Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#35 The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

The English PatientAlrighty, this one might be difficult as I read The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje over the course of a busy two weeks at the pace of a few pages every other day. A lot of it is not exactly fresh in my mind but I'll try the best I can.

The title character is a very badly burned soldier near the end of WWII who is being cared for by a nurse named Hana in run down abandoned villa. The building had served as a hospital of sorts during the war but everyone has left. The burned man whose identity is unknown was too injured to leave and left behind with Hana.

Soon, they are joined by an old friend of Hana's father named Caravaggio, a thief whose talents were put to use by the army. Caravaggio tries to convince Hana to leave but ends up sticking around when she refuses to leave her dying patient. Rounding out their little group is an Indian soldier trained in bomb disposal. He sets up camp and sets about checking the surrounding areas for landmines or unexploded bombs. This odd assortment of people forms a makeshift family of sorts and each ends up learning things about themselves and each other while caring for the burned man.

I really did enjoy the book. I can't say I totally loved it but I did really like it. I enjoyed all the interactions between the four characters and watching the story of the mystery man unfold. It was a lovely story and for anyone whose life is NOT busy and complicated, it would be a quick read at only 301 pages. I would recommend it to almost anyone. Now, I'm waiting for Netflix to send me the movie since I've never seen it but have heard it's great.

Here's hoping my next book takes less time to read or else this list will never even come close to completion.

1 comment:

mummazappa said...

this is one of those books I feel like I should have read already but just haven't got around to yet. so many books, so little time.

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