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A bit of a let-down after its predecessors
on 24 May 2014
It is eight years since I read the first volume of this trilogy (Old Filth) and five since I read the second (The Man in the Wooden Hat) - see my Amazon reviews - and I am afraid my memory of them, even with these reviews, is not too good. This third volume can, like the others, be read independently, though clearly a knowledge of those two others would greatly enrich the reading of reading this one.
Sir Edward Feathers, the central figure of the first volume and his wife Betty, the central figure of the second, have both died. So had Sir Terence Veneering, with whom Betty is believed to have had an affaire and who becomes the central figure in this volume, though it takes some time to realize it: half-way through the book we realize that he has changed his name, and it is easy to miss the time-shift between two of the chapters. They are all remembered by Sir Frederick Fiscal-Smith, who knows Veneering’ surprising past - how he rose to be a barrister from the humblest of circumstances. He, too, appears under a different name in some chapters, and again it is more than half-way through the book that we can make a connection. Before we can make them, the earlier incidents in the novel seem somewhat inconsequential, but then of course things begin to fall into place, though I have to say that I didn’t find the story all that interesting, and the ending ragged. I had given five stars to the other two volumes, which were far better than this one.