai; Filth talks in his sleep in the passionate Malay of his childhood. The supporting characters in their steamy, crowded world are a bizarre lot (a card-flinging Chinese dwarf among them).
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2009
ISBN: 9780701177980
Characteristics: 233 p. ; 21 cm


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Dec 31, 2016

Read Old Filth first!!!!!

multcolib_susannel Jun 27, 2016

Explores the rich inner lives of a married couple whose past keeps them from sharing their feelings with each other.

Oct 30, 2014

The last two books in the Old Firth trilogy capture the lives of his wife and other friends, notably the archrival Veneering. They're not nearly as funny as the first, but both are amazing pieces of writing with all these coincidences neatly tied together. Definitely worth reading all of them.

Mar 29, 2014

Diverting but not nearly as good as Old Filth. A rather sad and unconvincing tale of an unsatisfying marriage.

hgeng63 Apr 13, 2013

Not as good as Old Filth.

Jan 17, 2013

like Jane Gardam

Aug 01, 2012

Old Filth from Betty Feathers' perspective. Funny, but Betty is not as eccentric as her husband.

Cdnbookworm May 18, 2011

Gardam is one of my favourite writers and has been since I was introduced to her at the age of sixteen.
This novel builds on the last two of hers, Old Filth, and The People on Privilege Hill. Taking up a similar story to that of Old Filth, this book is mostly from the point of view of Filth's wife, Elizabeth (Betty). From the time of their engagement to the death of both, this book looks at Elizabeth's past, her feelings around her marriage, and her feelings about Filth's rival, Veneering. This is a book about the characters, as Gardam's books are, and while the lives lived are not thrilling, they make for a very interesting tale.

debwalker Dec 20, 2010

Chosen by Guy Gavriel Kay as his book of the Year: "The novel is a bookend (more than a sequel) to her just-as-wonderful Old Filth. (The title of that one is a wry acronym: Failed In London, Try Hong Kong.) The two novels introduce Sir Edward (Eddie) Feathers, a distinguished and eccentric barrister (he has his reasons for eccentricity) and his magnificent wife, Betty. They are moving and amusing and vivid, often in the same paragraph. The first book tells their story from Eddie’s point of view, the second one covers the same chronology from Betty’s perspective. The effect is delicious, books that remind this reader of how spark and sparkle, wit and deep compassion can still be found as components of a “major” novel. Gardam’s intelligence and artfulness evoke, for me, another long-time favourite, Penelope Fitzgerald - and that’s about the highest praise I can offer."

ser_library Sep 27, 2010

this is a companion to Old Filfth


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