Couldn't put it down! The narrative was easy and seamless and I was just itching to keep reading on.
This is the story about a man (who I keep forgettiCouldn't put it down! The narrative was easy and seamless and I was just itching to keep reading on.
This is the story about a man (who I keep forgetting the name of; starts with T I'm sure. It was rarely mentioned) who, at 67, started living off in the forest and recollects his past and every bitter thing that happened in his life. He still considers himself lucky even though he lost his best friend after a fatal accident and then his father left with no closure. He just lost his wife and his sister recently, too. A lot of losses to this guy. Then his neighbor turns out to be someone from the ugly past, so that disrupts his search for peace. At one point I didn't really understand what the story wants to tell me or where it's headed to, because there seemed to be no direction. Nevertheless I still enjoyed it immensely; it was like listening to a grandparent tell you how their life had been and then says in the end, "And that's how I became who I am now."...more
Like many others, I picked up this book because of the striking cover. I put it off for a while because I thought it was just one those light reads thLike many others, I picked up this book because of the striking cover. I put it off for a while because I thought it was just one those light reads that never moved you by the end. Thankfully (and I do welcome these times), I was proven wrong.
Girl in Translation is a coming-of-age story narrated by Kim Chang, a Chinese girl who immigrated to the US at eleven with her mother, with the help of her self-important and jealous aunt. Her aunt put them in a squalid, pest-infested apartment in Brooklyn and gave them illegal, strenuous work at a factory, under the guise of giving them shelter and income. With what very little they're earning from the factory, they still had to pay their immigration debts to Kim's aunt.
Kim, seeing that this was absolutely no way to live, used her brains that had made her a top student back in Hong Kong to get herself a proper education (with a lot of challenges at first due to the serious language barrier). With just a lot of inspiring hard work and determination, she reaches great heights and, even, stands up for herself. Nobody could touch this girl!
Very inspiring and genuine story about overcoming the odds with perseverance. I don't remember the last time when I was actually rushing my chores so I could get back to reading immediately....more
I'm beginning to think that Ondaatje is never going to impress me. True, I've only read two of his books so far (this one and The Cat's TableAy-iy-iy.
I'm beginning to think that Ondaatje is never going to impress me. True, I've only read two of his books so far (this one and The Cat's Table—which was okay and better than this crap for sure, but still didn't move the earth) and that assumption seems premature, but really. One of the big things that makes or breaks a novel for me is the prose. How the author tells the story. The English Patient bore me half to death with bits and pieces of unrelated "moments" that the author somehow finds interesting so he tries to sew it into the plot, but didn't work. The resulting drivel couldn't be called in the same title anymore, because it's not just about the English patient. It's the histories of the three people living in the villa, and Ondaatje wants you to care about them enough so that in the end he can let you down by saying there's no connection to them at all.
Hana is this stubborn, stupid nurse who does not want to leave this mine-rich villa that was already half-destroyed by bombs because she is obsessed with the English patient upstairs, who was too fragile to be moved. Enter Carravagio and Kip—her father's old friend who wants to take her out of the villa and a bomb disposer, respectively—whom she both in one way or another also falls in love with (???). Does she really need to fall in love with every fucking man?
So the amnesiac English patient tells his story finally, but not without anyone telling us their life stories. Hana's and Carravagio's—I couldn't give a fuck about theirs. Kips' bomb disposal days and The English patient's adventures through the desert were probably the more interesting parts of the book (though the patient's affair with a married woman was sickening with sap), and sadly those were the ones that Ondaatje has "researched on and borrowed" from other desert adventurers' written accounts. Yes, very sad.
All in all this was a prose disaster, full of wind and poetic douchery like,
"If I gave you my life, you would drop it. Wouldn't you?" "It was her breath that was most alive." "Meet me at the moondial, David." "I lost the child. I mean, I had to lose it. The father was already dead." (I mean, WHAT? Logic out the window.) "She would take my wrist at the confluence of the veins and guide it onto the hollow indentation at her neck." That scene with the ladybug. "We will either find or lose our souls." Etc, etc.
Every one of these lines, and more, left me looking like this: ????????? Nobody talks like this. Nobody. Not even during then. Maybe he should just write poems if he likes to write sappy shit this way. At least then I'd forgive him. Imagine the book written this way all throughout; it was nauseating....more
**spoiler alert** Hugh Glass didn't get his long-awaited revenge, to tell you honestly, which is basically the point of the book. At first it irritate**spoiler alert** Hugh Glass didn't get his long-awaited revenge, to tell you honestly, which is basically the point of the book. At first it irritated me but I pondered more on it and maybe the author meant that to happen so that Glass will have an opportunity to forgive—at least a somewhat less happy version of forgiveness—and let go of his anger. Really, it took a lot of strength to stop myself from ripping the book apart in anticipation for his torturing and skinning Fitzgerald (gods, what kind of a human am I?) in revenge, and then to be robbed of that in the end and instead be convinced that letting go is needed? It was more than enough for me to be sent a little bit on the edge.
Superb story and writing, nevertheless, and very nicely paced. It doesn't give you the tedium that usually comes with travel books. The narration was matter-of-fact, mission-oriented. Only once—upon facing the magnificence of the Rockies—did the narration stop for a breath and describe the beauty of the Western wilderness....more
I don't know why I liked this. The story has depth but still felt a little shallow in hindsight. Maybe I like it because it's a book about books? Or bI don't know why I liked this. The story has depth but still felt a little shallow in hindsight. Maybe I like it because it's a book about books? Or better yet, a book about praising Jane Austen? I don't really know. But I like it like a good foreboding rainy day while you're indoors. It leaves you pleasantly at home and warm and sentimental....more