Honourable Man by Gillian Slovo

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As in all her work, Slovo imbues An Honourable Man with a textured and vivid sense of place. Everything read can be seen, heard, even scented.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

It is 1884. In Khartoum, General Gordon stands on the roof of his fortress as the city is besieged. He has vowed to fight the Mahdi to the death. At his side is the boy he rescued from the English dockyardslums - his reluctant last ally. Approaching with the Camel Corps is a young doctor who has joined the expedition to rescue Gordon. As the men make agonising progress across the desert, John Clarke struggles to be the hero of his imagining, while his abandoned wife, Mary, troubles his conscience. Back in London, as controversy rages over the expedition, Mary finds herself adrift and isolated. Her only release comes from laudanum, an addiction that will take her into Victorian London's darkest corners. An Honourable Man is a novel of extraordinary power that combines the intimate and the epic, exploring the folly of Empire through the fine grain of human experience and emotion.
 

About Gillian Slovo

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She is a novelist living in London. She is the daughter of the anti-apartheid activists Joe Slovo & Ruth First.
 
Published January 1, 2012 by Virago Press (UK). 341 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Honourable Man
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Clare Clark on Jan 20 2012

The volatile Mary never quite comes to life. Beside the restraint of the male characters, her emotional adventures are overheated, her slide into addiction and adventures in the slums too redolent of the clichés of the Victorian gothic tradition.

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Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by GALE ZOË GARNETT on Jul 03 2012

As in all her work, Slovo imbues An Honourable Man with a textured and vivid sense of place. Everything read can be seen, heard, even scented.

Read Full Review of Honourable Man | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

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