Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 20, 2010

Troubles (1970, Empire Trilogy, #1) wins Lost Booker Prize

Troubles, by J G Farrell has won the Lost Booker Prize.   It’s the first one of Farrell’s Empire trilogy, and a worthy winner. 

I’m a little bit disappointed that Patrick White’s The Vivisector or Shirley Hazzard’s The Bay of Noon didn’t win, but Troubles won by a clear majority, winning 38% of the votes.  (The Lost Booker is judged by international public vote; the judges just compiled the shortlist.)

The second book in the trilogy, The Siege of Krishnapur,  won the Booker in 1973, and was shortlisted for the Best of the Booker two years ago.  Like Troubles, it’s an entertaining book with a serious undercurrent, and both have stood the test of time.  I haven’t read the last one, The Singapore Grip yet, but will get to it in due course.

Farrell drowned in a fishing accident in 1979 and I had wondered how they would award a prize if the author were no longer alive.   It seems his brother accepted it on his behalf – it’s a a designer-bound first edition copy of the book.


  1. This is actually one of the RARE times I like a Booker Winner….


  2. To be honest, I’ve never heard of JG Farrell, let alone read this book. Of course, sentimentally I would have liked White or Hazzard to win but not having read the other contenders I guess I’d better just say, like you, I’m disappointed.


    • I discovered The Siege of Krishnapur when the Booker group read it a few years ago. I couldn’t buy it anywhere in Melbourne so I bought it – and the other two in the trilogy – through that large multinational online bookstore, and the postage from the UK was astronomical. I mean *astronomical*. I was mightily relieved to find that I loved the author, after what I had paid for the book! Lisa


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