• November 24, 2019

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.

Author: Mole Magrel
Country: Romania
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Love
Published (Last): 10 November 2014
Pages: 464
PDF File Size: 16.23 Mb
ePub File Size: 14.42 Mb
ISBN: 761-4-83992-787-6
Downloads: 6963
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Zulutaur

Triton is an year old boy who accidentally sets fire to a thatched roof in his school compound. Salgado reef the now teen-age Triton as well.

Open Preview See a Problem? Salgado I learned the reverse: Salgado takes to drink. When old Lucy-amma, the cook-woman, retired, Triton took over all the cooking as well, and became an accomplished chef.

This can be striking; his first visit to the ocean is described with amazement. The Independent Review of Reef: Romesh Gunesekera was born in Sri Lanka where he spent his early years.

Gunesekera, however, has written a book of the deepest human interest and moral poise. October Learn how and hunesekera to remove this template message.

The novel skillfully adapts its tone to the protagonist’s aging from about 10 to 16 or so, I would guess. Sep 17, Hans Wiegand rated it it was amazing. The eponymous reef—itself bleaching slowly into obscurity—furnishes an apt metaphor. In some instances I could almost taste the love cake and the freshly fried patties. He writes and throws an occasional party and then falls in love.

Capitalism is ravaging the country as aggressively as the revolutionary ideas spreading among the exploited people who insist that “we have to destroy in order to create. Through these characters and the forty years of political disintegration their country endures, Gunesekera tells the tragic, sometimes comic, story of a lost paradise and a young man coming to terms with his destiny.

The funesekera, thrilling drama of reeg narration seems to burst the limits of his framing device, a tribute to the power of his story.

All the home lacks, Triton feels, is a woman’s presence. When Lucy retires to her jungle town, Triton starts coming into his own as a human being with a right to exist in a particular time and place, living only to serve his revered Mr Salgado to the best of his capabilities.


It begins in a tropical paradise and ends in grey and wet London; sounds the wrong way round to me! The arrival of Miss Nili was, for them, “the beginning of a new era. Reef is the first novel I have read by Romesh Gunesekera, and it has been an absolute delight. As they exchange a few words inside the lighted booth, the Sinhala envisages the Tamil’s home, Silavatturai, “[o]nce a diver’s paradise. I never felt like I had a strong grasp of her character or Mister Salgado’s. Mister Salgado, in ’60s Sri Lanka, is a marine biologist, and his tracking of the island’s protective coral reef’s slow destruction by pollution and over-fishing provides the title and central metaphor for this story — set, as we will very soon understand it to be, in a world heading for self-destruction.

And then those very still moments when the world would stop and only colour move like the blue breath of dawn lightening the sky, or the darkness of night misting the globe; a colour, a ray of curved light and nothing else. A lubricant for them to live to the full the life of man and woman, or some weird object of shared desire?

There were no death squads then, no thugs so callous in their killing that they felt no pleasure until they saw someone twitch against a succession of bullets. Gunesekera, a masterly storyteller, writes about them with great affection, casting a spell of nostalgia with his lyrical prose. Triton grew and learned to be a good housekeeper. Published by Granta first published True enough, the book’s ending about the separation of Salgado and Nila came to a conclusion with him deciding to find her again.

I really liked their debuts and have both new books waiting for me at the library. This is beautiful, sensual writing. Suddenly everything becomes possible and the whole world, that before seemed slowly to be coming apart at the seams, pulls together.

I thought this was the best part of the book. The house he worked in was so symbolic of all aspects of Sri Lankan life that it is almost impossible to go into in such a short review. And it feels labored, as if, doubting the inherent dramatic interest of Triton’s domestic life, the author were stretching for a Naipaul-esque relevancy to his story.


Everything was Motion In my childhood, at school, I learned language and history, some geography and sums; but science was a big black hole. In the face of the boy in the cashier’s booth, he sees a great familiarity, “almost a reflection” of his own. The bit about how earth, people, wounds, salt were related to water. Dec 15, Shafika A.

Really hate that globalisation has bypassed the book industry. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part II Cook’s Joy.

Reef — Romesh Gunesekera

Literature has always welcomed marginal characters with open arms. His central character is Triton, kitchen boy to the marine biologist and humane pessimist Mister Salgado, always so addressed in Triton’s thoughts even as their friendship loses all sense of separate levels. Triton falls in love with her too of course, but only insofar as he is Mister Salgado’s heart; he cannot separate from the other man to become jealous, to desire his own relationship with Miss Nili, he only wants their love to succeed, and to that end woos both of them with ever more sumptuous food.

His world is so insular that he doesn’t much know or care what is going on that isn’t related to Mister Salgado’s daily habits.

Reef Summary & Study Guide

View the Lesson Plans. Salgado had studied all these things. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Robert had caught her eye; he was smiling, his head shyly cocked to one side. Now an adult in exile in London, the novel’s narrator remembers his Edenic childhood in Sri Lanka in the post-independence era of the ‘s, when at the age of 11 he became an apprentice houseboy for a marine biologist, Mr. 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.