Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: Open City

Open City Open City by Teju Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Open City, especially right now as I an considering writing something longer in a first person narrator's voice about place and that's distinct and indulgently pretentious, the kind of voice that I find satisfying and inspiring when in the mood. And I'm not being sardonic; kinda earnest, in fact. Open City was recommended to me because I was talking about how much I was loving the seemingly meaningless but evocatively detailed prose of Murakami, not knowing how to put my finger on why I was drawn forward into his narratives. The way Cole picks up on the overriding issue of the immigrant in Europe - focused on assimilated Muslims - and America is very right now; and the narrator as a man of many countries who succeeds as a practicing doctor, all the while menaced by memory and even once attacked, is compelling and necessary. Still: when it was over, I did not feel changed, per se; but the work will certainly continue to bounce around in my mind and ideas will resurface from time to time, I'm sure.

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