Brixton Beach Audio CD – Audiobook, 5 Aug 2010
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Audio CD, Audiobook
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'Prose so lush it appeals to every sense, the pages are suffused with the scents and tastes, ring with the sounds of Sri Lanka and South London... Roma Tearne is an exquisite writer and captivating storyteller, such that the reader is endlessly torn between the desire to linger and the urge to turn the page to see where she will take us next.' Aminatta Forna
'A GREAT STAIN ON SRI LANKA: The shelling may have stopped but persecution continues. Our beautiful, lost island needs help.' Guardian
Praise for Mosquito:
Mosquito plays with sensuous mixes of human bestiality and natural beauty...It is in this continuing agency of remembered love presented as the colours, sounds and smells of art, in dialogue with beauty and horror that the uplifting politics of this fine novel lies. Independent
Heart-rending...Readers of this powerful novel cannot fail to be moved...but they will also realise that, as well as being a rebuke to indifference, the book is also about hope and survival. Christopher Ondaatje, Spectator
Mosquito lyrically captures a country drenched in both incomparable beauty and the stink of hatred. Guardian
Tearne brings her skills as a painter to her writing, creating some extraordinarily lovely portraits of Sri Lankan land and seascapes, a stunning backdrop to the changing horrors of the country s 20-year civil war. Anyone who has visited, or has a passing interest in Sri Lanka, should read this beautiful novel. Sunday Telegraph
Mosquito is a complex, ambitious book from a writer with a real talent for language. We will be hearing a great deal about Ms. Tearne in the future. Lauren B. Davis, author of The Stubborn Season and The Radiant City
There are some beautiful passages in Mosquito ...These flashes of true beauty, along with an impressively sustained forward drive, are enough to make Mosquito an engaging and thought-provoking novel. Times Literary Supplement
Anyone who has a passing interest in Sri Lanka should read this beautiful novel. Sunday Telegraph--Aminatta Forma, The Guardian, Independent, The Spectator and the Daily Telegraph
About the Author
Roma Tearne fled Sri Lanka at the age of ten, travelling to Britain where she has spent most of her life. She gained her Master's degree at the Ruskin Shool of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford, and was Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. She was recently awarded a fellowship in the visual arts by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain. She lives and works in Oxford.
Top customer reviews
However, as soon as Alice moves to London, it was as if another author had taken over from Tearne. The characters were one dimensional, Alice's abandonment of her beloved grandfather and best friend was incomprehensible (even with the explanation that she was `angry').
The book took a really strange pace as the chapters progressed (a chance meeting on one page, jumped to a marriage, child and divorce on the next). It bounded at a silly pace quite honestly that jarred against the slow highly descriptive first section. I have thought perhaps this was intentional - to show the contrast between her life in Sri Lanka and the life she had in London where she never felt she belonged. But quite frankly it doesn't work, and it is very difficult to find any connection with characters that are so swiftly introduced and removed again, in a matter of pages, thus making it difficult to really understand Alice's reaction and emotions.
I don't agree that it was `too sad', life is no picnic! However it attempts to tackle some hard hitting issues in both Sri Lanka and London that don't quite marry together in this book, it felt as if the author had spread too thinly, not really getting to the core of either issue.
I was so very disappointed with this book. It took me a matter of hours to get through the first, beautiful section, only to force myself for weeks to finish it. It's a begrudging two star - so much potential wasted!
Brixton Beach is beautifully realised. Though Alice, her mother Sita and her grandfather Bee are the three chief protagonists, the author's use of multiple narrative points of view allows us to come to know much of the other characters' thoughts and feelings.
The book is awash with colour, whether it be the deep blue of the Ceylonese sea and the dazzling sunlight of Alice's childhood beach or the muted hues of London's buildings and temperate climate. Colour is mixed up with emotional clarity too, and Sita and Alice find that the memories they cling to in order to shape and maintain their view of themselves can also become a prison.
Is assimilation really possible, or even desirable? What does it mean to be born in one country and grow up in another; and what are the implications for British-born children of parents from far-off lands?
Richly detailed and moving, Brixton Beach is ultimately hard to put down.
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