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The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

The English Patient

Literary Fiction   Action Adventure / Spy   Historical Fiction   Romantic Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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February 2011 Guest Editor Carmen Reid on Michael Ondaatje...

The English Patient is a dream of a romantic novel. It follows two love stories, one between a soldier and a nurse which unfolds as the book progresses and the other in the past, being slowly re-told. There is the handsome, mysterious foreigner, a war-torn background, the uptight English marriage about to be blown apart by a passionate affair and ensuing volcanic eruption of emotions. The wife tries to break it off, then the half-crazed husband attempts to kill three of them in a plane-crash. The hero cannot return to rescue the heroine. It might all have become completely melodramatic if it wasn’t so perfectly and beautifully well-written.

The Lovereading view...

A modern classic, this story of four damaged people is beautiful, harrowing and moving. As the lives of these people interconnect a poetically told tale unravels the stories of each individual. A haunting and satisfying read.

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The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

A beautiful new limited edition paperback of The English Patient, published as part of the Bloomsbury Modern Classics list.

A small cargo plane will come down to land, slipping from the level of the horizon. It tips its wings within desert light and then sound stops, it drifts to earth. The final curtain is closing on the Second World War and in an abandoned Italian villa Hana, a nurse, tends to her sole remaining patient. Rescued from a burning plane, the anonymous Englishman is damaged beyond recognition and haunted by painful memories. The only clue Hana has to unlocking his past is the one thing he clung on to through the fire - a copy of The Histories by Herodotus, covered with hand-written notes detailing a tragic love affair.


Profound, beautiful and heart-quickening Toni Morrison

Masterful ... A rich and compelling work of fiction Don DeLillo

One of the most innovative and liberating writers of our time Guardian

Magnificent ... A wise and graceful book about history itself Sunday Times

The best piece of fiction in English I've read in years Independent on Sunday

Ondaatje has now written the extraordinary novel we have been awaiting from him: The English Patient is a masterpiece Financial Times

About the Author

Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje is the author of five novels including Divisadero, published by Bloomsbury in September 2007 and in paperback in August 2008, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and shortlisted for The Giller Prize and the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. He has also written a memoir, a non-fiction book on film and several books of poetry. He co-edited Lost Classics, a compendium of wonderful short essays, with Michael Redhill, Esta Spalding and Linda Spalding. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize; another of his novels, Anil’s Ghost, won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Prix Medicis. Born in Sri Lanka, he now lives in Toronto.

Author photo © Ulla Montan

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Book Info

Publication date

21st September 2017


Michael Ondaatje

More books by Michael Ondaatje
Author 'Like for Like'


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


336 pages


Literary Fiction
Action Adventure / Spy
Historical Fiction
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
War & combat fiction



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