LITERATURE: The English Patient – Finale

Finally. Finished. This. Book.

What should have kept me involved in this book, the prose, the lyrical language, the drilling into the characters and the focus on a single event, somehow lost me. It got tedious to read when I really had no empathy with Hana, the main character perhaps. Or is it Kip? Or Caravaggio? Or the burnt man in the bed of the title of this book.

Hana appears more dopey and self-centered than shell-shocked by war. I see no passion in her relationship with Kip. The English patient just lies there with his little secret love affair with someone’s wife–both parties dead. Caravaggio’s thieving ways provide some sense of adventure and I would have probably enjoyed more background on him. Kip is interesting and yet secretive.

Frankly, the tone of the story is morose and I had the constant feeling of music playing in the background–yes, like a movie. The writing, as I say, is beautifully wrought and yet it is the beauty of words rather than story.  Overall, nnot one of my favorite reads.

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2 Responses to LITERATURE: The English Patient – Finale

  1. join me/us on – this site also has a very convenient interface with facebook…lotsa people you know (and others you dont know) there. i read slowly, too, these days. just began ‘orlando’ (unplanned) and continuing my re-read of ‘the idiot’. it’s snowing outside!

  2. susan says:

    This sound neat and I’ve bookmarked it to look further into it. My problem would be that I do very intense readings and take way too long with a book–embarrassingly long–and if I love it, I’ll be posting on every other page I read. If I hate it, my stubbornness prevents me from giving up and I may read a page a week. The English Patient is a case in point; it took me months to force myself through it.

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