The Boat is the first book I read from Vietnamese-born Australian author Nam Le. I especially wanted to read this book because I was impressed by the many awards it has won. However, I realized that I liked only a few of all the stories in the book. Despite all the awards, I felt frustrated.
The stories in The Boat will exhaust you. Although they take place in different parts of the world, they will all tire you and wear out. For me, the most tiring parts of the stories were their end. The author did not particularly end the stories and left everything to the reader. I did not even want to think about what would happen to some of them and immediately proceeded to the next story. I don’t know what effect the author wanted to create, but it bothered me.
And I felt like I was watching a film rather than reading a book in some of the stories. His imagery is highly detailed. If you like emotionally heavy and uncertain stories, you’ll love this book. If not, I wouldn’t recommend this one.
A dazzling, emotionally riveting debut collection: the seven stories in Nam Le’s The Boat take us across the globe as he enters the hearts and minds of characters from all over the world.
Whether Nam Le is conjuring the story of 14-year-old Juan, a hit man in Colombia; or an aging painter mourning the death of his much-younger lover; or a young refugee fleeing Vietnam, crammed in the ship’s hold with 200 others, so the result is unexpectedly moving and powerful.
This is an extraordinary work of fiction that takes us to the heart of what it means to be human, and so announces a writer of astonishing talent.
Nam Le is a Vietnamese-born Australian writer, who won the Dylan Thomas Prize for his book The Boat, a collection of short stories. His stories have been published in many places including Best Australian Stories 2007, Best New American Voices, Zoetrope: All-Story, A Public Space and One Story.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: