Binns, Ronald. J. G. Farrell. London: Methuen, 1986. This first full-length study of Farrell traces the development of the idiosyncratic Anglo-Irish novelist’s career.
Binns, Ronald. “The Novelist as Historian.” Critical Quarterly 21 (Summer, 1979): 70-72. Discusses The Singapore Grip, the last of Farrell’s novels about the decline of the British Empire, as well as his other two novels on the subject. Binns considers this “trilogy” a “remarkable achievement.” An appreciative piece, clear and insightful.
Blamires, Harry, ed. A Guide to Twentieth Century Literature in English. New York: Methuen, 1983. The entry on Farrell describes his early novels as dabbling in “the bizarre and the grotesque.” Praises The Siege of Krishnapur and The Singapore Grip, however, for their “meticulously researched” emphasis on the rhythms of everyday life against political upheaval.
Bradbury, Malcolm, and David Palmer, eds. The Contemporary English Novel. London: Edward Arnold, 1979. Discusses Farrell in the context of historical fiction but emphasizes his concern with human individual lives. An informative and valuable piece of criticism on Farrell.
Greacen, Lavinia. J. G. Farrell: The Making of the Writer. London: Bloomsbury, 1999. A biography of the novelist, greatly enhanced by Greacen’s access to Farrell’s family and his private papers.
Halio, Jay L., ed. British Novelists Since 1960. Vol. 14 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, 1983. In addition to biographical information, contains critical commentary on Farrell’s work.
Wilson, A. N. “An Unfinished Life.” Spectator, April 15, 1981, 20-21. An admiring piece, in which Wilson acknowledges Farrell as an “outstanding novelist of his generation,” but Wilson also sees flaws in Farrell’s three Empire novels.