Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Good Book to Read

I just read the book, The Sympathizer, a book about the Vietnam War, as well as the Vietnamese immigrant experience here in the States. Whatever my thoughts about the book, I'm of the mind that you should read it. [1] When compared to many of its contemporary brothers and sisters, the book is able to say quite a lot of things about America, Vietnam and the war. And when compared to previous Pulitzer Prize winners that I've read, this one seems heads and tails above them all. 

That being said, the author come out swinging and it makes for good writing and some keen, incisive observations. No one is spared. But, at the end of the day, it appears to suffer from the affliction that many contemporary novels have: that of being an ink blot test and not saying enough. Mind that it suffers from this affliction to a lesser degree, but it suffers nonetheless. [2]

Like I said, it provided much food for thought. 

[1] There are many factors that go into making a book good, and I've discussed these before, but one of them is the ability to serve as a springboard for discussions. On that front, The Sympathizer does very well.  

[2] And even if I say that I don't want answers, I do expect more incisive questions. 

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