Monday, April 16, 2012

Books on the Train

The menu

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
A Native Clearing, edited by Gemino Abad


OK. I was wrong. Never Let Me Go gets better in parts 2 and 3. My eyes welled up while I was on the train. And I was trying to finish the book while walking around Makati. Part 2 was a bit more riveting. BUT. I really disliked Ruth, and, because her character was filtered through Kathy's eyes, I disliked Kathy too. Also, the language is very flat; the devices used (objective correlative, for example, the boat) seemed to have been used in too obvious a fashion. The narrator is repetitive. The narrative strikes me as rudimentary, rather than sophisticated or elegant. "She suddenly..." "I was suddenly taken..." "But I should give you some background..." "It was like this..." "No one knew at the time, but now I will reveal..." That sort of thing. Over and over and over.  I wonder whether all these were deliberate--to suggest something about Kathy's almost asocial, cold, detached sort of character.  Very hard to like such a character, even if, conceivably, the authorial intent was to play up the tragedy of Kathy's and Tommy's love.

As for A Native Clearing. Well, I liked the featured poems of Ben Santos. Especially the ones that seem to have been written later in his life. (Now reading: Nick Joaquin's.)


Now that I'm done with Ishiguro, I guess I go Junot Diaz.

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