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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book Review; Evening Is The Whole Day

Title: Evening Is The Whole Day
Writers: Preeta Samarasan
Total Pages: 389 pages
Prices: RM16.90 (On discount at Harris, 1Borneo. Normal Price: RM59.90)
Duration of reading: 5  Days
Rating: 3 Stars
My Copy of "Evening Is Whole Day", a crane origami
and the fuchsia futon.  

I have been eyeing on this title for a long time. I read a review on this novel in Cleo Magazine years back at campus, and when there was several attempts to buy this respective book, I kept diverting my mind to other books. Until recently, on my monthly visit to Harris, I managed to find this book at only RM16.90. There was only 1 book left, and I grabbed it. However, I found this book was only sold at RM5 in the Aftermath Big Bad Wolf Book Sale.

There are many hypes on this book. Some says the story is great and some says that the writer is good in writing sentences that are full with beautiful adjectives but lack of plots. When I typed this, I remember my funny linguistic lecturer,  whom once gave us a tip on how to write a long essay for our exam, in case we are running out of idea.

"Writing is like kuih chakoi. You make the kuih with a small piece of pastry and it becomes 3 times longer and larger once you put it in the wok. It same goes with your writings, just add adjectives, and you would have a long string of sentence with 1 idea" (Sadly, this tip doesn't work on me, coz I would try and try, frantically memorize all the theories before exam which would be drained a minute after I walked out from the exam hall. LOL)

Anthony Burgess (one of my favourite writers of pre colonialism genre), said that, there are two kinds of writers, A-writers and B-writers. A- writers are storytellers, B- writers are users of language.

Reading this novel, I found out that Preeta is a B-writer. She beautifully explained the panorama and phenomenon in the 'Big House' (where most of the plots take place), however there are lack of 'ommph' in term of juicy plots. Elements of mystique are injected on how Preeta portrays the culture of Malaysian Indian that made the story a bit interesting. Besides that, I could say that the story is a bit of being 'trying hard' to mold the element of patriotism that made some of the events a bit unnatural. 

Being an avid reader, however I think that this book is worth to be read because as A Malaysian, we are lack of English writer who is well-known internationally. Although there are several critics from other book reviewers (that are basically not Malaysians) that Preeta used a wide range of local vocabulary, I think this is one of the way why I feel quite closed to the story as I finished reading them. Probably, the publisher could consider of providing glossary, (for example in Anthony Burgess' book; The Malayan Trilogy) that gives a brief meaning of the local vocabularies. 

3 Stars for this book. If Preeta is writing another book, I might give it a try because, based on my reading experience, a writer's second book would always be better

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