Read Le Colonial: A Novel by Kien Nguyen Free Online
Book Title: Le Colonial: A Novel|
Date of issue: September 3rd 2007
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: Kien Nguyen
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 414 KB
Edition: Little, Brown and Company
Read full description of the books Le Colonial: A Novel:So conflicted. Breathtaking in its scope and ambition, unique in its setting and characters, it somehow felt hollow and formulaic as I read it. The author does a decent job of getting inside the priest's heads, and he does a really amazing job of portraying De Behaine as more than just a historical figure—as a real, living breathing human being. Still...
The prose was weak and obvious, and the characterizations were often peppered with soap opera-level insights. Not every character in every novel needs to be a brooding existential enigma, but a character like Francois in "Le Colonial" screams to be portrayed more a lot more ambiguously than Nguyen does here. In fact the very very very best lines of the book are the last sentences before what I'll call the "Afterword."
"Who died?" she asked.
At first, he didn't know what she meant. Then she pointed at a large mound of dirt in front of him. It was a termite nest, but with its raised outline, it resembled a grave.
The answer came to him effortlessly. "Yesterday," he replied.
Why couldn't all the writing be that mysterious and poetic? The aspects of the plot concerned with historical events were vivid, intense, and powerful (De Behaine and his characterizations included.) Almost every other plot point was sentimental tripe. Its really hard to know how to feel about such a wildly inconsistent novel. I liked it. I might even reread it, but I'm not sure I would recommend it?
Good luck sorting through that "review."
Read information about the authorKien Nguyen was born to a Vietnamese mother from a once wealthy family and her American civil engineer lover. His mother's family, who had lost their wealth when the French left Vietnam, lived among neighbors who treated them as pariahs because of their colonialist background. Kien, a child of mixed race, was especially ostracized from the community.
He left Vietnam in 1985 through the United Nations "Orderly Departure Program." After spending time at a refugee camp in the Philippines, he arrived in the United States and became a dentist. He lives in New York City.
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