Nicholas During's Reviews > Indian Nocturne

Indian Nocturne by Antonio Tabucchi
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May 07, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 02 to 04, 2012

This is a book for you post-modernists out there. Ostensibly is about a man traveling through India looking for his friend who has disappeared there. However the reader is clearly meant to understand that there is more going on here, even before the trick ending, which, in my opinion felt a bit flat. A better way to look at it is imagining Tabucchi writing this book while reading a guidebook to India, though never visiting the place itself. This brings up all kinds of discussions on writing and reading, many of which are welcome (in my eyes) today since a book about a journey through India usually is from an author who wants to tell the reader how interesting their experience was and how much they learned from it. I'm not saying that these books are necessarily bad, readers can gain experiences from books (I sure hope so, otherwise I've wasted a lot of my life already) and can learn lessons from books (ditto). However, it's been done before and a new and radical look at the India journey narrative shows the depths of literature that we often miss if we just read the bestseller list (can you guess which book I'm thinking about?).

There are other funky stuff here which I liked. The book is also very clearly meant to be a mystery. But of course being post-modern the protagonist is never going to find his man, he's going to start questioning who he is looking for, or is someone looking for him? And why did his friend come to India anyway? Now that I write this down it all sounds a bit derivative of Robbe-Grillet. But it's much, much easier to read and a lot lighter. However, you better have a taste for the po-mo if you want to read this book.

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