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A story about a young man who leaves home to teach school on the southern part of his island. A good glimpse into a place where allegiances are tested daily by the civil war being fought around the town. Arun leaves home to get away from the accident that killed his parents and is forced to come face to face with it in ways he never imagined.
I think I am now a Bissoondath fan. But that is a tough finish.
Bissondath captures the rhythmic, hypnotic yet elegant beauty of the East Indian English usage. There is a poignancy in his language that draws the reader into tragedy and drama long before there is any. Hearing the words in your head as one reads, the reader can visualize the rhythmic swaying and dipping of the head, characteristic of the Indian, thus placing the reader in the novel with the main character who instantly becomes important, mysterious in a mundane way, and this compels the reader...
Oddly, a better book about what sure seems like Sri Lanka than Michael Ondaatje, a better writer and native, was able to manage. The title is a bit over the top. Then again you have the incessant "insect convocation" that gives the novel its name, the night time bombings, killings and terror activity and ensuing scream that "echo forever." (That last perhaps a reference to the death at the center of Mann's Dr. Faustus.) So I cut NB some slack. Then there are the wise observations about terror: s...
One of my favourite novels by a Canadian writer is Neil Bissonndath's The Unyielding Clamour of the Night, an imagined story of terrorism and dedication in a country not unlike Sri Lanka. The title always seemed to me unfelicitous, however, until I began thinking about how Bissonndath wrote the book. A native of Trinidad, he knows first hand tropical climates, although he's lived in Quebec for decades. He says he began writing the book sitting in a park on a snowy winter day. Seemed terribly inc...
Set in a fictitious island, this setting could have been my native Sri Lanka, except that the rebels in the book were in the south not the north of the country. After awhile, I got the message that this book was an excercise in the making of a terrorist, and any country with the right inputs of trauma and loss is fertile ground to grow such individuals. The central character is well drawn from his Hamlet-like entry to the firm choice he makes in the end.
Extrait du livre. Vision sur l'Arche de Noé."La plupart des gens y voient un récit de survie. Ce qui m'a frappé, moi, c'est que Dieu a massacré des millions d'humains, jeunes et vieux, innocents et corrompus, le pire génocide de tous les temps, et qu'on a continué à l'aimer. Voilà l'astuce. Faire en sorte que les gens sourient et hochent la tête d'un air approbateur pendant que vous leur coupez la gorge."
Set in a country (like Sri Lanka) the novel is about life in the South (guerrilla territory) for a new schoolteacher from the ruling class. Insightful for its sense of place and times, it has twists that keep you reading to the end. A favorite for the winter of 2006
This is one of those, "things only sort of happen, it's more about the journey" books. The ending is very strong though and allows for some good reflection.
Suprisingly good writing.
My favorite title by Bissoondath.