Farthing
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Farthing : A Story of a World That Could Have Been

3.79 (3,554 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

First published in 2006, Jo Walton's Farthing was hailed as a masterpiece, a darkly romantic thriller set in an alternate postwar England sliding into fascism. Eight years after they overthrew Churchill and led Britain into a separate peace with Hitler, the upper-crust families of the "Farthing set" are gathered for a weekend retreat. Among them is estranged Farthing scion Lucy Kahn, who can't understand why her and her husband David's presence was so forcefully requested. Then the country-house idyll is interrupted when the eminent Sir James Thirkie is found murdered--with a yellow Star of David pinned to his chest. Lucy begins to realize that her Jewish husband is about to be framed for the crime--an outcome that would be convenient for altogether too many of the various political machinations underway in Parliament in the coming week. But whoever's behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn't reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts and underdogs--and prone to look beyond the obvious as a result. As the trap slowly shuts on Lucy and David, they begin to see a way out--a way fraught with peril in a darkening world.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 316 pages
  • 137.16 x 208.28 x 30.48mm | 272.15g
  • Tor Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0765323133
  • 9780765323132
  • 380,147

Review quote

"Stunningly powerful...While the whodunit plot is compelling, it's the convincing portrait of a country's incremental slide into fascism that makes this novel a standout. Mainstream readers should be enthralled as well." --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) on "Farthing"" ""If Le Carre scares you, try Jo Walton." -Ursula K. LeGuin on "Farthing "" ""A stiff-upper-lip whodunit boasting political intrigue and uncomfortable truths about anti-Semitism." "--Entertainment Weekly "on" Farthing"" """Farthing" is a quietly convincing horror, a tale of a world that might have been and that we're damned lucky we never really saw. Read it, think about it, and count your blessings." -Harry Turtledove on "Farthing"" ""Succeeds in almost too many ways to count. It's a great, engaging read, and sharp as a knife." -Robert Charles Wilson on "Farthing"" ""Manages the incredible, heart-rending trick of being a quiet little story about quiet, brave people while simultaneously conjuring the kind of haunting dystopia that rips your guts out." -Cory Doctorow on "Farthing"" ""Is there anything Jo Walton can't write?...It reads as if it was written just this morning." --"Locus" on "Farthing"" ""Packs a considerable wallop." --"Kirkus Reviews" on "Farthing"" ""Amazing...One of the most compelling and chilling books of the year." --"Romantic Times Book Reviews" on "Farthing"show more

About Jo Walton

JO WALTON won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer on the publication of her debut novel, The King's Peace. Her novel Tooth and Claw won the World Fantasy Award, and the novels of her Small Change sequence--Farthing, Ha'Penny, and Half a Crown--have won acclaim ranging from national newspapers to the Romantic Times Critics' Choice Award. Most recently, her novel Among Others won the Nebula Award. A native of Wales, she lives in Montreal.show more

Back cover copy

Praise for "Farthing" "If Le Carre scares you, try Jo Walton. Of course her brilliant story of a democracy selling itself out to fascism sixty years ago is just a mystery, just a thriller, just a fantasy--of course we know nothing like that could happen now. Don't we?"--Ursula K. Le Guin "It really is one of those books that succeeds in almost too many ways to count. It's a great, engaging read, and sharp as a knife. The most meaningful parahistorical novel I've come across in a long time, succinct and rivetingly readable."--Robert Charles Wilson ""Farthing" starts out as a cozy period house party mystery, becomes a brilliant alternate history yarn, and at last reveals itself to be a chilling political thriller. It's smart, riveting, and deeply moving. Once you start reading, don't plan to put it down."--Emma Bull "A wonderful book, simultaneously a gripping mystery and a harrowing cautionary tale. Walton's credible--and entirely convincing--alternative history becomes a terrifying meditation on class, power, and persecution."--Susan Palwickshow more

Rating details

3,554 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 23% (804)
4 45% (1,599)
3 24% (849)
2 6% (229)
1 2% (73)
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