Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More reviews

Space Bar on Sea of Poppies here. Haven't read the book yet but my view of the book is now highly coloured by this review. Andre-Louis Moreau in paragraph 2. What more can one ask for?

Falstaff's note on Netherland from a few weeks ago, and n!'s one word review of The Enchantress of Florence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ok, my non-one word review of "The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga.

I liked it. That is to say, I am pretty confident that most middlebrow readers who were baffled by Anne Enright's "The Gathering" and who secretly skip to the end of the interminable New Yorker articles on elevators or obscure art heists in Jakarta will also like it.

In its favor, it is a relatively fast-paced, undemanding book, though not as arrogantly so as the Chetan Bhagat genre. The story is reasonably and cynically told and does not in any way deal with mangoes, saffron or saris (the last point alone is enough for me to give it the damn prize). It did give me some perspective on what servants might be thinking in the New India and I liked the way he draws the US returned master's profile.

That said, I did think the ending was a bit flat (Adiga needs lessons in business, for sure) , I'm not sure that the literary device of writing to the Chinese Premier worked (too much Creative Writing Class Device) and I didn't get the reference to The White Tiger ( I suspect that all that was inserted to explain the last minute book title). When Adiga tries to be big and sentimental or give us some novel-shattering insights, he's quite embarrassing -he should stick to the casual, throwaway cynicism that he does best.

In short, I think reading this book is a better use of one's time than watching Fox News and a worse use of one's time than having sex.