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Brat Farrar Paperback – 7 Mar 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 Mar 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New edition edition (7 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099429470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099429470
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 840,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Suspense is achieved by unexpected twists and extremely competent story-telling-credible and convincing." (Spectator)

Book Description

A classic mystery from the Golden Age of detective fiction

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first thing I noticed about this author is her incredible talent for rendering conversations. In fact her narrative is so dialogue-driven that her protagonist often has spirited and convincing exchanges with his inner self. Although written before 1949, the writing has a timeless quality, a very modern tightness, and I found the style very "easy on the ears" and thoroughly enjoyable. This book is unusual in that it draws the reader inside the story and invites you to unlock the mystery. The plot's plausibility is heavily dependent on a couple of unique coincidences but, once you accept the premise, everything else follows. In fact, for me the precariousness of the situation adds tension and, although the ending was not a huge surprise, the way all the loose ends are tied up is very satisfying.

Josephine Tey has deftly created some very likeable but complex characters: Brat is at once tough and vulnerable, an opportunist with a conscience. Simon is charming and cast as the victim but full of contradictions. Aunt Bee is typical of a generation of war-time women who had to be strong and unselfish for the sake of others. Each of the main characters is believably human, annoying at times, but always engaging. This book is perfectly suited for all ages, there is no gore, bad language, gratuitous sex or unsettling content and the adult subjects are masterfully handled. And, finally, horse enthusiasts will be happy to find that the substantial equestrian content is accurate and realistic and Tey's undisguised love of horses comes entirely devoid of saccharine.
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By A Customer on 20 Sept. 1998
Format: Paperback
Brat Farrar has everything a mystery should: a carefully-constructed plot, well-hidden but available clues, and an ending that wraps everything up without resorting to deux ex machina. The build-up to the "creation" of Pat Ashby -- the character the protagonist assumes in order to inherit an English estate -- is so thoughtfully described and developed, it was later referred to by Mary Stewart as the basis for her own character's deception in "The Ivy Tree."
All of these lead to a good mystery; what makes it a great mystery is the plethora of believable characters. The reader is invited to be part of a charming English village and becomes the champion of Brat as he works his way through a complicated identical-twin relationship to solve the hidden-secrets mystery in the end.
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Format: Paperback
One of greatest tragedies in the world of mysteries is that Josephine Tey wrote so few. I've loved this book ever since I was a girl and found it on the shelf of my parent's library.
The book is populated by a number of likeable, believable characters (even the unlikeable characters are believable). The reader is compelled to keep reading by the interesting plot that keeps reveals new aspects of the story without seeming at all contrived.
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Format: Paperback
A curious kind of detective story, with no detective for start. It's a lot more psychological than some of Josephine Tey's other books. It tells the story of a scam to win an inheritance which turns into a murder mystery, all within the understated, distinctly stiff-upper-lip confines of a horse-mad English family. I got a bit tired of the horses to be honest, but the characters are fascinating and their emotional complications convincing. Definitely worth a read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read Brat Farrar in my teens and have been rereading it ever since every couple of years. In fact, I've read it so often that my copy has fallen to pieces, which is why I bought the Kindle edition. It's the story of a young man who inveigles himself into a loving family by pretending to be a long-lost child. Brat has been put up to the imposture by a ne'er-do-well connection of the family because he looks so much like the now grown-up twin of the missing boy. But instead of portraying Brat as a conniving money-grubber, Josephine Tey presents him as a boy with an unhappy and chequered past who falls in love with "his" family, most of whom share his passion for horses. The family has also known tragedy - as well as losing the child, Patrick, the children's parents are dead; Simon, Patrick's twin, Eleanor, and another, much younger set of twins, Jane and Ruth, live in their parents' house with Aunt Bea and try to make enough money from horses to keep the family and the estate together. At first, Brat must convince everyone who ever knew the child that he is Patrick. But soon, he senses something sinister about the disappearance, and becomes Patrick's champion. The characters are drawn with depth and truth and the reader comes to care passionately about what's going to happen to them all. Although it was written in 1950, the book has worn well and does not read like a period piece.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Josephine Tey wrote a number of detective stories but her best work hardly comes under the heading of a whodunit. We know right from the start that Brat is an imposter. Frankly I did not think I was going to be gripped by this story but I was intrigued because I had enjoyed The Franchise Affair so much. It turned out to be a real page turner, so well written that I was wishing for it to go for at least another 300 pages. I like the book so much that I want to keep it on my shelves to reread and to pass on to others. Consequently I am glad that I did not get a throwaway paperback edition. There is nothing better than to snuggle down to a good read in a quality hardback edition and they do not come finer than this Folio edition. Imagine sliding the book out of its strong protective case, casting an eye at the beautiful colour illustrations and then whetting ones appetite with the concise and lucid intro from Ruth Rendell.
I can also recommend highly The Daughter of Time, and The Singing Sands by Tey, but I feel you might be disappointed with her earlier pre war detective stories starring Inspector Grant. They are too conventional to be distinguished from the run of the mill whodunits of the period, they lack suspense and a sense of climax, and are suffused with a casual racism particularly about Jews which was so common at the time. That said there is no viciousness in her attitude and the author comes across as a pleasant person who you would like to meet.
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