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The English Patient (Birthday Edition)

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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Collections

The English Patient

Birthday Edition

By Michael Ondaatje

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Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 21 February 1997
Set at the end of World War II, this novel explores the lives of four very disparate people who find themselves holed up together in a ruined villa north of Florence as the war retreats around them. The author was awarded the 1992 Booker Prize for this book.

Reviews

Who is this wounded soldier living at an abandoned Italian villa near the end of World War II? He does not remember his name, only that he is British, but pieces of his conversation betray his knowledge. For the woman nursing him, his past does not matter. But as their twosome is invaded by two others, all focus shifts to his ``true'' identity. Ondaatje deals with the culture he knows best: the British family, living in Canada, relocated during the war. Poet that he is, he replaces narrative with vivid, lyric snapshots. Listeners may have to periodically rewind the tape to recall who is who, since the four ruminating voices, narrated by actor Michael York, are seldom identified by name, and flashbacks add to the confusion. But this book is best appreciated if listeners suspend a focus on the immediate narrative line, picking up bits of the story here and there, retaining enough imagery that eventually they understand a much greater whole. As such, it's a masterpiece. For most collections.-- Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York

EAN: 9780330349932
ISBN: 0330349937
Publisher: Picador
Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 centimetres (0.15 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years

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