The Blind Assassin

2 01 2011

It is said that the first impression is the best impression. But there exist many instances which prove otherwise too. “The Blind Assassin” is one such instance for me. It took me almost 40% of the book (around 240 pages) to even remotely feel encouraged about it. Until then, I literally had to very patiently waddle through the pages with no idea about how it would all turn out. I even stopped pursuing it for a while. I picked it up again only on account of my a-kind-of-principle not to leave a book unfinished. It really took a lot of determination in order to continue with it, that is until I reached the crucial point in the plot and then it happened: I got slowly sucked in.

I was enthralled by how the various characters were taking shape – slowly but interestingly, how the secrets were being revealed, and in general how things were making more sense in the narration. At this point, I felt like I was deceived. More like manipulated; tricked into changing my initial impressions and feelings about the book. But I must admit that I was not particularly shocked at this turn of events. It happened to me before and that’s why I might have been half-expecting the pleasant surprise albeit subliminally.

The plot seemed like a huge bundle of knots and the author took her time to unravel each one with deft and expertise. With each disentanglement there came a new twist and new cognizance. By the time I reached the end of the book, I was jolted out of my dispassionate attitude towards it and I couldn’t help marveling at the author’s prowess.

There is a novel inside this novel and I read that this had been a first-time thing. A new style was born. Laura was such a mystical girl/young woman she is certainly the main attraction in the plot. The exposure of Richard’s dark persona wasn’t expected by me in the beginning and as the crowning point of it got revealed towards the end, I was flabbergasted. I also felt that the way the two sisters felt and continued to feel about Alex Thomas throughout the story was beautifully crafted. Above all, it’s Iris who surprised me the most – I didn’t expect of her what she did.

But I had to pay a considerable price in the beginning, in the form of perseverance,  in order to reap the pleasure at the end. No matter what the gains, I wouldn’t be able to forget the pains though.

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2 responses

25 11 2013
Haritha

Finished the book today. Started a month ago. The first 200 pages (until The Button Factory Picnic) took 3 weeks but then it got interesting and I finished the book a week later. What Iris did was completely unexpected (with ref. to The Blind Assassin). It beats me how emotional and intense she was at times and at other times (especially when with Laura) she was reserved and strangely detached. How could Iris had not known!? I suspected Richard of doing dirty things to Laura in “The Water Nixie” chapter itself(the one where Richard takes Laura off on the motor boat). And Laura, such a queer girl – Permitting her self to be violated and not telling her sister when she got pregnant just for that sake of Alex Thomas. I still think its a shame Iris did not realize Richard lusted after Laura. Or had she been living in denial (subconsciously)? It can’t be denied that there has been considerable tension between the two sisters after their father’s death. She approaches her in a cautious manner and she never has a heart to heart talk with Laura. If she did, she might have gotten the hint that some thing is terribly terribly wrong. Laura had tried at first to communicate (albeit not directly)but Iris chose to ignore…Iris chose inaction. She did not press further. I am not saying that what ever bad happened in the book was Iris’ fault. I think Iris was thrown into a mean sadistic game and did not have enough skill to maneuver it. She was so young and naive to be an able guardian for a teenage girl.

1 12 2013
sireeshaavvari

Wow, such a deep analysis! Great observation. I already forgot most of what’s the book is about except that I struggled to finish it. 🙂

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