Fancy blonde girl from down under goes to India , finds filth, god and diarrhoea; Really now, both the Ozzies and Indians alike, We all should get a lifeFancy blonde girl from down under goes to India , finds filth, god and diarrhoea; Really now, both the Ozzies and Indians alike, We all should get a life. ...more
Like all other Jon Ronson books a short light read. Them is about Jon's encounters with extremism. Jon meets people from various backgrounds, religionLike all other Jon Ronson books a short light read. Them is about Jon's encounters with extremism. Jon meets people from various backgrounds, religions and ideologies ( fundamental Islam, KKK, Aryan Suprematists, conspiracy theorists and extremely unique individuals - David Icke for instance) and documents his encounters in part light hearted, part lament humour regularly throwing his Jewishness into provoking, defending and provoking in narration. The stories, if you don't know of them already can be interesting and funny, but if you do or if have read a Ronson before, they all grow into a similar narrative memory in your mind as they all blend into one another.
It didn't have a great impact on me as I had been acquainted with the stories and also was well used to Jon's style of narration from his other books. But given that this was published in 2001, it's certainly a commendable work. It would be interesting if Jon does a sequel of sorts. ...more
It can't get any more post-modern than this; a pinnacle of post-modern literature, White Teeth, written in the winter of 20th century is an Hegelian sIt can't get any more post-modern than this; a pinnacle of post-modern literature, White Teeth, written in the winter of 20th century is an Hegelian synthesis of sorts. It has come to be the symbol of the contemporary fragmented world - an offspring of the marriage between the inescapable past ( an empire there was, a distant cold war and drifting faintness of World Wars) and the promise of future ( the dynamics of economic politics, pro-labour climate, a recently forged EU, growing environmental awareness).
In many ways, it is the Pulp Fiction of post-modern literature; the characters are numerous but indistinct. Depth of the narration is sacrified for variety but still none of the characters are allowed to take the centre. Their stories are their own yet they all are interactive and adjacent enough to somehow add up to the grand collage that is the book.
The writing is confident with an air of fresh humour while the narration has a distinct flair to stoke the comical nerve of all - the melodramatic, et cynic et politically correct, well, perhaps even a terrorist. ( something they want to call hysterical realism)The characters are memorable and funny but in a serious way; When was the last time you heard of an Englishman who wanted to run away from a world war and wished to kill himself after forty years and failed? the various settings in the book are believable ( Move over Mr Rushdie)but still is an inventory of exuberant comedies- Samad’s persistent guilt about masturbation, his amazingly hilarious speech at the Parent Teacher’s meeting.
For all these reasons, White Teeth is a rare accomplishment, fringe of hilarious dysfunctions, a book composed by justified innocence and unique energy. A book, perhaps, only possible on a debut. ...more
Amidst all the post modernism floating about , it is nice to see Europe still finding room to explore the fundamental unit of human life ie the relatiAmidst all the post modernism floating about , it is nice to see Europe still finding room to explore the fundamental unit of human life ie the relationship between two human beings.
The content has been done with a million times, yet the charecters are fresh. And by that I do not mean they are rib-tickingly funny or unpretentiously perverse( sadly in my experience , when people use the word fresh for a character has been either of the two)
The other recent European book I can think of , which also explores very unique relationship between two people as a unit is L'Élégance du hérisson by Muriel barbery .
Curiously both Muriel barbery and Bernhard schlink are not writers per se , both of them being professors of philosophy and law respectively.
So the good thing about The reader is, translated from a different language, the writing is unique. You don’t get creative writing workshop manufactured sentences, which is welcome bonus if you are ODing on contemporary American prose. It is easy and light read in terms of flow, so guess what ? you could finish it off in a bath or have it read to you.
As regards the content, i guess it has been done with many a times. And , in my edition, Schlink has put in a few questions at the end , which clearly defines the purpose of the book. I guess, the answers are to be found for oneself.
But I think the best advantage of the book is to read it before watching the movie and if you are a cinema enthusiast like I am, you can make a movie for yourself imagining all the settings described like eg the triumphal parade of brown, yellow, orange, tawny red and chestnut trees between New York and Boston, or the fire that destroyed the church.. first the steeple burned, then the roof; then the blazing rafters collapsed into the nave and the pews caught fire .... and see how much the actual movie fits into the auteur within you.
A book that has given you so much insight and wisdom is difficult to be not spoken of in superlative. Over a period of fifteen years this is the thirdA book that has given you so much insight and wisdom is difficult to be not spoken of in superlative. Over a period of fifteen years this is the third time I have read this book (this time, listened) it continues to ripen like a rare wine; The book is a great primer to all the religions of the world- I feel Smith's grasp of Dharmic religions is impeccable to a westerner! All the faiths are covered appropriately and adequately, though I wish he had written more on Islam; everything in the book is so pristine and illuminating now as I remember reading it long back.
Do not miss the last concluding chapter which is an amazing argument of faith , much needed in the era where we can't let ourselves focus on anything more than competitive consuming. ...more