A Tale For The Time Being.


I don’t quite remember what made me buy this book and when. It has been on the top of the list of the books unread on my kindle and finally I got round to reading it a few days ago. That it took me more than a day or two should tell my readers what a slow read that it makes. It is very heavy going from the word go and the plot unfolds in a leisurely fashion. For someone used to faster paced books, this was literally a drag. I can’t really figure out as to how this got to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

For all that, it is a book worth reading for its very unusualness. I have never read anything like this by any other author. The toing and froing of the two leading characters not only in the reading but also in the time frame of now and in the past, makes for a different than usual normal reading experience. The strangeness is not just in the flashback technique used but in the surreal presentation of the unfolding of the story.

The character portrayals of all the people who appear and disappear in the story is handled well as is the description of the crow whose presence is a very important part of the narrative. The Japanese culture juxtaposed with an American influence on a teenager is handled very well and that keeps the interest in the story alive till the whole story is resolved. Throwing in Tsunami, Zen Buddhism, The Schrodinger’s cat and Quantum Physics gives it a quaint twist too.

If you like serious reading in the fiction genre, this book will appeal to you.