Wednesday, June 29, 2005

the question of bruno

currently reading: the question of bruno by aleksandar hemon
i'm half of the way finished with this book of short stories that i picked up this weekend at st.marks bookshop. what i've read is entertaining, to say the least. i read somewhere that mr. hemon writes in english, even though it is his second language. (which brings up comparisons to conrad, although i don't see it)
this is the only fault i have with this is evident that he has a very dogeared, over used copy of the OED laying around his apartment. in one of my favorite stories so far, "a coin", (which involves letters written by a girl in sarajevo sent to a friend in america....a stomach turning story about how to escape sniper bullets while traveling from point A to point B and the absolute reality of horrific gore and misery when it surrounds you completely), mr.hemon replaces simple words that would have justly conveyed his point, with giant, unrealistic words, which seem almost annoying in the context of the story. (example: replacing "cowardly" with "pusillanimous" just isn't necessary).
but, otherwise, i really enjoy the picture he paints with the english language, even though many of them are gruesome and hard to swallow. he has a great grasp of how to make things seem vividly real under very unreal circumstances.

this book goes well with the heat.

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