Literary Feline's Reviews > The Boat
by Nam Le
by Nam Le
Literary Feline's review
Jan 01, 11
Read in December, 2010
I tend to prefer short stories that delve into the hearts and minds of the characters and that is exactly what Nam Le has done with his collection of stories in The Boat (Knopf, 2008 - Fiction; 272 pgs). I find his writing beautiful at times, while at others somewhat harsh harsh. The stories in the collection are all rather melancholy, the characters flawed and real. My favorite of the stories included the title story, "The Boat," about a mother and child who befriend a young woman traveling on her own. They are escaping Vietnam, hoping for a better and safer life. It is a heart wrenching story that continues to stay with me months after I read it. My other favorite was "Cartagena" about a 14 year old Colombian boy, a hitman, who has had to grow up all too fast. He goes into hiding after refusing to kill his most recent target. I found myself holding my breath near the end, knowing what was to come but wishing it would end differently. I came to really care for the 14 year old protagonist.
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