Sunday, September 03, 2006

Review

Once in a while, I review a book that has a style so strong that it affects the way I write the review. Haruki Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman was one such book for me. As you'll see if you read the review, I'm not sure what exactly I thought of the book, but I certainly enjoyed writing my comment about it!

And yes, I've been silent for rather too long. I could claim that last weekend was so busy that it's taken me all week to get over it ... But it was busy-NICE, so that doesn't really count as an excuse. A friend from Bombay days, i.e., this is really ancient history, covering the period 1980-82, was visiting from France, with his partner. My friend's name is CLAUDE SEVESTRE, and he taught me French at the Alliance Francaise all those many years ago. We've met a couple of times since then, but of course, there are always huge gaps of time during which we keep in sporadic touch. But the Internet makes much possible that didn't used to be -- such as being able to find people who have changed address many times and who travel around a lot, which is true of both C and moi.

He and is friend Fabrice (spelling?!) had already spent three weeks (I think) in India and were on the way out. We'd made this date to meet several months ago, so it was something I was looking forward to and made a special effort to be in Delhi for. It was very pleasant to catch up with news. They were here from Friday night to Sunday night, and stayed at the nearby and highly convenient (for me! My hostessing skills are spottier than a leopard with measles) Hotel Savoia. On Sunday, we spent the day doing something unusually energetic for me -- i.e., we hired an a/c taxi and drove out to NEEMRANA, had lunch there and drove back -- all very comfortable and easy to do. I've been to Neemrana once before and found it quite magical, so I knew it would be fun. It's one of those buildings that never stops growing, rather like a banyan tree, so going there is a continuous adventure. It takes exactly 2.5 hours from where I live, either way, so the a/c taxi is mandatory (and NO, my driving skills have not yet reached that point where I can race off across the countryside)(nor do I have an a/c car)(or a licence)(yet).

I could take another two hours writing out a description, but frankly -- it makes much more sense to just leap up and go there yourself. Just click the link! You'll see what I mean.

15 comments:

Amrobilia said...

Yeekok! Read your revwee...quite brilliant. Does that make the book worth a read? I find myself wanting to get a hold of a copy...Am in the middee of readee a selectee of Chekov's shorteez...Deleee 9th-13ee.

Murali V said...

Have you read Paul Auster's "New York Trilogy" or anything which Paul Auster has written.
Would love to a benchmark comparison

Marginalien said...

Hi amro and murali v -- thanks for posting. Yes, I think the book IS worth a read -- but the style (and the stories) are unsettling. murali v -- I go one step further: I met Paul Auster (meaning, I shook his hand, not that I had a deep one-on-one chat!) in New York last year, at a reading of an adaptation-for-stage of one of his books. I liked what I heard but haven't read anything else of his, so I don't have enough exposure to make a comparison.

30in2005 said...

My plan when I am delhi this october is to take my parents and brother out to Neemrana for lunch -a day away from dashing Delhi(ites) - or will they all be in Neemrana getting away from me?!

hickey said...

I am a huge murakami fan but this was one book i could not get myself to read with abandon. I guess even though murakami himself thinks his short stories are better than his novels, i am still a fan of norwegian wood, kafka by the shore and the like...

hickey said...

By the way, i really needed to get in touch with you. i am not some freak--a normal girl who needed to speak to you about regular work-related stuff. How can i get in touch with you?

Murali V said...

Is Paul Auster as good looking as he appears in snaps
Paul Auster

Marginalien said...

Yes, he's certainly handsome -- tall and white-haired, with a charming shy-but-cool manner. I haven't clicked your link yet, so I can't be sure if the pix are up-to-date.

bloggerhead, write to the marginalien e-address from your regular address.

Murali V said...

Increasingly i feel writers (like politicians) are getting more photogenic. Monica Ali, Zadie Smith are seriously good looking. They even beef up Martin Amis for the backcover. Serious attempts are being made to get even Rohinton Mistry presentable.
See this link from Amitava Kumar's blog... Writer snaps

Marginalien said...

A good plan, 30in2005! But make sure that no-one has climbing issues: there are lots of stairs. I am not a great climber, so this would ordinarily put me off -- but they're not bad in terms of height and windedness. Just ... a lot of 'em.

murali v, I visited your links and was most amused to see the very glam pix of ALL the authors. I mean, if I were to use post-dated photographs with my boox, I'd look pretty good too! (I don't use any pictures)

Murali V said...

Cant agree with you more... my dad was once telling me "Ella Kazhuthaiyum 27 vayasiluae paakarathukku nalla thaan irukkum" :-)

Marginalien said...

eek! Translation, pls!

Murali V said...

All donkeys look great when they are 27 !!

The Visitor said...

Your review was brilliant!

Murali V said...

I need to revise my opinion. Kiran Desai has won the booker and wouldnt call her glamorous looking