Monday, September 03, 2007

The Time in Between | David Bergen

This novel, which won the 2005 Giller Prize, I read in two days (which is remarkable for someone with my slow reading skills). The book was written with a tremendous fluidity that kept you turning the pages.

It's a story about a man who goes to Vietnam, to confront his demons, a couple of decades after he fought there in the war. Charles Boatman is looking for something, but doesn't know what that something is. He gets lost, and his two children go there to find him... and end up getting to know their father better, and falling in love with the country of Vietnam. There are some twists, and I don't delve at all into the main points, but it's a fairly interesting read. 3.5 stars (out of 5).

I'm going to end this passage with a couple of my favourite quotes from the novel.

"This is the case, isn't it?" Vu said. "We set sail in a particular direction, certain of the route, and then find ourselves... adrift."

...

"This is what happens, isn't it? A man has a vision which is not political, but others make it so, and so the vision is made smaller because some person of little consequence decides that the man with the vision is too big, too proud."

...

"Charles sat in a chair and watched the sun rise. It came quickly, red turing to orange and then yellow and finally white. He recalled mornings like this on the mountain where the children were younger, mornings when he sat and waiting for their voices or the padding of their feet, and always it was Ada who came to him first, settling into his lap, the smell of sleep on her breath, her bare arms around his neck. "Daddy," she said, and nothing more. She didn't need more. Sitting there, her head pressed against his neck, was enough."

2 comments:

Granville said...

Is *this* the place that I leave complaints about Spudz? If not, I should say that while I haven't read this book, I just finished The Decay of the Angel, the last volume of Yukio Mishima's "Sea of Fertility" 4 novel set, and was quite disappointed. Granted, I didn't think it was so bad that he should try to overthrow the government and commit seppuku when it failed, but a bottle of sleeping pills wouldn't have been out of order.

Spudz said...

This is indeed the place to leave complaints about the almighty Spudz. However, should you choose to leave a financial or intellectual gift, I wouldn't be opposed.

Granville, how I have missed your playful banter and slandering of Tyson Chandler.