Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day - A L Kennedy

Working as an extra in a war movie, being shot in Germany post the World War II, Alfred Day trying hard to get back to the mainstream life which seem to be alien to him. His life as he recounts in bits and pieces isn't been one that he would look back with happiness. Early days of life with his alcoholic father physically and mentally abuses his mother bore the memories of his troubled childhood. It is to escape this situation at home, he decided to join the RAF during the war. He volunteered to be part of the Airforce and was happy to take the position of a tail-gunner.

He camaraderie with his bomber mates were to compensate for all that was missing at home. Even that seems to be short lived after a crash and him being detained as PoW. His accidental meeting and the love that budded with joyce, a married woman whose husband apparently missing in action in the east somewhere, is the only colour in his life, which he again looses on his return post the war.

Unable to find himself in the society, he find himself a job as an extra in a movie. Its here again, he find himself alone. Effort to be in connection with fellow artists ( a Ukrainian wanting to migrate to UK) also ended up in bitter physical fight.

A L Kennedy is able to recreate the sentiments and the after effects of war on individual. Dark and gloomy and often hopeless plight of individuals are brought out pretty well.It is only at the PoW camp ( even if it is a mock set up for a movie ) he find his place. Day is a internalised , non socialising , tormented man and the style and structure of her writing depicts the exact nature of her protagonist.

Her style is not easy to cope with. Its extremely demanding and require utmost concentration. In that way, the reading wasn't very pleasant. It moves from first person narrative to second person ( you, type) and the third person in the same paragraph/page. The writing is abstract and stingy. Once you get over these obstructions, the book is pretty good and intelligent.
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Day ( 2007 )

A L Kennedy

Vintage Books

280 Pages
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Other Reviews : Independent , Guardian , NY Magazine

1 comment:

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