So here’s the thing.
I’m halfway through his latest, Divisadero, which I’m listening to on the iPod, and I’m drowning in it. The language is, of course, full of interesting and arresting surprises — but it’s the plotting that’s attracting me. Not that the plot is revealed all at once, of course. What I’m enjoying is the way in which the book is structured, moving from story to story, from character to character, in such a full and complete way that every time I leave one story and character to pick up the threads of another I resent it. I resent it every time, which means that despite the resentment I feel at moving from one character’s tale to another’s, I am swallowed entirely by the new one and resent moving on, or even moving back.
I’ve read three other Ondaatje, and dipped into a fourth. Of course my first was The English Patient. I tried In the Skin of the Lion but didn’t finish. I started Anil’s Ghost but had to wait for the audio version to get through it — and I’m glad I did. Now Divisadero.
I’ve decided to buy the print version of this book when I’m done listening. It’s like there.