The Rammifications of Thought

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Deriku on book reviews

Been doing some (re)reading lately. Not the usual me during this time of the semester, I'd rather be busy watching serials, labouring on my project and so on, but these two books are just so absorbing you can't put them down once you've started.

One that I'm going through (again) is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This book tells the compelling story of a small family in Alabama, the American South. The adventures of Jem and Scout, the two main characters in the story, are depicted in a most wonderful way. From childish pranks to active championship of their lawyer father, it weaves a magnificent tale of the coming of age of the children. The book also deals with some racism issues, how white people despised the black at a time when America wobbled on the brink of tumultuous social change.

This edition was published in 1971, which makes it even older than me! Belongs to my dad actually.

30 pence for a paperback? Costs more than 20 times that price nowadays. Also justifies the book's age.

This book not only won the Pulitzer prize in 1961, it was also made into a major motion picture the year after. It is Harper Lee's only novel, although she went on to publish a number of articles after completing it.

On another note, Tash Aw's The Harmony Silk Factory certainly caught my attention when articles about it appeared in the newspaper some time ago. This is Tash's debut novel, and tells the story about the enigmatic Johnny Lim, "textile merchant, petty crook, and inventor of the Amazing Toddy Machine" as the backcover puts it. With war-time Malaya as a backdrop, the story is told in three distinct narratives, each with their own viewpoints of the events that occured. I couldn't help but keep on reading as the story unfolded, bit by bit with such amazing intensity.

Although these two novels are set in different backgrounds and different times, they make excellent reads for those who have a passion in books.

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