Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: "The English Patient" by Michael Ondaatje

From Goodreads:  Haunting and harrowing, as beautiful as it is disturbing, The English Patient tells the story of the entanglement of four damaged lives in an Italian monastery as World War II ends. The exhausted nurse, Hana; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burn victim who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal, and rescue illuminate this book like flashes of heat lightning. In lyrical prose informed by a poetic consciousness, Michael Ondaatje weaves these characters together, pulls them tight, then unravels the threads with unsettling acumen. 

My Thoughts:  I bought this book at a library sale a few months ago and was not sure whether or not I would like it.  I must say that I was pretty surprised at how the story pulled me in.  The English Patient is a beautifully written story; Ondaatje's writing is full of emotion and his descriptions are amazing.  The story itself is sad and shows how the horrors of war affect people differently but I felt like there was some hope for these characters despite their struggles.  This is a story without a clear cut beginning and ending but I felt like it worked in this situation. I will admit that at times I got confused about the story and had to go back and reread but overall, I am so glad that I read it.  It's hard to describe why I enjoyed it but I think the emotions that Ondaatje evokes in his writing play a big role.  4 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this book as well. I agree, it was a very emotional read. I saw the movie and I thought it was good but the book was better.

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