From the Booker Prize-winning author of The English Patient comes a visionary novel, a virtuoso synthesis of storytelling, history, and myth, about...more
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The English Patient comes a visionary novel, a virtuoso synthesis of storytelling, history, and myth, about William Bonney, a.k.a. "Billy the Kid, " a bloodthirsty ogre and outlaw saint. "Ondaatje's language is clean and energetic, with the pop of bullets."--Annie Dillard. less
My introduction to Michael Ondaatje. My sister gave me a copy when I was around 16, but I didn't want to read it until a few years later. Then it blew me away, and got me onto his poetry and then his novels.
I didn't get this book. The segments did not add up to an effective plot, which I was told is not the author's aim. However, I don't really care, since more coherence could have been added without compromising the themes. Some of the writing is simply beautiful. But as a single work it lets itself down.
This is the first thing I read by Ondaatje, when I was at uni. I thought it was incredible - endlessly inventive and playful and yet clever and thought-provoking. I love this writer because nobody has quite the same style, and this is one of his very best books.
Mixing prose, poetry, and journalism, mixing POVs proved to be disorienting and took away from my personal read. In all, though, I found the voice and psychology of the artistic/demented/twisted narrator to be horrifying and beautiful.
My first attempt at reading this book came up short and I could not get into it. A couple of years later, a bout of acute endogenous depression and it took on a whole new life. I DEVOURED it, literally could not put it down. Where previously I could not get in to the prosaic style, I was now gripped by the story and Ondaatje's unique approach to an old and well-known story.