Der englische Patient (SZ-Bibliothek, #23)
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
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
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
Deserts and far flung foreign travel - tick
Hidden subterranean archaeology - tick
Enigmatic European aristocracy - tick
Spell binding tale of fate c ...more
It's the end of the Second World War, mines litter the landscape of Italy, bandits ...more
How do you pick up the pieces? How do you ...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
Now for the 'but' - or indeed 'buts'. I was most troubled by Hana and Caravaggio - the first time I tried to read this ...more
Poorly done over by the movie.
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
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
I've been wanting to read this since the movie came out almost twenty years ago and am very glad I finally got around to it. It's beautifully written in a pared back prose style and has a very languid feel, at times making me feel like I was seeing events through the same morphine haze as some of the characters. The story involving the Italian villa was interesting but my favourite parts by far were the flashbacks as told by the English Patient.
I'm now off to watch the movie which I've also been ...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
I gave a start when Kip came storming in the ruined villa with the beautiful frescoes on the wall, as Hanna played the piano. I was there, with my heart in my mouth, wherever and whenever Kip, the young Indian sapper defuses bombs in odd places, a piano, trees in the or ...more
Of course I loved the movie The English Patient. Its on my list of favorite movies. I actually wasn't aware that it started out as book until I saw it on a reading list. I went into this book with the impression that it might possibly be a reenactment in literary form what I found, however was a welcome surprise. This most definitely is the type of book that one should read more than once to completely take it all in. Filled with beautiful lyri ...more
to come up some of the finest quotes of the novel,which deserved to be acclaimed both by critics and readers,,,
“A love story is not about those who lost their heart but about those who find that sullen inhabitant who, when it is stumbled upon, means the body can fool no one, can fool nothing—not the wisdom of sleep or the habit of social graces. It is a co ...more
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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.”