One of my favorite authors

November 14, 2008 at 2:28 am (Books, Discoveries, Journaling) (, , , , )

I’ll admit–some of my friends I’ve made purely for their recommendations in books. I don’t think I have any friends like that currently (if they started out that way and are still in my life, chances are the friendship has evolved).

But it does happen. For a while, I was friends with this one guy who was a complete jerk. I hated almost everything about him, but oddly enough, when we hung out, we always had a great time. He also recommended the best books. I read a lot while we were friends, and some of his authors are still my favorites. For instance, he introduced me to Blankets, by Craig Thompson, which is one of my absolute favorite graphic novels.

Towards the end, though, it went sour and I, being the obstinate mule I can be, have long refused to read his last recommendation.

He told me I would love Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient, and for a long time I went to great stretches to avoid that book. I finally cracked, although only slightly. I read instead his Divisadero, which is now one of my favorite books. Currently I’m reading Anil’s Ghost, and then next on my list is In The Skin of the Lion (that’s right–I’m still obstinately aDivisaderovoiding The English Patient).

I could tell you about the plots to his novels, but it really wouldn’t matter. His style is non-linear, and you can tell when you read his works that he doesn’t care about the plot as much as he cares about the characters he’s creating. The plots are interesting well-developed, but are also completely irrelevant to appreciating his writing.

I’m reading, as I said, Anil’s Ghost right now and I’m so sucked into the novel. I don’t care about the plot, and I couldn’t care less about the slight mystery he’s creating, but I care about the main character, Anil. I care about her and I’m intrigued by her and I want to know more about her. The way Ondaatje writes is so captivating, as cliche as that may sound.


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