Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, this thoughtful, entrancing tale of a Sinhalese houseboy’s maturation takes place in the early s, in the edenic calm before. Reef by Romesh Gunesekera. cubicle light went out. Then, as the stars brightened, I remembered a bay-fronted house six thousand miles away.” — from Reef. Romesh Gunesekera’s Reef manages to align and illustrate these two congruent ideas. The staggering consequences of delicate shifts and subtle notions and.

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But to conserve, to protect, to care for the past is something we have to learn. I see he has written quite a lot since this one, which makes me happy: And yet when Gunesekera refers to the historical or political, always within the narrative point of view of this young boy, the integrity of the book’s voice seems broken.

Sooner or later the country will gundsekera into violence, Mister Salgado in his books, his love, his social life, the cosy cocoon of his mind, can stay untouched by it only so long. When he goes to pay, he notices that the cashier is someone who looks like him.

That will also explain how a country boy like the narrator can speak in such nice language. But neither of them know that the political unrest threatening Sri Lanka will have a devastating influence on them, most significantly on Triton. Salgado takes to drink.

A book like a warm breeze before rain. We are also treated to some delightful gastroporn as the servant lovingly prepares meals. The electrification of the village or the illumination of the mind, which comes first? A young women, Nili, enters his life.


Triton takes note of the developments with a keen observing eye. A journalist comes to ask him how the rising sea level is affecting life in coastal villages, a subject he knows nothing about. Want to Read saving…. There, they moved from place to place until, five years after their arrival, Mister Salgado decided it was time to buy a permanent home; the chaos was only getting worse in Sri Lanka as the years went by. As they exchange a few words inside the lighted booth, the Sinhala envisages the Tamil’s home, Silavatturai, “[o]nce a diver’s paradise.

Dec 29, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: The story gives the reader so much that is delicious to apprehend that he longs to ignore the faint grumblings to be heard in this Eden. I could see the whole of our world come to life when he spoke Salgado, a marine biologist obsessed with swamps and seafood, that he is oblivious to the political unrest threatening his country.

There are rumours of political fissures around the island, but they are veiled by the douceurs of civilised conversation taking place in the foreground. Triton, without power, without community, can only observe from his shelter.

In Triton’s mind chicken fat and milk floating in water mirrors talk about astrology, a milky way taking a destined shape.

Fiction Book Review: Reef by Romesh Gunesekera, Author New Press $20 (p) ISBN

His master’s praise thrilled him as if it had come from “a channel cut from heaven to earth right through the petrified morass of all our lives, releasing a blessing gunesskera water springing from a riverhead, from a god’s head.


But the author is equally capable of a flint-sharp description of a visit to a morning fish market where blood and gore flow unchecked and fishermen calmly butcher a manta ray and a shark and even an unfortunate dolphin in uncompromising images. I quite liked this book. Mar 18, Gerhard rated it it was amazing.

Reef Summary & Study Guide

Through an earlier collection of short stories Monkfish Moon and his nomination this year on the Booker Prize shortlist, Romesh Gunesekera is yunesekera at the crest of the wave of ex-colonial writers who gunesekeea breached Britain’s gunesekkera shores.

However, without some context the references to the changes in Sri Lanka and the metaphor of the reef are lost on the reader.

Describing Mister Salgado’s cook, he writes She had served Mister Salgado’s grandfather whisky and coffee during the riots of Jul 03, Stephanie added it. His simple duties consist of serving Mr Salgado’s morning tea, and sweeping the veranda and the outside steps with an unwieldy broom twice as large as he is. Lists with This Book. Jun 08, Victoria rated it really liked it.