The English Patient

The English Patient

A Novel

Book - 1992
Average Rating:
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At the end of World War II, the lives of four people--a young American nurse, her dying English patient, a handless American thief, and an Indian soldier in the British army--intertwine in a deserted Italian villa.
Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1992.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780679416784
0679416781
Branch Call Number: ONDA
Characteristics: 307 p. 22 cm.

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w
Weyes2Wonder
Aug 31, 2017

Guys, this is no Harlequin, or other production-line Romance Novel!
It is an eloquent telling of a story's story's story.
It's scope is merely alluded to in the opening chapters. As the character's roles and separate storylines begin to coalesce, it takes-on an adventurous, grand breadth in a surprisingly unique manner, while it's historical setting realistically influences the plot.
If you're a passionate Romantic like me, be warned:
Upon completion of the book, it took me awhile....
to pick-up all the pieces of my thoroughly broken Heart.
THAT.....(sniff)....is good storytelling.

k
KSerá
Mar 25, 2016

I am so glad I finally read the book even though I didn't like the movie, which trivializes everything except the sick "romance" between Almasay and Katherine.

m
mnaclerio
Feb 27, 2016

I am a big fan of Mr. Ondaatje's writing. If you haven't read " n the Skin of a Lion" (my personal favorite) you owe to yourself to have of pleasure of reading such a touching and romantic novel

c
Calibro
Feb 25, 2016

Note to Library Staff: Under the image of the book's cover there is a description that the story takes place "in a deserted Indian villa."
It takes place in an Italian villa.

lbarkema Oct 29, 2014

Ugh. Not my cup of tea. Boring, confusing, pretentious... It gets a 1.5 instead of 1 because there were glimpses here and there where I understood what was going on and it wasn't terrible, but overall this book felt like it was 1,000 pages and I was just trudging through the haze of nonsensical sentences.

m
molmil8
Jan 17, 2014

This is the book that made me fall in love with CanLit. So romantic and beautiful, in so many ways. Read it 3 times. Saw the movie many years later, it does do the book justice (the soundtrack CD is great), worth renting assuming you have read the book first, of course. As a rule, I don't like too much description, but this book is exceptional, you will be in the desert, in post WW2 Europe. The characters are sharply defined and become so real as you read.

joanniek Jun 07, 2013

This is a favourite of mine. I love all of his books, but I like this one for it's imagery and characters.

s
StellaCometa
Oct 18, 2012

One of my very favourite books - the language is amazing.

s
smilegirl24
Jul 12, 2012

Wonderfully poetic and thoughtful, The English Patient is a story of love and friendship in an Italian villa during WWII. Michael Ondaatje examines loyalty, lust, and cultural differences while drawing the reader into a beautifully complex novel.

hermlou Dec 28, 2011

Ondaatje sets the stage: It is at the end of WWII, and a badly burned airman is lying in an Italian villa which has been converted to a hospital. A Canadian nurse cares for him, and an old friend of her father arrives, also a sapper. The author takes the reader back into each of their lives in almost a dreamlike manner. It's good to just relax and let his artistry take us back and forth between towns and decades.

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solasistim4
Sep 05, 2012

When we are young we do not look into mirrors. It is when we are old, concerned with our names, our legend, what our lives will mean to the future. We become vain with the names we own, our claims to have been the first eyes, the strongest army, the cleverest merchant. It is when he is old that Narcissus wants a graven image of himself

s
solasistim4
Sep 05, 2012

When we are young we do not look into mirrors. It is when we are old, concerned with our names, our legend, what our lives will mean to the future. We become vain with the names we own, our claims to have been the first eyes, the strongest army, the cleverest merchant. It is when he is old that Narcissus wants a graven image of himself

s
solasistim4
Sep 05, 2012

When we are young we do not look into mirrors. It is when we are old, concerned with our names, our legend, what our lives will mean to the future. We become vain with the names we own, our claims to have been the first eyes, the strongest army, the cleverest merchant. It is when he is old that Narcissus wants a graven image of himself

m
mbazal
May 16, 2010

"My darling. I'm waiting for you. How long is the day in the dark? Or a week? The fire is gone, and I'm horribly cold. I really should drag myself outside but then there'd be the sun. I'm afraid I waste the light on the paintings, not writing these words. We die. We die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we've entered and swum up like rivers. Fears we've hidden in - like this wretched cave. I want all this marked on my body. Where the real countries are. Not boundaries drawn on maps with the names of powerful men. I know you'll come carry me out to the Palace of Winds. That's what I've wanted: to walk in such a place with you. With friends, on an earth without maps. The lamp has gone out and I'm writing in the darkness." - Katharine Clifton

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sn293610
Jul 16, 2014

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, contains vivid imagery to help set up the stories' setting, and helping to describe the protagonist in the story (The English Patient). The English Patient is described as a severely burnt victim from a plane accident that took place during the war, however he has no recollection of his identity. Throughout the story the reader tries to figure out who he truly is through flashbacks and his own thoughts. Moreover, another strong character in this book is Hana, the nurse taking care of the English Patient, and she seems to struggle with her own problems dealing with love, and the stress of living in a war environment. This book has a very unique narration due to the flashbacks that occur, and is written by a poet, so everything stated is symbolic in a way; thus this book is a higher level book, recommended to readers who want a challenge, and are a little higher up on the age range.

m
mbazal
May 16, 2010

The English Patient tells the stories of four individuals whose lives come together at the end of World War II in an abandoned Italian villa: Hana, a 20-year-old nurse from Canada who seeks refuge from the proliferation of wartime death; Kirpal (Kip) Singh, a 25-year-old "sapper," or bomb dismantler, from India who is a member of the British Army; David Caravaggio, a friend of Hana's father who worked as a spy during the war and was severely disfigured while a captive of the Germans; and Hana's patient, a severely burned man whose identity is the mystery at the heart of this novel. Each of these characters finds him or herself far away from home, displaced by the war, and each of them finds a quiet refuge in the abandoned Italian villa to reconstruct their lives. While Hana and Kip eventually develop a romantic relationship, Caravaggio becomes more and more obsessed with the patient's true identity: Caravaggio believes that the patient may not be English, as everyone assumed, but a Hungarian who worked as a spy for the Germans. Interspersed into the story of the lives of these characters together in Italy are each character's clear recollections of the past, including the patient's hallucinatory memories of a torrid love affair, of desert exploration, and of friendship and betrayal. The novel becomes a collage of memories that explores themes of war, nationality, identity, loss, and love.

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m
mbazal
May 16, 2010

mbazal thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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mbazal
May 16, 2010

Violence: This title contains Violence.

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