Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tropic Of Orange - Karen Tei Yamashita

This book was interesting. Not my usual read but I wanted to give it a try because I had heard good things about it. The book is set in Los Angeles and is narrated by seven different people for seven different days. Each person narrates a part of each day. says "This fiercely satirical, semifantastical novel ... features an Asian-American television news executive, Emi, and a Latino newspaper reporter, Gabriel, who are so focused on chasing stories they almost don't notice that the world is falling apart all around them." This is just part of the book. The author focuses on Asian-American, African American and Latin American characters and their lives in LA and Mexico.

I liked this book but I can't say I fully understood it. I liked how it was written and when I began the book I got into it right away. The last 50 pages dragged a little for me but when I finished it it seemed to wrap some things up that I wasn't sure about. I have heard people say that this book is full of magical realism and maybe that's why I find myself not understanding some of it. I have read some books like this (for instance One Hundred Years of Solitude) and really enjoyed them, so I am not sure why I feel this way.

What I did enjoy in this book was all the cultural and political references that were going on when it was published (NAFTA, Rodney King, illegal immigrants, illegal harvesting of body parts, homelessness etc). I think that there might have been too many different focuses and it got to be too much. I think I will try out another one of Karen Tei Yamashita's books in the near future. I feel there is a lot of possibility for me to really enjoy them!

Rating - 2

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