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SOLO by Rana Dasgupta June 8, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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This novel is the unusual tale of a 100-year-old blind Bulgarian man who is thinking back on his life. Sometimes his memory serves true, but often his past is a fantasy formulated in his mind. Denied his passion, the study of music, by his father who felt musicians were Bohemians and criminals, Ulrich turns to chemistry and in his later years tries to invent a new polymer. The writing is beautiful in this book, and this reader flowed happily through the events in the first half of the book, but in the second half, the entire tone was changed and it was the writing alone in the second half that kept the Lycan Librarian’s nose in the book.

This novel is well-lauded, and it is obvious may others viewed this work differently and loved both halves equally. It is worth the read for the peep into Bulgaria and to enjoy the well turned phrases. One very fun aspect is that one can never be certain exactly what did and did not truly happen in Ulrich’s life, so the reader gets to pick and choose their own reality.

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