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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 1998
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FICTION PRIZE
WINNER OF THE JAMES TAIT MEMORIAL PRIZE FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE WH SMITH BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD

When Master Georgie – George Hardy, surgeon and photographer – sets off from the cold squalor of Victorian Liverpool for the heat and glitter of the Bosphorus to offer his services in the Crimea, there straggles behind him a small caravan of devoted followers; Myrtle, his adoring adoptive sister; lapsed geologist Dr Potter; and photographer’s assistant and sometime fire-eater Pompey Jones, all of them driven onwards through a rising tide of death and disease by a shared and mysterious guilt.

Combining a breathtaking eye for beauty with a visceral understanding of mortality, Beryl Bainbridge exposes her enigmatic hero as tenderly and unsparingly as she reveals the filth and misery of war, and creates a novel of luminous depth and extraordinary intensity.

Reviews

It is hard to think of anyone now writing who understands the human heart as Beryl Bainbridge does
THE TIMES
Another masterly exploration by an author at the peak of her form ...She was always good at funny dialogue and acute observation of the oddities of human behaviour, but her recent historical explorations have given full reign to her startling powers of d
DAILY TELEGRAPH
A quirky and compelling book, packed with witty observations and extraordinary characters, which really ought to have won the Booker prize, but missed it by a whisker.
DAILY MAIL
The economy of Bainbridge's writing, for which she is famous, results in a slender novel with an astonishing range.
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
It is hard to think of anyone now writing who understands the human heart as Beryl Bainbridge does
The Times
Offers perhaps the most brilliant demonstration yet of her matchless gift for storytelling concision and subtle suggestiveness...Bainbridge creates a haunting picture of a world in which human relationships are ruled by accident and people's understanding of others is decisively distorted and limited by their own inner natures...An exemplary work from one of Britain's finest writers
Kirkus
Another masterly exploration by an author at the peak of her form...She was always good at funny dialogue and acute observation of the oddities of human behaviour, but her recent historical explorations have given full reign to her startling powers of description
Daily Telegraph
A quirky and compelling book, packed with witty observations and extraordinary characters, which really ought to have won the Booker prize, but missed it by a whisker
Daily Mail
The economy of Bainbridge's writing, for which she is famous, results in a slender novel with an astonishing range
Independent on Sunday
"I intend to survive," announces Pompey Jones as he goes into a climactic battle of the Crimean War, near the end of Beryl Bainbridge's remarkable new novel...The marvelous trick Ms. Bainbridge pulls off is that she tells her story so elliptically that you have to pay attention to her every word. No conversation is wasted
New York Times
Beryl Bainbridge is one of Britain's best-loved novelists. She has twice won the prestigious Whitbread Prize and has been shortlisted five times for the Booker Prize, most recently for Master Georgie, her sixteenth and perhaps most accomplished novel. When the strongly favored book didn't win, the cry of "Foul" from the literary arena echoed through the land
Paris Review
Truly extraordinary, heartbreakingly good
Sunday Telegraph