28 January 2012

Book Review: Evening Is the Whole Day

Two confessions: I picked this book for book club because it sounded like a fast read and I absolutely loved the title: Evening Is the Whole Day. Are you kidding me? That's pretty much the best book title ever. It turns out that the book was not easy to read, however. I'm still finishing up - 20 pages to go! - and book club was over two weeks ago. Whoops.

The book was fascinating. It's written really, really well. But it moves slowly. Very slowly. It's set in Malaysia over a span of about 25 years and covers everything from the Malaysian fight for independence to race relations in Malaysia. I learned a lot about the culture.

The weakness of the book - and maybe this is its strength too - is that because of the way it's written, I had no sympathy for any of the characters. Samarasan keeps a secret until the last 50 pages, which explains a great deal about how the characters behave. Had I known about the secret earlier on, I probably would have read the book differently.

Next month we're reading Steve Martin's new book, Object of Beauty. If it's half as good (and easy to read) as Shopgirl, I think I'll be in love. I'm also debating whether or not I should write book reviews for the books I'm reading for my Media Effects class. They're rather dry, but I've put a lot of time into reading these suckers!

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