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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely breeze, April 21, 2007
This review is from: Swimming in the Monsoon Sea (Hardcover)
This is one of the easiest books I have read in a really long time. I literally breezed through it, and found it charming. But what is truly surprising is not that the book is so easy, but the fact that it manages to be so even while painting pictures of lands which draw you into them, while detailing characters to an extent that you can really empathize with them, and while conveying a variety and depth of emotions that is highly commendable. That's a formidable task for any writer, but Shyam Selvadurai continues to impress with his literary capabilities even today just the way he had done with his excellent first novel "Funny Boy".

The book is set in Colombo, during a hot and humid lazy summer vacation in the life of 14-year old Amrith. The vacation begins uneventfully and promises to have no bigger highlight than practicing for a school drama till Amrith is suddenly confronted by his past, and much to his complete surprise, is very soon overjoyed and completed absorbed by it. As the days go by, however, Amrith's emotions go through a roller-coaster ride as he learns more about his family and friends, but above all, about himself. The vacation period turns out to the coming-of-age one for Amrith, and he finally comes to terms with his new discoveries and learning.

There is no dearth of coming-of-age books, and many might be better, or at the very least, more poignant, but that should any deter you from reading another book on this widely dealt with subject, for the combination of the locale, the protagonist's situation, and Mr. Selvadurai's writing make this a book worthy of it's own place on the bookshelves of bibliophiles.

Finally, I'd like to make particular point about this book: I really don't think of it as a "young adults" book at all - it is a book for everybody. It is a lovely piece of writing, and will surely leave a positive mark on your literary journey, irrespective of who you are.
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Location: New Delhi, India

Top Reviewer Ranking: 253,664