Asian Writers

June is dedicated to authors with ASIAN of books in this category will be posted all month....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Author - Jim Crace

Its not the book, its me....

What the book is about

Its a story about four people (and a fifth who is there in the background with the name "Jesus") who go into a voluntary quarantine of forty days in the hostile mountains where both food and water is a luxuary. During their stay they are exploited by a cunning and scheming merchant who was left for the dead [ his wife gladly digging his grave] only to be returned back to life by "Jesus" unknowingly. How this group of people survive the ordeal, each having their own agendas and what happens in the end to this group is what this book is all about.

What I liked about the book

Even an illiterate would fall in love with the writing. Its almost like poetry [it does, I admit, at times get to be a drag] that uses very picturesque words in the most wonderful combinations that one can imagine and aspire to reach this level of creativity some day. The characters are well drawn out, with each person having a shade of gray, even Jesus - who the author has shown as an equally flawed human being, unlike the perceptions existing. Bear in mind, the author never claims that this is the actual Lord, but gives enough proof [like son of a carpenter etc] to leave no doubt as to who this person is supposed to signify.

The end of the book is realistic and there is no stereotypical ending with the good prevaling over the bad. Actually, other than the merchant who was clearly a devil incarnate, all the others where a mix of black and white, so its difficult to take sides.

What I didnt like about the book

The book is beautifully written, yet I didnt like it. As a popular phrase goes, its not you [ read 'book'], its me. For some reason the book didnt click for me. I ended up with a lurking suspicion that the author didnt know what he wanted to say and the book ended up to be very confusing, that was to a certain extent aggravated by the poetic style. I was left wondering what happened to the old man with cancer, to the blond guy, and more importantly I absolutely didnt understand the part of Jesus and his death or whatever it was supposed to mean. If there was a philosophical angle to it, I didnt get it unfortunately.

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