Joshua's Reviews > The Boat

The Boat by Nam Le
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's review
Oct 21, 2008

it was ok

This book, by Nam Le, a young Australian writer of Vietnamese descent, gathers together a collection of seemingly unrelated short stories told from wildly varying points of view. We encounter a teenage Colombian hitman, an aging painter, a young Japanese girl in WWII, and many other characters who seem distant from each other, excpet for the consistent masterful weaving of the author's prose. The writing is frequently lush, especially in the short story set in Tehran, but at times I felt the mood was dark and unrelenting. I wished for a glimmer of sunlight, even just once, but at that moment, Nam Le would gather the clouds. It made me think that truly tragic writing often holds an element of irony and humor within it, as in the short stories of James Joyc'es Dubliners.

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