If you liked A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book you might like reading Roundabout Man by Clare Morrall. Similar to The Children's Book, it is about the trials of being the son of a children's book author but with a happier ending. "The Roundabout Man" is an eccentric man living in a caravan on a busy roundabout who happens to be the son of Enid Blyton, UK's most beloved children's book author. Philip Womak writes a review for the Telegraph. The BBC brings Enid Blyton in a docu-drama starring Bonham Carter as Enid.
I ran across this review of The Cellist of Sarajevo on the Libermann Biblioholic Society blog that I thought you might find compelling. I recommend watching the video clip of Steven Galloway in Sarajevo talking about the book. The author walks throughout the town pointing out the landmarks mentioned in the book. It makes for a vivid and chilling picture of what the people of Sarajevo endured.
I just read a funny blog post about Jonathan Franzen's review of Edith Wharton's novels titled "Shut Up, Jonathan Franzen written by "a small group of historians getting our Phds" called Ph.D. Octopus. I am right there with Bronwen, I am so over Franzen. I enjoyed Freedom but the next great American novelist - please!!! Bronwen writes about Franzen's review, "...Franzen’s inability to sympathize with Wharton because 1) she’s rich (but not in a ‘good’ way, like Tolstoy) 2) she was conservative (because she didn’t like populist politicking) 3) she left America 4) she acted like a spoiled writer (‘writing in bed after breakfast and tossing the completed pages on the floor, to be sorted and typed up by her secretary’…..like no other writers ever did that…..)."
And her only redeeming quality he attributes to making her a great writer - "she wasn't pretty."
I love reading Blog Reviews:
Humming Words writes about The Reluctant Fundamentalist, "The book seeks to convey that violence is tragic not only for the victim but for the perpetrator as well." Really?
LitLovers offers quite a few literary criticisms and book club discussion questions of The Reluctant Fundamentalist on its "well-read online community" website. The Dallas Morning News writes, "It's a testament to author Mohsin Hamid's skill that Changez, despite this cold-blooded admission, remains a partly sympathetic character..." Do you agree?
BC blogcritics published Canadian Richard Marcus's provocative blog review "Is it any wonder the people of our countries who see no hope of life getting better lash out against you?" Did Mohsin Hamid write The Reluctant Fundamentalist to enlighten Americans? Is this a wake up call? What do you think? BC blogcritics site publishes reviews covering all aspects of contemporary culture and society from writers around the globe.
Curledup with a good book's blog has some interesting reviews. Luan Gaines writes, "Caught between cultures and filled with rage, Changez questions the futility of dreams and the danger of delusion: 'It is not always possible to restore one's boundaries after they have been blurred and made permeable by a relationship.'" That is a truth that I know.
I agree with what Caribousmom writes about The Reluctant Fundamentalist. "It is not Changez's story per se which drives the narrative of this compelling novella, but the tone of his voice."
Were you frustrated with the ending of The Reluctant Fundamentalist or did it fit right in with all the other ambiguities found in the book? The Devourer of Books shares her frustrations in her review of The Reluctant Fundamentalist with this expression, "No, I don't want to use my imagination about what happened, I want to know what actually happened to him and the others!" I don't think we know what is going to happen. I believe the author's ending was a warning for American's to "listen up and pay attention." I do love the name of Jen's blog.
I found this fun website called tvtropes. Tropes are devices and conventions that consists of words used in ways other than what is considered its literal form. Metaphors, and similes are the most common. Tvtropes has analyzed some of the rhetorical devices used in The Reluctant Fundamentalist. For example, Ambiguous Situation -- why is Changez talking to the American in the cafe? Why is the American listening? Why does author use this device? Or how about the Evil Foreigner? After 9/11 Changez is seen as an evil foreigner especially with the "Beard of Sorrow."
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.