➠ The Boat Ebook ➦ Author Nam Le – Altobook.co



10 thoughts on “The Boat

  1. says:

    5 I was delighted to find this book of well written short stories by Aussie author Nam Le, who arrived here by boat as a refugee from Vietnam when he was only one These eight stories are all quite different from each other and Le speaks in many voices from different countries, all believable Vietnamese, Colombian, Japanese, Iranian, Australian I think my favourite is the young Aussie lad in the fishing family with the sick mum Football, a girl, bullies, a jetty, a struggling dad and younger brother It s all there It s a short story, but it s all there This one is reminiscent of Tim Winton.That to me is the beauty of a good short story You are curious about what came before and what might follow, but it isn t necessary to know.I don t know if the first story is autobiographical or not, but Le got his Master s in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa, and the first story is about a son writing about his Vietnamese father, who has come to visit him at the University of Iowa at an inopportune time when he has writing deadlines to meet He resents the interruption and the reminders of his father s history.A friend says to just write about Vietnam Ethnic literature is hot His friends talk about exploiting the whole Vietnamese thing He doesn t want to, but as he pieces together his father s story and understands the horrors of the massacre from which he escaped, he feels compelled all I could do was think about my father and his excuses Those tattered bodies on top of him The ten hours he d waited, mud filling his lungs, until nightfall He has trouble dealing with the contrast between his father s experiences and his own life It s hard to look at this little old man and realise this was the soldier who d raised him and punished him so harshly I enjoyed his writing style About young Colombians, a guy says, They look younger than I remember Only Pedro has grown he looks like he has been seized by a fistful of hair and stretched up two inches About a father desperate to see his daughter who was taken from him as an infant, The past s a cold body of water for me and nowadays my bones ache after even a quick dip The Aussie boy is sitting by the shore shivering It was like the wind was greased, he thought, it slid right against you, leaving your skin slippery where it touched About swimming he thinks, it was easy to forget, past the reef, that you were on the edge of the great continental shelf until a rip drifted you out and one of those cold currents snaked up from the depths and brushed its slightest fringe against your body Then you remembered I haven t even mentioned the bombs in Tehran or the people in Hiroshima or The Boat, a harrowing story that could also have been his You ll just have to read them.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of these to review I hope there will be to follow from this talented writer.


  2. says:

    sigh Where do I even begin with what went wrong with this book It started off so well Certain scenes are so well described that I was really invested as a reader However, I hate the way he ends each story or rather, doesn t The first story felt like a good introduction chapter to a novel, except it s not a novel it was just a short story on its own In turn it made the story have a horrible ending with a quick sum up of what the character understood from the events in a few sentences It s an interesting book because it asks the question of whether or not anybody can write a story about a time, place, culture, language, etc that is not their own I think it s possible because he does it decently in two three of the stories However, the rest were crap I didn t believe them They lacked a certain insight of someone who has lived that life or lived in that place or understood that culture Write what you know should be plastered across his computer screen or above his typewriter The stories were like the Hollywood version of certain stories No wonder certain critics were giving such high praise of it These stories were stories that were clearly imagined about other places and other times while the author rests comfortably in a pampered lifestyle thousands of miles from the actual locations.


  3. says:

    dnf at page 205 with 2 short stories to go I read the first story in this collection for uni and I really liked it I wanted to read of Nam Le s short stories, because why wouldn t you when you really liked one I can say for me the first short story, the one I d already read, is the best one It gripped me and piqued my interest and I ve actually read it 3 or 4 times now Really like itBut none of the other stories were really grabbing my interest And the thing is, there s no doubt Nam Le is a good writer His words are beautiful and he captures so many different people and puts down such an interesting take on them all But something wasn t grabbing me I was increasingly disengaged, and this is the year I ve told myself I m not going to force myself to finish things I m not lovingThere will definitely be stories in here people will like The second story probably my favourite beside the first follows Columbian spies, the third story Halfhead Bay follows an Australian surfer who s story is reminiscent of the ones Tim Winton writes If you like Winton you ll like that one.It is unfortunate I wasn t finding something to grab me here I think it was the characters none of these short story characters really made me want to read on But I don t think this is a bad collection, and I think Nam Le is a beautiful writer someone mentioned he s a poetry writer makes sense So overall, this is good, but it wasn t for me.


