One of the better books I've ever read, I read it in one afternoon-night. I saw the movie years ago and enjoyed it and think the book is spectacular. It's a story about relationships, regrets, tragedies in tormented times. Through each other, all the characters learn more about themselves. I'll be looking for other works of this author to read in the future.
This book is simply a beautiful story--the language used is outstanding.
This was the book that made me decide that I'd never finish a book again that I didn't like. I read every word of this book and suffered through the whole thing. Too many good books out there to read this.
A unique book about love and individual frailties. Ondaatje is a master writer that takes you on a beautiful journey.
I read this book too many years ago to review it in depth. Found this perfect-condition copy at a thrift shop and just had to buy it to share. I love this novel. The film version does not touch the depth of the writing. The characters are rich, the situation they find themselves in unique, the storyline absorbing. If you enjoyed the film but have never read the book, don't pass this one up.
Terrible. I didnt like this at all. I guess I dont appreciate this style of writing. I know the basics. Four people in a bombed out Italian Villa. They are a nurse, a thief, a sapper and the English Patient. The book is about them towards the end of the war and how they are dealing with loss, death, destruction and their lives. Thats about all I got from this. This book did not flow nicely at all. It was sparatic. One of the worst books I ever read. And I feel bad about that. I thought I was going to like it.
If you liked the movie, you will love the book. Engrossing and wonderful.
I found the movie beautiful but long and slow. On the other hand, the book was not so painfully slow because it provided many details that were lost in the movie. I wish I'd read the book first and THEN seen the movie.
Even if you have seen the movie, the book offers pleasures all its own.
At the windup of World War II in Italy, a Canadian nurse and her badly burned patient refuse to evacuate a bombed out villa that had been used as a hospital. She is soon joined by a thief who knew her and her father in Canada. Then a Sikh sapper shows up to defuse the numerous mines that have been left on the property. The center of attention is the patient, but all they know of him is that he is an English pilot who crashed in the North African desert; identity unknown. As the novel unravels you will gradually gain insight to his identity, but given his condition, how he ends up north of Florence, Italy, from the North African desert is still a mystery. So is the fate of three of the principals in the novel. From time to time the author waxes poetically, yet in prose, as he leads us through his mystery. He also creates his patient as a desert explorer thus satiating the reader with place names in the vast desert sea of North Africa, much of which he ties to The Histories of Herodotus. The well-read reader will appreciate his numerous references to other literary works across the ages; others may want to investigate these enroute. This is an interesting tale: well worthy of its Booker Prize.
Great book - one of my favorites. Ondaatje's language will have you feeling, smelling, and tasting his locations: from Italy to the North African desert. Even better than the film!
Watching paint dry is vastly more interesting than this utter waste of paper.
The English Patient," deals with four people living together in an Italian villa which used to be a hospital during World War II. There was the mysterious "English patient," who suffered such severe burns that he was almost completely black who no one seemed to know what his name was or who he was and there was Hana, a nurse who took it upon herself to nurse and care for him.
In addition, there was Caravaggio who was a thief, spy, and a friend of Hana's father who stayed at the villa because of her. Lastly, there was Kip, a Sikh who was a sapper with the British forces and who fell in love with Hana. All four came with baggage and this book deals with how lives intersected with one another. The story took place during the World War II.
It was not an easy read as the author goes back and forth with each of the individual's stories. The style was very poetic and lyrical which made it difficult to fully comprehend the book. The pace was a bit slow. Unless you have nothing else to do but read strange and complex books, don't bother with it.
you'll want to get snowed in when you read this book! a very passionate read!
A classic, if you like the movie, you will drown yourself in this book~
When I saw the movie several years ago, I came in half way and felt like I was lost, slow-moving but at the same time skipping between dates and countries. Now I have a better grasp of the characters and the time and the settings. Plus, the book is so poetic and brings in so much you could not meld into a movie. I will admit, it is not your usual light summer reading, but it is a great lesson on life and history. Well worth the read.
Very long and wouldn't read it again. I alwasys finish a book once i start it..I didn't think I was ever going to get thru this one.
Beautifully written, like a poem come to life. The characters capture the complexities of real people. At one point I got mad at a character and had to put the book down, that's how drawn in I was. I soon picked it back up, it's hard to resist.
Infidelity...perhaps not always a rapturous, thoughtless, and hurtful moment, but a consequence. A consequence from an imperfectly paired couple.
A good read, didn't think it was a great as all the hype around it. Nice storyline, excellent details and seemed to move along at a OK pace.
My favorite book! Ok, my almost favorite book. Top 3 definitely. Moving, lyrical, it made me fall in love with Michael Ondaatje. The movie did it justice but the book as usual was so much more. A+
Beautifully written story; easy to visualize action as you read. Well-drawn characters; very interesting plot lines. Would recommend this book to anyone.
See the movie instead. This book was hard to read and difficult to digest. I would read one or two paragraphs and be so confused I didn't know what I'd read. Style of writing is stilted and removed from anything I've ever read before. As I said, see the movie.
Sometimes I let a book set before I write any comments. This was one but I can't forget it. It's a sad but lovely story so well written that it lingers in my mind. Four people touched by war are living together in an Italian town. Each has her/his own tragedies and secrets. The interactions among the characters are so poignant and memorable. I think that the cover of the book is misleading as the romance within is merely a wartime romance where each returns home to pursue a life in peacetime. The author weaves such admirable links among the four so that the reader almost feels she/he is in the room with them. It doesn't matter if it's the woman or one of the men or two of men who are interacting. Like all life encounters, the memories prompt thoughts of "I wonder where she/he is now and what they are doing." "What is that person's life like so many years later?" This is a wonderful reading experience.
Loved the movie but should have read the book first - heard it was very good.
Abridged - 2 cassettes - 3 hours - Read by Michael York.
Ondaatje is an outstanding writer. This book will challenge you a little but it is worth your time.
I loved the story line. It's a great movie too.
A lovely and mysterious story woven over continents and time of four individuals brought together in a house in the Italian countryside, all bearing wounds inside or out of the war winding down around them. Too complicated to say more, it is a skillfully told tale.
I found the story of the sapper the most compelling part of this book, but maybe I'm not much of a romantic.
This a fantastic book. I loved the movie, but the book is even better.
World war II story of love and tragedy
An ok read. Not sure what all the hype was about.
A wonderful love story of true, yet forbidden love.
"A rare and spellbinding web of dreams."--Time
"Sensuous, mysterious, rhapsodic....It transports the reader to another world, and uncovers that world's connection to our own."--San Francisco Chronicle
"A tale of many pleasures--a theatrical tour de force."--The New York Times Book Review
This novel won the Booker Prize and was made into a movie starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Willem Dafoe. It is about four damaged beings who meet in an Italian villa at the end of WWII: Hana, the exhausted nurse; Carravagio, the maimed thief; Kip, the wary sapper (bomb defuser); and the English patient, the nameless burned man lying in a upstairs room, whose memories of passion, betrayal and resue illuminate the book like flashes of lightning. (paraphrased from back cover blurb)
A truly wonderful love story. It is so interesting that infidelity is romantic.
An original copy of the gripping novel from which the outstanding motion picture was made.
great book, enjoyed this book more than the movie
A remarkable love story! Have read it several times.
Loved the movie, hated the book. Never completely finished it!
I was bored to death and found that I had driven halfway home without hearing a word. I couldn't finish listening to it.
Another wonderful tale by Ondaatje.
This was made into a movie. Actually liked the movie better but don't take my opinion here. I just couldn't get into it. My friend read it and she loved it!
Booker award winning novel traces four damaged lives in an Itallian Villa at the end of WWII