Thursday, September 17, 2009

The English Patient: Review

by Michael Ondaatje
I've read a lot of Michael Ondaatje's work. Most of his novels and novellas, in fact. So when I finally settled in to read this best-known of his works, I had fairly high expectations. I mean, to be honest, I loved the movie. I loved Ralph Fiennes trailing his finger over the clavicle of Kristin Scott Thomas. I loved Juliette Binoche and her portrayal of the shell-shocked by free-spirited Canadian nurse. I especially loved Naveen Andrews washing his hair.
And I knew, or at least I very strongly believed, that none of those images could do justice to Ondaatje's poetic, ferocious writing. But I kept waiting for the part that would take my breath away -- either in the various romances, or in the sweeping decsription of the desert. I missed it. I was looking so hard for something more that I seem to have overlooked what was there. Oops.

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