New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2009
I have never come across a work of fiction that so powerfully portrayed the moral complexities of European slavery as James's novel. In this book, slave owners and slaves alike are complex characters: the family whose slaves are the "best dressed in all Jamaica" also cruelly kills its slaves on the slightest whim; house slaves and field slaves distrust and despise each other; and an Irish overseer is the only person who treats the book's main character, the mulatta Lilith, as a human being. What conclusions can we draw from this book? Slavery was an institution that corrupted the lives of all that it touched, White or Black, free or slave. And for those who doubt that its ramifications continue into the present day, read this book!
The narrator of "The Indian Clerk" is a reserved, gay mathematician (G. Hardy, a historical figure) from a middle-class background who, despite belonging to one of the most elite intellectual societies of his day, always feel a bit out-of-place in pre-WWI Cambridge. With a fellow mathematician, he manages to bring an obscure Indian mathematical genius, Ramanujan, to study and work at Cambridge. The book is a nostalgic account of an imagine relationship between the two men, one English, one Indian, who are united by their love of mathematics and divided by their cultural differences. A superb depiction of the pre-WWI and WWI era (one of my favorites to read about), as well as a bittersweet tale of a man's love for another.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.