  4. says:

    I have to admit, I am still ten pages from finishing this book, but I can t do it any With the exception of the first story, this book bored me to tears I give it two starts instead of one, because Le is a great writer At fear of sounding like a literary agent, I will still say that I couldn t relate to any of these characters or their lives And this is because the writer didn t make it easy for me to relate to them Le is an excellent writer, but a horrilbe story teller He never drew me in for a second, and I m not one to easily get bored with books One of the writers quoted in the back of the book says The Boat will be read as long as people read books Good God I hope not, which really is sad because this could ve been a really good book, given Le s talent, but it comes off forcedit s no surprise his friends tell him he needs to write about his family s life in Vietnam instead of old, rich men in Manhattan To get a taste of Le s talent without having to read the whole thing, read the New York Times book review and read the excerpt from the first story.


  5. says:

    Faulkner, you know, my friend said over the squeals, he said we should write the old verities Love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice This quote is planted square in the middle of Nam Le s opening story, a metafictional conceit that allows the author to address the reader directly about how ethnicity and the immigrant experience can both confer a special status on an author while also becoming a crutch, hobbling his imagination.That s precisely what I admire so much about this collection Nam Le shows an impressive reach in the range of these stories The most successful the opening story, Halfhead Bay , and Meeting Elise are grounded by sympathetic characters and some sizzling prose The least successful don t fail because Nam Le wasn t writing about what he knows as some other reviews on this site have indicated They fall flat from an overexposure to one too many writing workshops Fearing melodrama, Le strips any emotional arc from stories like Hiroshima or Tehran Calling Characters are mired in their own ennui Here the preachings of a literary culture that mistrusts redemption and epiphany and grace lead to stories that fail to move.Such blemishes in an otherwise stirring collection are just fine with this reader Write what you know is one of the most wearisome cliches of the workshop I m glad that Le has chosen instead to reach for the Other, while still daring to explore his own complex heritage The result makes for a rich stew of stories overall, one that introduces a writer who shows great promise.


  6. says:

    like Bon Iver s debut album of last year this book proves that sweet art will make its way when it s at it s least eager a quiet, brilliant idyll each story sent me on a one hour walk around the canyons the first one and the last one were my favourites and halflead could ve been a winton short from the turning im officially jealous of this vietnamese australian master craftsman.


  7. says:

    These are quite simply some of the most amazing stories I have ever read I am not typically an avid fan of short stories I typically find them little than character sketches like E Annie Proulx s Postcards or short scenes that are surely a part of a greater whole but simply leave me with a literary hole But Nam Le has done something amazing with most of his stories they smack of realism, the characters are full, the stories hold up on their own and are not just false starts of novels, and while many of these pieces cover difficult terrain quite literally and figuratively with the exception of one rather formulaic story Hiroshima , I never felt these were cookie cutter, maudlin pieces A wonderful and quick read


  8. says:

    It takes me four years to thoroughly finish this book I read the first story four years ago and love this author since then People in the west tend to consider Le as an immigrant writer because of his unusual personal history They consider all those exotic stories fantastic and people born and raised like this somehow have the duty to write about these things, people they ll never meet, lives they ll never live and burdens they ll never carry It makes sense that people tend to be curious about these things so far away from their lives, but somehow I consider this as a bad taste of reading Writers like Le, and Junot Diaz, Mohsin Hamid shouldn t just be treated as some immigrant writer They ve lived in US or UK for enough time to write stories just like those local writers They don t need some exotic marketing angle, surely not some stupid labels such as Vietnamese Australian author.After reading this book for such a long time, now I love the Halflead Bay than the Love and Honor one The latter one shows some smart attitude to those readers who are expecting Le to write about his own story It looks like a true story, yet all of these things are made up Halflead Bay, just like the story Le wrote in 2012, The Yarra, is about Australian s life, and that s the real life Le has lived since he went to Australia after he was born He s spent almost all his life in Australia and the West, it seems stupid to put some Asian immigrant label on him Halflead Bay is also one of the earliest stories Le has ever written It s a story about Australian teenager and his family Not like other stories in this book that are mostly made up by collecting materials in a researching way, this Australian story is much closer to Le s normal life and has a lot of brilliant also frustrated moments It s also the longest story in this book Other stories in this book happened in different places, such as Tehran, New York and Hiroshima They are quite well written by this young author He uses the same method of collecting materials in the law firm to write these stories, which is smart, and made all these things real, but somehow these characters are not that connected to readers We can see how these people end up like this in their lives, but it s just not that easy to share the feelings with them And maybe Le s put too much effort on making things real, these stories end in a hurry, some words haven t been said, some feelings haven t been showed and some people haven t been forgiven The feelings just hang in the middle of nowhere that readers may not feel the same at all.But I still love Le s first work, and consider him one of the smartest writers at his age.


