The Meursault Investigation
Best Reads , Fiction , Literary Fiction , Reviews / January 30, 2021

Title: The Meursault Investigation Author: Kamal Daoud Genre: Literary Fiction Publisher: Other Press LLC Release Date: November 9, 2017 Format: Audio / Kindle Pages: 161 Narrator: Fajer Al-Kaisi Date Read: Dec 5, 2015 He was the brother of “the Arab” killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus’s classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling’s memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: he gives his brother a story and a name–Musa–and describes the events that led to Musa’s casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach. In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his broken heart, on his anger with men desperate for a god, and on his disarray when faced with a country that has so disappointed him. A stranger among his own people, he wants to be granted, finally, the right to die. The Stranger is of course central to Daoud’s story, in which he both endorses and criticizes one of the most famous novels in the world. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Meursault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the…

The White Tiger
Fiction , Literary Fiction , Reviews / January 30, 2021

Title: The White Tiger Author: Aravind Adiga Genre: Fiction Publisher: Simon and Schuster Release Date: October 14, 2008 Pages: 288 Narrator: John Lee Date Read: Jan 15, 2018 When he relocates to New Delhi to take a new job, Balram Halwai is disillusioned by the city’s materialism and technology-spawned violence, a circumstance that forces him to question his loyalties, ambitions, and past. 4.5Adiga’s debut novel gives us on narrator who is, by turns, charming, repugnant, profound, egotistical, insightful, and much more, but always, always fascinating. Balram, when he introduces himself, is a self-made entrepreneur and a murderer. His story is told through a letter he writes to the Chinese Premier who will be visiting his country. His voice is unique and can stand with some of the best know ‘narrators’ of classic literature. That his is such a different voice from a underrepresented culture from much of the canon literature is perhaps what makes it more real – in that his tale is authentic to who he is, and the world in which he exists, but that world is likely so unfamiliar to the audience that it confounds expectation and forces us to look at our own stance and belief…

Book vs Screen: The White Tiger
Movie Adaptations / January 29, 2021

Overall, a decent translation to the small screen by Netflix. The movie sticks close to Aravind Adiga’s book, down to the story-frame of Balram’s telling the story to the Chinese Trade Minister. The film does an excellent job of showing the ‘two Indias’ Balram frequently comments on throughout the novel. Where the film falls short is the humor and bite of Balram’s character. The humor of his experiencing the new world he infiltrates and his own growing discontent with the dichotomy of his world are inconsistent throughout the movie. While there a moment — like the first time he sees Ashok, or the hotel in New Delhi, or more darkly, when he first talks of why servants behave the way they do — but those moments are all too rare, robbing the story of much of the richness of Adiga’s narrative. I’ll let the screen-writer (Ramin Bahrami) and the actor (Adarsh Gourav) share the blame there. The other change I disliked was how Ashok and Pinky Madam were written to be more sympathetic, which in the dichotomy Adiga set up, makes Balram less so. The movie is worth seeing for the social criticism on the class structure of India, the…