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Warlight
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August 2018: Espionage > Warlight by Michael Ondaatje - 4 stars -August decathlon

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message 1: by Booknblues (last edited Aug 12, 2018 01:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Booknblues | 6844 comments Warlight by Michael Ondaatje Warlight's cover shows a scene largely obscured by fog and reading it was like trying to find one's way through a thick fog and get to what is really going on. Shortly after the end of WWII Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel are left by their parents, in the care of a man they call Moth. Their father is moving to Singapore for his work and their mother plans on following him there.

What really happens is given out bit by bit. The novel shifts back and forth through time, the reader learns what Nathaniel and Rachel's life was like without their parents. Moth surrounds them with an odd assortment of characters.

I love Ondaatje's writing and have read three of his other books, The English Patient, The Cat's Table and Anil's Ghost, which I rated highly. I am still mauling over how I felt about Warlight. The Hansel and Gretel story is interesting and it is clear that we all see things from different perspectives.

I know that some reviewers felt the last chapter was unnecessary, but I was glad to have it as it gave me a bit more resolution. I don't necessarily need everything wrapped up tidy with a bow, but the book left me feeling a bit off-kilter.

Just one word about the espionage suitability of the book, and that is that it definitely fits, but I don't want to give anything away.


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Great review. I love how everyone's adjective to describe this book is different. I have seen atmospheric, shifting, and now foggy among a few others. I have my own term but being on vacation i have yet to have a chance to write my review.


Booknblues | 6844 comments J.W. wrote: "Great review. I love how everyone's adjective to describe this book is different. I have seen atmospheric, shifting, and now foggy among a few others. I have my own term but being on vacation i hav..."

I will be looking forward to your review. I was thinking of the atmospheric adjective because it definitely was that, but it seemed like a foggy obscure atmosphere.


Michael (mike999) | 569 comments Lovely review and respectful of spoilers. Could you see like I did how it was like a hybrid of The Cat's Table, with a boys adventure in the adult world, and Anil's Ghost, with its mysteries and dangers of corruption and subversive politics.


Booknblues | 6844 comments Michael wrote: "Lovely review and respectful of spoilers. Could you see like I did how it was like a hybrid of The Cat's Table, with a boys adventure in the adult world, and Anil's Ghost, with its mysteries and da..."

That is an interesting point. I saw its relationship to Cat's Table with children on their own, but I read Anil's Ghost years ago and didn't make connections with it.

I saw it as almost a Hansel and Gretel tale with the brother and sister. I was interested in their divergent points of view and how these effected their relationship.


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