Thursday, January 20, 2011

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

The curtain on the World War -2 is closing and Hana decides to stay with The English Patient in an Italian Villa.Later she is joined by Kips and Caravaggio. This is the story of Hana,Caravaggio,Kips and The English Patient, whose identity is not known.All four of these are in their profession because of the war. Hana a nurse, Caravaggio a thief , Kips a sapper. But it is The English Patient which brings them all together.There is an interesting description about Hana's profession," Some men had unwound their last knot of life in her arms.In Ortona she had held cigarettes to the mouth of the boy with no arms.Nothing had stopped her.She had continued her duties while she secretly pulled her personal self back."
Ondaadtje's writing is very poetical and the whole book has its unique subtelities, imagery and lyricism.A major portion of the story is in desert. This was my first book which had so much to do about the desert and after reading it I am truly enthralled.
Caravaggio has his own motive and so he desperately tries to find about this anonymous man. He probably has some idea and uses morphine to bring out the truth from the Patient. In this interrogation the unknown goes back to his life in Cairo.He talks about his love and it is this love which becomes his fate. Every love story I have read is different. This one was strangely different.There are in fact 2 love stories , one going on in the present and one in the past.
Do read this wonderful tale of love amidst war.A treat for the literature lovers.No doubt it was made into a major motion picture.  
My favorite lines from the book," What do you hate the most? The English Patient-Ownership."
Rating:4/5

3 comments:

Bedazzled said...

nice review. I havent seen the movie,nor have i read the book.I am putting it on my TBR. A book set in a desert sounds intriguing.

Abhinav said...

@ Bedazzled : I loved the desert part and so i am going to buy another book called as the desert solitaire .

bhale said...

You seem to be on a marathon of reading. Your recommended books just keep on piling in my list of 'to be read'. I hope to someday come at par with your pace :P

BTW, nice header!