Monday, September 28, 2015

The Farthest Field

I am currently reading The Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War, and am not enjoying it as much as I had hoped. It pains me to say this, but the prose might be too florid for me, I didn't think I would ever say such a thing but my tastes in literature appear to have changed. Too many curlicues, and similes, and flowers. Too much ponderous description. It is starting to feel like too little substance wrapped up in a whole bushel of shiny, complicated bows.

I feel a bit sad because I like war stories, and World War II stories in particular. The author was a couple of years ahead of me in school, so I am predisposed to love his work. And yet I cannot because there is just too much flourishing about, and clever use of words (I do not want to be looking up more than one archaic word per page- this is non-fiction not a Scrabble game). It is tiring.

I believe I shall go and read some Nora Ephron. She is not as evocative about Calicut, or Madras, but that is ok. We will get to the point sooner, and there might be fewer idlis, but there will be greater comprehension.


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