Top critical review
To be perfectly honest I am somehow a disappointed. Is that book about travel or woman hunt
4 November 2014
Well, Tom Allen is on the same boat as I am - he has Armenian wife. This is what lured me to his book and movie... To be perfectly honest I am somehow a disappointed. Is that book about travel or woman hunt? Is that about love for her or himself? There is no answer for them questions...
His trip back through Europe with his wife is just mention, but really non existing apart of English bit. Lack of chronological order can be swallowed, but it didn't go down well at the end. Chaotic jumps in time and space are out of context, there is no need for this. It's not soap opera (is it not?), it's not criminal neither.
Exaggerated love and miss for Tenny, well, I was 23 once and I was in love at the time, but come on, this is XXI century, XIX is well gone now.
I don't know how much influence his wife put into the book, but there is not that much about Armenia and Iran, her motherlands, did they have opposite views in these cases? My wife is extremely patriotic and any critique to her country is to be vanished. No jokes allowed. So there is a little bit understanding for that, but explanation would help.
Positive side is a language, which is pretty straight, but still deep enough. I liked quite detailed descriptions of part of Turkey, Ethiopia and Djibouti. There is lack of names of the place, which is pretty annoying, you cannot really follow the book on the map. Specially Armenian bit, which is close to me, suffers from lack of geographical facts.
I must admit, that I have read Humpreys and Lillwall, so I am a bit bored with postcolonial English twenty something so called travelers, who expect to be understood only because they speak English, no matter how mumbling and fast their talk is. On the other hand I am impressed that he has learned Armenian (I assume alphabet as well, that is really great) and Arabic (at least alphabet).
Final word is, that book repeats a movie in few occasions. For me this is unacceptable, there is two things and he should be able not to use the same stuff here and there.
I enjoyed reading it, I skipped paragraphs I have heard in the movie and I hope Mr Allen will get better before he commits next book. This one is fairly good, but it should be better, I am sure the story Tom has is a lot richer than what we have.