Silvana's Reviews > The English Patient

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
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Aug 31, 09

bookshelves: bookmooch, own, romance, favorites
Read in August, 2009

What a captivating read. Truly hypnotic. The movie was awesome, but the book...well, the depth is unmeasurable. This is one of those books with many thought-provoking layers.

Imagine an 'English patient', a Canadian nurse, an Indian Sikh sapper and an Italian thief seeking refuge in an abandoned villa in Southern Italy at the end of the Second World War. Imagine the (possible) relationships and interactions that (could have) occurred between them.

The characterization is superb (none of them were undamaged by the war - spiritually and physically), the prose is enchanting and the description of the surrounding environment is surreal.

And thanks to this book, I shall try to re-read Kipling's Kim again, since the English Patient explained that one must read Kipling slowly, for when one does, Kipling’s phrasing reveals the power of his prose. Will do as advised, Sir!
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Reading Progress

08/30/2009 page 103
33.77% "This is hypnotic!"

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Silvana Not yet. Is it good?


message 2: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar Aku juga gak selesai baca Kim -_-


Silvana Ayu wrote: "Aku juga gak selesai baca Kim -_- "

gue sih kelar...tp ga suka krn boring ;p


message 4: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar So the conflict of Kim is ... *males baca*


message 5: by Silvana (last edited Sep 01, 2009 07:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Silvana *garuk2 pala*

kalo ga salah dia itu orphan (bokapnya bule) yg akhirnya memutuskan utk meninggalkan pekerjaan jadi anak jalanan utk ikut road trip keliling India bersama seorang Lama. And there was some espionage thingy karena latar belakangmya konflik politik Rusia vs Inggris yg lg rebutan sphere of influence disono.

Gue ga demen bagian filosofisnya sih,dan bagian adventurenya dikit. gue lebih suka baca kipling di jungle books, less serious and more fun ;p


message 6: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar I like Kipling's poems, kolonial banget hahaha.


message 7: by Grace (last edited Sep 01, 2009 07:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Grace Tjan Silvana wrote: "*garuk2 pala*

kalo ga salah dia itu orphan (bokapnya bule) yg akhirnya memutuskan utk meninggalkan pekerjaan jadi anak jalanan utk ikut road trip keliling India bersama seorang Lama. And there was..."


Gw juga lebih suka Jungle Book daripada Kim. Sebenarnya ceritanya menarik sih, tapi kadang-kadang too slow.

Gw selalu bayangin kalau si Kim itu gedenya jadi si Ash yang di Far Pavillions.

English Patient is one of my fave books ever. Nothing Oondatje writes afterward is comparable to it.


Grace Tjan Ayu wrote: "I like Kipling's poems, kolonial banget hahaha. "

Ya waktu itu memang British Empire lagi jaya-jayanya dan mereka (British) punya konsep tentang 'white man's burden' di koloni2 mereka. So if you read Kipling's works you must consider that subtext.


message 9: by Sherien (new)

Sherien Is the book very much different than the movie?I've watched the movie and really loved it.. Do you think I should still read the book? kadang2 kalo udah ga surprising jadi kurang gripping...


Silvana Oh u should definitely read the book. You wouldn't got the same depth and details. The back stories on the characters for instance. And the interactions.


message 11: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar @Sandy: and what I meant by liking his poems doesn't mean I agree with his ideology :D
I am just amazed with how he delivered the ideology of the empire through his poems. Sherien and I once discussed Kipling's poems in a class.


Grace Tjan Ayu wrote: "@Sandy: and what I meant by liking his poems doesn't mean I agree with his ideology :D
I am just amazed with how he delivered the ideology of the empire through his poems. Sherien and I once discus..."


I like this one :

IF.....

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

No Empire in that, just advice to his son. His son died in WW I. Have you seen the movie (lupa judulnya, yang jadi anaknya Kipling Daniel Radcliffe)?.




message 13: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar Oh yup, I like that one too!

My Boy Jack? Haven't watched it, but I am interested!


Grace Tjan It's pretty good. The guy who played Kipling really looks like him. It's sad too, because we get to see how his patriotism for the British Empire costs him his son.


message 15: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar You make wanna watch it more :D the premise is interesting, right? How does someone who promotes colonialism see his son involved in war?

Anaknya rabun ya kalo gak salah?


Grace Tjan Ya. Dia sebenarnya not fit for military service, tapi karena didorong-dorong terus sama bapaknya yang patriotik jadi ikut perang. Kesian.


message 17: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar and did Harry Potter play it well?


Grace Tjan I thought he did OK. He won't win an Oscar for it, but he's believable. Nggak main Quidditch dia disitu. Hehehehe. Kayaknya DVDnya (bajakan) masih ada deh.


message 19: by Sherien (new)

Sherien Ayu wrote: "You make wanna watch it more :D the premise is interesting, right? How does someone who promotes colonialism see his son involved in war?

Anaknya rabun ya kalo gak salah?"



kan waktu itu gw suruh lo beli aja, lo ga beli.... ayo beli! ntar gw pinjem hehehe



message 20: by Sherien (last edited Sep 04, 2009 10:53AM) (new)

Sherien Ayu wrote: "@Sandy: and what I meant by liking his poems doesn't mean I agree with his ideology :D
I am just amazed with how he delivered the ideology of the empire through his poems. Sherien and I once discus..."


Colonial Ideology...Sama aja kayak Charlotte Bronte. We like her writing tapi pada sisi yang lain dia nyiptain karakter Bertha yang stereotypical wilayah koloni...mad, uncivilized, sensual,exotic in a negative way, dsb.






message 21: by Rauf (new)

Rauf How come everyone starts talkin' about Kipling?

@Silvana
OK. I like the film. Sort of. What de Almasy did and did not do for his love and what happens to her after he did it....Tragic. Should I read the book?


Grace Tjan The book is fantastic, imo. Read it.

The real Almasy :

http://lazarus.elte.hu/~zoltorok/alma...



Grace Tjan Sherien wrote: "Ayu wrote: "@Sandy: and what I meant by liking his poems doesn't mean I agree with his ideology :D
I am just amazed with how he delivered the ideology of the empire through his poems. Sherien and ..."


Hmm, itu analisis Edward Said ya?

An interesting article on that subject from The Victorian Web :

http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/b...

Do you agree?






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