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Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzlingly well-written, totally engaging and lots of fun, 23 Aug. 2005
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Paperback)
'The Last Samurai' is an extremely entertaining, thought-provoking and stylishly written debut novel that was deservedly short-listed for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Read this novel if for no other reason than that it is incredibly funny: indeed, I have to go back a couple of decades to recall a book of any description that has made me laugh out loud more, and there is one page of this text that had me in paroxysms of laughter (in the middle of a popular cafe...) But this novel - about a single mother, Sibylla, and her unconventional child-rearing of young Ludo as he seeks to uncover the identity of his father - has many other qualities. DeWitt's writing is exhilarating, incorporating first-person narratives from both Sibylla and Ludo, with an eclectic mix of material from sources as diverse as Akira Kurosawa's screenplay for 'The Seven Samurai' and Homer's 'Odyssey', to mathematics and the wonders of Japanese 'Kanji' characters - and the odd smatterings of languages as diverse as Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Finnish for good measure!! 'The Last Samurai' will particularly appeal to those who consider the acquisition of knowledge and learning to be critical to the development of both individuals and society. DeWitt makes some serious points in the course of 'The Last Samurai', particularly about the dumbing down of society and the shortcomings of education systems in dealing with gifted children, but also about parenting issues and the importance of identity to our individual well-being. I absolutely loved this book and cannot recommend it highly enough.
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