Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Book Review: One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Read for book club (9/2011). This book is a twist on "The Canterbury Tales" by Chaucer, the connection is made obvious because the character Uma (a college student) has brought a copy along with her to the Indian consulate. While bored in the waiting room there is an earthquake, and Uma suggests as a way to pass the time while waiting for rescue or death, they each share a story about their lives. For me, most of the stories were not terribly flushed out and seemed unfinished. The author apparently left them intentionally unfinished but, it did not feel like this was cleverly thought of; rather, it felt as if she ran out of ideas most of the time. It seemed as though she thought of each story individually as short stories but couldn't be bothered to fully develop them and so she placed people into neat little stereotypes (especially the young Muslim man Tariq) and just didn't finish their tales because she ran out of ideas, not because she was clever. It was an O.K. read but it did not change the way I feel about anything nor do I think it will be remembered for generations to come. The novel is a nice quick read though so if you need something for a short train/bus/airplane trip it could fill the time pleasantly enough.
And so it goes...