Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Inheritance of Loss - #2

The most stand-outish (What? That is totally a word! STOP JUDGING ME!) element of this novel was the suspension of time. I read and read and kept on thinking it was modern day. It was only mention of payphones and cassette that drew me back to the 1980s.

/aside Nothing is wrong with the 80s. Lots of important and interesting things happened in them. Like me.  /end aside

Maybe it is this colonialist idea in me of that that is what India is like that makes placing the time so hard. This idea of a romantic place of caste and servants, which as an educated person is so abhorrent to me, yet so exotic. The idea of the underclass uprising and attempting to over throw it's oppressors... Oh, it appeals to so many parts of my own conflicting identity it's astonishing...

(Maybe that is the point? Clever little sausage!)


The novel does explore interesting issues of belonging, of "having" and "loss". The most empathic character for me was Sai. Nothing that happened was asked for, in fact was almost imposed on her.  I would love to know what happened to her as a young woman. To the same extent, I would love to know what happened  to Biju once he had come home.

I am also incredibly interested what this area of India looks like now, with Indians (with their tea houses or not), the Nepali's, the Tibetian's and the Gurkha's. Viewing my own father's set of Gurkha knives frequently, the awe of the people of this area has been instilled into my little Australian being from a very young age.

Addressing my own personal issues with that Booker Prize thingo. This book, along with the Life of Pi, is my counter to those absolutely terrible books I have mentioned before. There is a reason why this prize exists. And while I personally do not think that this book is exceptional, I do think it is a much more worthy recipient than many others. That is really my way of saying 4/5

Next: Estonia with Purge

Sunday, 15 April 2012

An Aside

So, I read one book for my trip around the world. And then one weekend I left my book at work. So I decided I would get a head start on the next book. My partner had a different idea. He decided I should read Faerie Tale by Raymond E Feist, and didn't stop bugging me until I started it in the interests of domestic harmony.

Life I feel cannot be so bad when the worst thing that happens on the weekend is that your partner harasses you to read a book. In the scheme of things, that is pretty damn good. To be fair as well it caught my eye when I first looked at his bookshelves all those years ago and I just hadn't gotten around to picking it up.

So I picked it up. And waddled through it. It felt like I was reading one of those all-American good feeling books for the first half. With the baseball playing boys, the horse-riding, western girl, the move from California to "real America". It was a little nauseating. But honestly, that could be my own biases.

Then we got the fairies, who in their own right where an interesting mixture of all Faey mythology and quite interesting to read. At the end of the book when we had more fairy stuff and less America, it was really interesting. I wanted to know more about that world. That was interesting. And only about 170pp long. Unlike the 350pp before that could have been condensed, and I still could have learnt about the characters, and their discovery as well as the build up to the climax of the book.

Speaking of climaxes, this was my main beef (haha) with the book. What the hell is with all the penises? Everyone was pantless half the time it seemed, and if not they were talking or thinking about their penis. I really felt that Raymond E Feist may have issues he should talk to someone about. And stirrings in groins and nipples hardening and give it up already!! I understand the idea of the Faey having almost sexual control over humans. That is established, but it isn't necessary to be waving it all over the place. And the human on human interactions didn't really need it either.

In the end an enjoyable read, once I tuned out the over abundance of members. Maybe I need to be a teenage boy to love the book as much as those who recommended it to me (who read it as teenage boys).