Showing posts from November, 2014

Arbitrary read number 5, or How I got distracted by Ulysses


'The Good Muslim' by Tahmima Anam

Being white, middle-class (ish) and English can make reviewing a book like ‘The Good Muslim’ a bit of a challenge.  It is easy for criticisms to come across as a kind of cultural imperialism and there is no question that I have no personal experience to help give me an ‘in’ to the book.
Before I start, I should also declare my utter historical ignorance.  The book is written about the aftermath of the Bangladeshi civil war, looking at the immediate and long-term repercussions of war and peace.  Honestly, I know precisely nothing about Bangladesh, and even less about the civil war they went through last century.  Therefore, in the interests of fairness, I’m going to write this piece as a review in its simplest form: as a run-down of what I did and did not like about the novel.  I’m just not smart enough to do much else. So, the positives.  Despite my ignorance, the characters were created so strongly that I was able to access the story through them, finding myself caring deeply about the…

Arbitrary read number 4 is...

...'The Good Muslim' by Tahmima Anam.

Now, even I've heard of this one, although I'm not au fait with much about the plot.  As far as I'm aware, it's a story based in Bangladesh during a period of civil war.  I'm hoping that it will be similar to 'The White Tiger' in that it will eschew some of the more cliched cultural features in favour of something a bit more nuanced.

I'm halfway through a non-arbitrary read right now ('The Fall' by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan - not as good as the first part of the trilogy but still compelling stuff) so it might be a while before I get fully stuck into this, but you can find out more about 'The Good Muslim' here.