|The English Patient
A young Canadian nurse, a Sikh bomb disposal expert, a thief turned spy, and a man burnt beyond recognition, meet in the last moments of the Second World War. The identity of the patient is the heart of the story as he tells his memories of a doomed love affair in the North African desert. Love and passion are set against the devastation of war in this inspired novel by Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje.
It is a novel of revelation, and just as the identity of the English patient is slowly revealed as the novel progresses, so are the inner selves and spiritual identities of the other characters in the novel. Ondaatje writes his novel of discovery revealing things only briefly and subtile. Indeed, such brief moments abounds in this novel, lighting up the dark and melancholic landscape for a very brief period, but long enough to reveal hints of the truth. The truth, however, is never fully known in this novel. It is almost as if the novel is an exploration of the ...