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The Sandglass

2.64 of 5 stars 2.64  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Already hailed as “intricate and compelling” by the Times Literary Supplement, The Sandglass is a striking novel by Sri Lankan author Romesh Gunesekera, a 1994 Booker Prize finalist for his first novel, Reef.

Set in London where the Sri Lankan narrator lives, The Sandglass tells the story of two feuding families whose lives are interlinked by the changing fortunes of postco
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by The New Press (first published September 15th 1998)
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I liked Gunesekera's Monkfish Moon and Reef very much, but The Sandglass was a struggle to get through. I found the characters uninteresting, the narrative (and the narrator) confused and convoluted, and the prose flat, occasionally cringe-worthy, like a pretentious first draft from a dubious MFA workshop. I don't know what the reviewers in the major book-chat-press were thinking in their over-the-top reviews. I'll probably return to Gunesekera and hope for the best, a return to the sparkle of h ...more
Maybe worthy of 1 1/2 stars...I kept expecting the characters to develop, something to be revealed, but most of the book (though written beautifully)felt incomplete.
While the ideas for the characters come together well in this book, that's all this book is; characters. The plot, or rather lack thereof, is at best slow and steady, and at worst a long and seemingly never-ending piece, woven from paragraphs that do not seem relevant to each other.
There is no climax, no plot twists, no resolution, this book is best described as a descriptive essay that won't end, or a piece on a family background. Unfortunately, I regret the hours this book took from me and I d
Shruti Rao
You know, this book may not be the best, but it's good enough for me to want to seek out more of his writing.

2.5 stars.
Solitary Lankan man seeks the company of an ageing woman and gets intrigued by her colorful family history. Most of the action is "off screen".
Very cool story. I loved the parts set in. Sri Lanka.
The story of two feuding families is told simply but requires attention to follow, vacillating between past and future and London to Colombo. Their feud has occurred over money, love, and business for generations as they try to succeed during colonial Sri Lanka, post-colonial SL, and as expats in England. the feud may have included murder and infidelity but these hypotheses remain vague and we have no resolution. I'd have preferred that the author create more definitive story.
I was skeptical of the shifting voices in this but decided at the end that he'd pulled it off well. Post colonialization forms the backdrop to this novel, as with most of his work. I like Reef better--the language is more imagistic. But this novel surprised me. It sneaks up on you, and the language, though not as imagistic, is still beautiful.
Adnaan The AdMan Sabireen
It's ok. Nothing fantastic. For me it's more about the2 cities (Colombo & London), during the respective periods, than the story itself. 'A Tale of 2 Cities' as it were. Also, don't think much of the abstract, random style of writing, switiching from various characters and time frames.
This was an okay read but not as good as others of his that I have read. A bit disjointed, didn't really get much of a 'feel' for the characters and found the largely unidentified 'narrator' a bit annoying at times. Only 5/10 for me.
I didn't like the way the author skipped around from one timeframe to another - it was confusing. I found it difficult to care about the characters but did want to find out what happened in the end. I was disappointed.
John Furniss
I found this book a disappointment after The Reef and found it rather tedious. I gave up about 80% of the way through!
Jayson Clark
Jul 29, 2012 Jayson Clark rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no 0ne
Recommended to Jayson by: i had to read for English
Tough, slow evolving, took me an unusual long time to finish.
Sandglass/the tr by Romesh Gunesekera (1999)
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Romesh Gunesekera was born in Sri Lanka where he spent his early years. Before coming to Britain he also lived in the Philippines. He now lives in London. In 2010 he was writer in residence at Somerset House.

His first novel, Reef, was published in 1994 and was short-listed as a finalist for the Booker Prize, as well as for the Guardian Fiction Prize. In the USA he was nominated for a New Voice Awa
More about Romesh Gunesekera...
Reef Monkfish Moon The Prisoner of Paradise The Match Noontide Toll: Stories

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