The Siege of Krishnapur

“The Siege of Krishnapur” by J.G. Farrell (U.K.)


Although it took some readers a little while to get into the story as they felt it necessary to adapt to a literary style that required their full attention, overall everyone loved the book. They loved the detailed descriptions of various scenes, such as the social gatherings, the philosophical/religious discussions and the battles, though some readers found the battle scenes a bit tedious at times. They liked the underlying humour and irony expressed through the clever use of language. The fact that the story was well researched was strongly felt and readers were able to appreciate the insights into the historical events of that time. Readers felt that the characters were really well developed and, as a result, they could visualise them with ease. They also felt that the author managed to convey the atmosphere before and during the siege in a highly realistic light, with his descriptions of the weather, the food and the women. They liked the change in thought processes of the main protagonists over the course of the story and they loved the ending. The book averaged an 8.5 out of 10, the second highest score of Season 9.


In the Spring of 1857, with India on the brink of a violent and bloody mutiny, Krishnapur is a remote town on the vast North Indian plain. For the British there, life is orderly and genteel. They carry on their serene existence, complacently ignoring rumours of trouble brewing elsewhere in the region: although their life is dull, the trappings of Civilisation must be earnestly preserved… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 9 – “War & Conflict around the World” (Mar – Jun 2009) 

“The Attack” by Yasmina Khadra (Algeria) *
“A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali” by Gil Courtemanche (Canada)
“March” by Geraldine Brooks (Australia)
“The Siege of Krishnapur” by J.G. Farrell (U.K.)

* The book club favourite

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