  9. says:

    7 stories 7 decades The US Colombia Japan Iran Vietnam Somewhere in the mix the voices break, voices merge this Aussie writer of Vietnamese origin needs to narrow his horizons.The stories are book ended by the two that are concerned with the Vietnamese condition during and after the War They have varying levels of success, although the first Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice a quote from Faulkner wins out in its consideration of what should be utilised creatively from our genes should an Aussie Vietnamese only write an ethnic story The final and title story, The Boat, tells a survival tale based on the experiences of an over crowded junk filled with Vietnamese Boat People Its power lies in evidencing how quickly death becomes ordinary to the people surrounded by it Halflead Bay is perhaps my favourite of the collection An unsteady mix of coming of age school yarn and mother illness misery it may have touched me because my own mother, like the Mom in the story, battled Multiple Sclerosis As a commentary on power and powerlessness it is starkly successful but there are still moments when you are aware this is clearly the result of an imaginative exercise rather than something fully lived through Some thing there some thing untouchable doesn t hold true The best fiction doesn t pull you up like this Similarly, the Colombian favela sited yarn, Cartagena, seems the product of watching City of God and a heap of documentaries It is ambitious writing but it is also vicarious When it comes to the 1945 set Hiroshima and the post Revolution Tehran Calling the author really is pushing his luck I couldn t help but wonder if he had read, and been inspired by, Persepolis Seven years on from the publication of this slender volume of short stories Nam Le has published nothing I am hoping for a novel at some point Despite some reservations regarding this first work, I would most probably read it.


  10. says:

    The second collection of short stories I ve read since records began The first was Borges Labyrinths, which is a completely different kettle of fish so lets consider this the first If you like short story collections as I do then this book should be at the top of your to read list Each of the eight stories are at once remarkably different, absorbing and completely transportive Le is an Australian of Vietnamese heritage living in New York and this collection is suitably cosmopolitan In addition to stories set in the countries just mentioned we have stories set in Tehran, Hiroshima and Cartagena, Columbia As an author, Le is a citizen of the world.Some of the reviews below are hostile because they feel that Le is not a good storyteller that the narrative arc lacks a satisfying conclusion But I think this criticism slightly misses the point, each story is a snapshot of a life A brief trespass into someones life over a few days, or in the case of Hiroshima , hours or minutes of someones unique and complex experience in this world over time and space Le takes us there and I for one loved the experience The characters are often a little one dimensional and, in nearly all cases, similar but I think Le is writing about places and situations and the effect they have on people rather than the people themselves The reason for this similarity is almost certainly that L very much puts himself into the characters he writes But that s one of the reason this worked so well, the protagonist and the reader are observers in these worlds, we re on the inside looking out Of course, not being a novel, the endings to these stories can be sometimes be abrupt, I often felt the characters and setting disappear in front of me just as I was getting to know them But that just seems to be the nature of the beast when it comes to short fiction, and if you can accept that, The Boat is about as good as it gets.


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The Boat download The Boat, read online The Boat, kindle ebook The Boat, The Boat bf29d1c6012c A Stunningly Inventive, Deeply Moving Fiction Debut Stories That Take Us From The Slums Of Colombia To The Streets Of Tehran From New York City To Iowa City From A Tiny Fishing Village In Australia To A Foundering Vessel In The South China Sea, In A Masterly Display Of Literary Virtuosity And Feeling In The Magnificent Opening Story, Love And Honor And Pity And Pride And Compassion And Sacrifice, A Young Writer Is Urged By His Friends To Mine His Father S Experiences In Vietnam And What Seems At First A Satire Of Turning One S Life Into Literary Commerce Becomes A Transcendent Exploration Of Homeland, And The Ties Between Father And Son Cartagena Provides A Visceral Glimpse Of Life In Colombia As It Enters The Mind Of A Fourteen Year Old Hit Man Facing The Ultimate Test In Meeting Elise, An Aging New York Painter Mourns His Body S Decline As He Prepares To Meet His Daughter On The Eve Of Her Carnegie Hall Debut And With Graceful Symmetry, The Final, Title Story Returns To Vietnam, To A Fishing Trawler Crowded With Refugees, Where A Young Woman S Bond With A Mother And Her Small Son Forces Both Women To A Shattering Decision Brilliant, Daring, And Demonstrating A Jaw Dropping Versatility Of Voice And Point Of View, The Boat Is An Extraordinary Work Of Fiction That Takes Us To The Heart Of What It Means To Be Human, And Announces A Writer Of Astonishing Gifts