A fascinating and moving novel
- Bewertet: Einband: Taschenbuch
Towards the end of World War II, several people who have been damaged physically and / or emotionally by the war live for a while in an old Italian villa. Hannah, a Canadian nurse, has lost everyone she loved and now takes care of a badly burned patient, supposedly an Englishman suffering from amnesia. They are joined by Carava... Towards the end of World War II, several people who have been damaged physically and / or emotionally by the war live for a while in an old Italian villa. Hannah, a Canadian nurse, has lost everyone she loved and now takes care of a badly burned patient, supposedly an Englishman suffering from amnesia. They are joined by Caravaggio, a thief and spy for the Allies who was tortuted and crippled when he was caught by the Italians. Then a sapper, a young Sikh (Indian) named Kip, moves in, too. It's his job to defuse mines and bombs in the area, a job that could cost his life any second - and at the same time the people he's working for are disrciminating against him because he's coloured. A tender romance between Kip and Hannah starts, and all the while, the English patient tells about his past and how he ended up here. Before the war he was a desert explorer who fell in love with a married woman. This forbidden affair, combined with the beginning war in the North African desert, led to a terrible tragedy... This is not a simple book to read because several stories are interwoven and they are not told in a linear way - the story jumps back and forth in time and moves between characters and places. As a result, it's comparatively difficult to follow and it certainly helps to read it more than once if you want to fully appreciate it. That being said, I found it utterly beautiful, deeply moving, very intelligent. It's a novel that gives you a lot to feel and to think about regarding war, love, possessiveness, racism, colonialism, art and many other things. Many scenes stay with you. It has been made into a film - and a good one - but so much has been shortened from it that it doesn't achieve the same impact and depth. This is simply one of the best novels I've ever read.
The English Patient
Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning best seller lyrically portrays the convergence of four damaged lives in a bomb-riddled Italian villa in the last days of the war. Hana, the grieving nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the emotionally detached Indian sapper, Kip-each is haunted in different ways by the riddle of the man they know only as the English patient, a nameless burn victim who lies swathed in bandages in an upstairs room. It is this man's incandescent memories-of the bleak North African desert, of explorers' caves and Bedouin tribesmen,
of forbidden love, and of annihilating anger-that illuminate the story, and the consequences of the mysteries they reveal radiate outward in shock waves that leave all the characters forever changed.
Michael Ondaatje is the author of eleven books of poetry, a memoir, and six novels, including
The Cat’s Table, coming in October 2011. He lives in Toronto.
Pico Iyer is the author of two novels and seven works of nonfiction. His new book,
The Man Within My Head, comes out in 2012.