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Publisher's Summary

In the late 1970s Ondaatje returned to his native island of Sri Lanka. As he records his journey through the drug-like heat and intoxicating fragrances of that "pendant off the ear of India", Ondaatje simultaneously retraces the baroque mythology of his Dutch-Ceylonese family. An inspired travel narrative and family memoir by an exceptional writer.

©1982 Michael Ondaatje (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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A deep stream...

I read this book in print many years ago, and never forgot it. When it became available on Audible, read by Ondaatje himself, I jumped on it. His reading opens quite another dimension of the book - I feel that now I can hear the voice at its heart. I remembered many images from my earlier reading - strange, ironic, often amusing - and not so amusing - vignettes from his family's story. Now I hear them again in a fresh - and in a sense a truer - light, as the author is reading.
Listening to this book is like drinking from a deep spring - something I find with all of Ondaatje's books and poems. Nourishing, inspiring, and something to keep close at hand for the duration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Earnest
  • 07-30-18

Evocative, sad and elusive search for Family

Having just listened to Warlight, whose melancholy, painterly landscapes I grasped for a moment, then lost as they slipped away, I went searching for more insight.
This memoir was it.
Inchoate families abound as do children who attempt to live within them. As respectfully as possible, the author daubs another shape shifting canvas with a family fragment here, a story there and always, a heart rending use of language to paint it in.
There could not be a dry eye as one after another of the outlines of a Father not known melt away amidst time and memory.