Friday, April 18, 2014

The top ten novels of desert war

Robert Allison has been a theatre director, a film music reviewer and a copy-editor. He lives in London. His novel The Letter Bearer is published by Granta Books.

One of Allison's top ten novels of desert war, as shared at the Guardian:
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Ondaatje's Booker-winning masterpiece is more a plaint against ownership than an enquiry into the consequences of battle. Based (very) loosely on the history of the Hungarian desert cartographer and aristocrat, László Almásy, the novel sees the badly burned patient of the title assume anonymity after a doomed attempt to steal another man's wife. "Do you understand the sadness of geography?" Ondaatje asks, his dying patient's mythic desert landscapes divided and claimed by warring powers, their wonders reduced to mere waypoints and coordinates.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The English Patient also made Joel Cunningham's list of sixteen book-to-movie adaptations that won Academy Awards, Pico Iyer's top five list of books on crossing cultures, John Mullan's list of ten of the best deserts in literature and Jane Ciabattari's list of five masterpiece stories that worked as films.

--Marshal Zeringue