I am failing to see all the hype around this book, now that I have finally read it. Everywhere I turned, there was talks about this book, making me very curious but now somebody needs to tell me what all the fuss was about since I m clearly failing to see it. Ok I will admit that if everybody liked this book because of the human emotions and the quality of friendship narrated in it, then yes !! I do see that faint line but it was not enough for me majorly because the narration was clearly discouraging
I literally slept through the middle because the narration was jumping in and out of different scenarios so much that it was exhausting trying to keep a track of it and I finally succumbed to slumber and drooled all over the book…..
For me everything good in the book was ruined by the chaotic and slippery narration. I don’t know who to blame more, The language or the narration?. The language at times was too technical for one to absorb but then the jargons and terminologies used was kind of essential too so I guess that can be overlooked and then comes the foreign languages in between. What about those of us who don’t wake up every morning speaking to our Madre in French or German…? … ok fine I am even ready to overlook this since it is kind of “requirement of the script” but one thing I cannot forgive and will not forgive is the mumbling and the jumbled thought processThe narration breaks the spine of this book for me.
The author starts narration with the present scenario, the precarious situation our central character currently is..... fair enough… then she moves to flashback…totally understandable and expected and then she starts her story with constant wavering between.... past, present, what is going on inside the character’s head, the physical environment, the people around her, her daily routine….. Phew… imagine all of these whipped together in a single paragraph and you get what one might call chaos and what I call ”stop with the torture”. It totally unfair because the book undoubtedly has a very powerful story but why it used such a weak narration skill is what puzzles me.
The author starts with one thought process goes on to another, then another and then to another clubbing two or three scenes into one single and never ending sentence. I think the sentence that started with the first page ends at the very last page of the book because that is where I found that lost final full stop.
You might now think that I hate the book but the irony is that I loved the core plot of the book and felt that it had a very effective and worthy substance. its like being served caviar in a paper plate. The essence and the feel of being treated to such a delicacy is lost if you have to dig it with a plastic spoon at a road side food stall… I don’t see how people loved the book when the language was so disruptive. The narration never sticks to one thought, scene or place and keeps running from past, present, internal thoughts, describing the people around, the architecture, history, emotions and then finally to the current turn of events and all these in one long sentence confusing where exactly the thought process started and where it stopped finally. Seriously it was like a maze, finding hard to locate the exit. But underneath all this you can’t deny that the book has a very touching and powerful story set in a time of chaos. The underlying story is a beautiful rendition of friendship and survival but wished had a smoother narration