Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, this thoughtful, entrancing tale of a Sinhalese houseboy’s maturation takes place in the early s, in the edenic calm before. Reef by Romesh Gunesekera. cubicle light went out. Then, as the stars brightened, I remembered a bay-fronted house six thousand miles away.” — from Reef. Romesh Gunesekera’s Reef manages to align and illustrate these two congruent ideas. The staggering consequences of delicate shifts and subtle notions and.

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This site uses cookies. The reef to which Salgado is notionally and limply attached to and its impending destruction is an allegory for the impact of political change happening in the country at the time, and the tragedy in the writers eyes unfolding of geef rather brutal destruction of way of life held dear. All chewed up and guneekera rubbed out like a rock smoothed in a gunesekeraa, or a gift passed from eeef to the other over and over again, mouth to mouth.

Gunesekera captures, like Naipaul, the peculiarly apt blend of British formality and tropical fecundity, as if the cold cultural eye of the English made even more movingly colorful the parrots, gekkos, orioles — the “promise of cinnamon, pepper, clove” in this “jungle of demons”; the “perpetual embrace of the shore and the sea, bounded by a fretwork of undulating coconut trees, pure unadorned forms framing the seascape into a kaleidoscope of bluish jewels” — of the island paradises they corrupted or, Gunesekera will suggest, were corrupted by.

It wasn’t until a popular millionaire was killed that shockwaves went through the whole society.

But from my Mr. Gunesekera, however, has written a book of the deepest human interest and moral poise. A book like a warm breeze before rain. Through these characters and the forty years of political disintegration their country endures, Gunesekera tells the tragic, sometimes comic, story of a lost gunesekeea and a young man coming to terms with his destiny.

I can’t give this redf more than three stars because of how unevenly I liked the first and the second half of the book. She comes over for tea, and is won over as much by Triton’s culinary skills “her face floated happily in the warm afternoon haze while huge chunks of the richest, juiciest love-cake disappeared into her” as by Salgado’s almost wordless devotion.


Eref are commenting using your Facebook account. After the failed love affair, master and servant leave for England. View all 6 comments. Triton takes note of the developments with a keen observing eye. He is gunesekeea of the most sensuous descriptions concerning the preparation of food that I have ever come across.

This study guide contains the following sections: Hi, just wanted to say I am enjoying your reviews and new blog format.

Sri LankaUK. It is Gunesekera’s debut novel and second book, following his collection gunesfkera short stories, Monkfish Moon. Triton recalls a folk tale about a gentle young prince who is told by his corrupt teacher to make a necklace out of a thousand human fingers and as a result becomes a blood-crazed mass murderer.

Describing Mister Redf cook, he writes. Triton grew and learned to be a good housekeeper. Print hardback and paperback. Triton, without power, without community, can only observe from his shelter. So make sure you keep at it, even if it’s hard Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I thought that the part about Joseph running away from home could be developed into something more. But it was not obvious to me. Enter graceful Nili, a desk clerk from the local gunesekeea, who captivates not only Mr.

Reef Summary & Study Guide

But it is the descriptions of a paradise under threat — and lots of lovely food — which really makes this book such a delicious read:. Gunesekeda Triton is nothing if not resourceful.

The colour of it, the roar of it, was overwhelming. It not only draws you in as a reader, but also compels you to admire the profundity of the author. And it helps because I knew him as a person who sees humour and whackiness in ordinary things.

Feb 09, Caroline rated it really liked it Shelves: Sri Lankan taxis look just like that. But the author is equally capable of a flint-sharp description of a visit to a morning fish market where blood and gore flow unchecked and fishermen calmly butcher a manta ray and a shark and even an unfortunate dolphin in uncompromising images.


It rose up from below her throat down inside her flapping dress.

Triton’s status in the arrangement is dignified and taken for granted. But there is a love story running through it and a passion for food cooked with love and care. A nice soft book to read, with a low simmering undercurrent adding some spice.

Gunesekera’s literary skill, produces “a kind of energy that revitalizes every cell. Triton is a young chef who was forced to leave his father’s house to work for Mr.

Fiction Book Review: Reef by Romesh Gunesekera, Author New Press $20 (p) ISBN

Sitting at the middle of the story, the action of the dinner scene proceeds with sure logic, rising tension, and entire believability. Triton is a character of gentle innocence. But such a reading is by no means necessary to appreciate the strength of this exquisite, compelling novel. Reef is the first novel I have read by Romesh Gunesekera, and it has been an absolute delight. How can you tell that the brightening of the bulb on the wire follows from you flicking a switch on the wall without a sense of history and narrative?

It’s not what we do every day but the thoughts we live with, gentleman amateur of science Mister Salgado says. The plot and prose are unhurried, sinuous, a little melancholy. Gunesekera claims that background knowledge of the political strife in Sri Lanka isn’t necessary to read and enjoy his novel. At first he is a houseboy on a staff of three, but before long, with his cool efficiency, he supplants the other two, becoming Mister Salgado’s cook and caretaker.