Der englische Patient
Oberflächlich gesehen erzählt der Roman die Geschichte von vier Personen, die 1945 bei Kriegsende in einer zerbombten, toskanischen Villa gestrandet sind und versuchen, wieder ein normales Leben aufzu...more
This time through I decided to read it out loud, and a whole new sensuality exploded into the experience for me. Actually rolling those words and worlds around on my tongue, wheezi ...more
I’m not always fair when it comes to one-star reviews, but if I’m stopping shy of anonymous Amazon slams I figure I’m not doing all that bad. Still, I’ll try to be as fair as possible to The English Patient.
The novel is set in an Italian villa at the end of World War II. The nameless English patient is a burned invalid who unites the other characters—his worn out nurse, Hana; the ma ...more
O, is for Ondaatje
I’m going to venture out of my normal review style here, and instead do a Q & A with Hana (the, erm... MC, maybe?!)
Me: Hey Hana, what’s up with you not leaving the Italian Villa despite the fact that there are corpses and mines littered everywhere and the war has ended already?
Hana: I just don’t think "The English Patient" would survive the transfer and I love my independence here. I mean where else can I give an immobile man sponge baths, inject him with morphine ...more
Given his picture on the jacket cover, highfaluting writing style, and acclaimed career, I expected him to be pretentious. To the contrary, he was charming during the on-stage interview. ...more
Deserts and far flung foreign travel - tick
Hidden subterranean archaeology - tick
Enigmatic European aristocracy - tick
Spell binding tale of fate c ...more
Michael Ondaatje repeats a line (it appears on pages 112 and 113 of my edition) that I want to wrap myself up in and think about, write about, dream about, cry over, taste, drink in: 'If he could just walk the seven yards across the Englishman's room and touch her he would be sane.' and a few paragraphs later, 'If he could walk across the room and touch her he would be sane.'
I believe it is the only repe ...more
What I loved most about this book was seeing, especially near the end, how each character, though stranger to one another, had s ...more
How do you pick up the pieces? How do you ...more
She had always wanted words. She loved them, grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape. Whereas I thought words bent emotions like sticks in water. She returned to her husband. “From this point on,” she whispered, “we will either find or lose our souls. Seas move away. Why not lovers? “
When we parted for the last time, Maddox used the old farewell: “May God make safety your companion”. And then I strode away from him saying, “There is ...more
I may have been in a bad mood when I watched the film adaptation of this novel back when it was first released, because I didn't like it much at all. It was too long, too slow and I didn't care about the characters at all. Whether I would have felt differently about the film had I read the novel first, I don't know. What I do know is my dislike of the film put me off reading the novel and, for that matter, any other novels by Ondaatje.
It was good to get beyond my negativity about the film and f ...more
2 stars on 5!
Now for the 'but' - or indeed 'buts'. I was most troubled by Hana and Caravaggio - the first time I tried to read this ...more
The same might be said of the characters in The English Patient. For this is a beautiful, artfully crafted novel about the mapping of identity within borders, set before and during World war two when borders were in continual flux and territorial conquest and possession were the name of the game. The narrative, like the abandoned villa in which the ...more
What a perfect description for how I felt reading this extraordinary book, this book that is so much about the power of words - to define, to deform, to deceive and destroy us.
The English Patient takes place in a war-ravaged Italia ...more
Poorly done over by the movie.
It starts with the description of Hannah, a nurse taking care of a mysterious man whose skin is so burned that he is described as 'black'. Then, we learn that the story takes place during the Second World war, the Bedouin seeing the planes fal ...more
It did not.
This book was painful. I never quite knew what was going on or what I was suppose to be feeling. There were no characters to really iden ...more
The book mentions several books itself. Also, quite a few s ...more
In Italy, in the aftermath of WWII, four people come together to come to terms with themselves in an attempt to move on. There is Hana, a war weary nurse. There is Carravagio, a thief with a physical impairment that resulted from his profession. There is Kip, a sapper who looks for hidden bombs everywhere. And then there is the English patient. A man burned from a plane crash with little to no memory as to who he is. As these four all converge in an abandoned villa, ...more
|The 2016 Reading ...: World Literature Group Read (North Africa: July 2015) - The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje||6||18||Jun 30, 2015 08:56AM|
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I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography - to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.”