Customer Reviews for

The English Patient

Average Rating 4
( 61 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

A transcendent work

A meditation on passion, written in a formless, dreamlike, hallucinatory style. Images appear in the novel as they do in the imagination: suddenly and disquietingly. The author seems to be saying that life is as much about our internal experience as it is about the ext...
A meditation on passion, written in a formless, dreamlike, hallucinatory style. Images appear in the novel as they do in the imagination: suddenly and disquietingly. The author seems to be saying that life is as much about our internal experience as it is about the external world. Love is not this charming thing, but a desperate, agonizing crisis.

posted by Anonymous on November 30, 2000

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Different, Intriging, Complex

Although the storyline and writing are very unusual, I frequently was confused. Often the author does not identify the speaker in a conversation and there is alot of moving from between time periods and characters without introduction. The characters themselves were ver...
Although the storyline and writing are very unusual, I frequently was confused. Often the author does not identify the speaker in a conversation and there is alot of moving from between time periods and characters without introduction. The characters themselves were very, very interesting. I learned from reading about the sapper who defused bombs during and after the war. Very informative. I'm 3/4 through. It is definately worth the read although the confusing nature of the writing initially tempted me to put it down.

posted by LoisLaneLG on April 24, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 61 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 4
  • Posted May 16, 2011

    True Classic

    Everything i could ever hope for in a story. Great story!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    Wonderful

    My favorite book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So what did I miss here??

    I read this book mainly b/c i wanted to see the movie so i could gaze apon Ralph Fiennes and is sexy eyes. Sad. I know. I was very intregued by this plot at first. then as I read further in and We meet the 2 other main characters that comes into the story, i feel that it sways FAAAR FARR away for its original plan. To tell us about what happens to the people in the villa and who the English Patient is. This ending bothered me as well. We never really learn EXACTLLY WHAT HAPPENS!!!?? and its not just a casual slip into years later. Literly it just flops into about 15 yrs. later not telling us the out come of the english patient, or Hana @ the villa. This is why I rate this book soo low. Im sure when i see the movie i will LOvE and understand it much better than the book. The righting style is very unique tho. More like reading a poem than a Novel.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not for me

    I read The English Patient in my graduate school writing class. Most people enjoyed it, but I didn't. The biggest issue I had was Ondaatje's writing style. The book is set near the end of WW2 in Italy with a cast of 4 characters who have all been affected by the war and are in some way disconnected as a result of it. Ondaatje tries hard to make the reader feel what it would be like to be in this world through his writing style. He jumps back and forth through time frequently. He moves in and out of the characters' heads, sometimes within the same paragraph. Sometimes he encloses dialogue in quotations; other times he doesn't. Sometimes he writes in the past tense; other times it's the present tense. Some of his metaphors and comparisons make no logical sense (to me at least) so that you can't connect the two objects being connected through the comparison. As a result of all this, you feel very disoriented and disconnected while you read the book. You don't always know what time period you're in, who is speaking, when a speech begins and ends, or even how you're supposed to connect two images.

    I found it very hard to enjoy because of this very effect Ondaatje purposely creates. I also didn't care about the characters in the story, except for Kip who is interesting though hardly engaging. I didn't care about their plights and had no desire to see them get some kind of happy ending. It's not so much that they are flat characters, but partly because of the writing style, which continuously pulled me out of the story when I just wanted to connect with the characters. Another reason why I didn't care about them was probably because there is not much happening in the present action of the story, at least not much of interest. There was nothing happening that compelled me to keep reading. When the book goes into the characters' pasts it becomes more engaging, but half of the book is in the present.

    I believe Ondaatje was a poet before he took to fiction, which shows in his writing. I've never been a fan of poetry, which could explain things. So while I understand what this book is doing and how effectively it does it, I just couldn't enjoy it. But I think if you war-based stories, if you enjoy poetry, and if you like a more "loose" literary style, then you may enjoy this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enchanting

    Enchanting. I love to be thrown into these post-war, psychological drama stories. And with these characters you are always surprised, always on edge, always ready to nearly understand them..which is what keeps the book open late into the night.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2006

    Terrible, Terrible Novel

    This is the dumbest book I've ever read in my life. There is no plot and I don't care about Hana being in love with a burnt guy! So dumb!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2005

    Booooooooring

    I'd rather have walked across the Sahara than have read this book. Too bad you can't give zero stars

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    What a SNOOZER!

    The ONLY way I was able to make it through this lousy book was by Spark-Notes... Yes I'm a high school student but I don't see what difference that makes. I'm still a person who reads books. This one's in the top ten list of the worst books I've had to read this year.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2002

    The emperor has no clothes!

    Judging by the user reviews here, one might think that the only people who did not enjoy this book are immature high school students who were forced to read it in English class. Since I cannot believe that is the case, allow me to put in a word on behalf of the many mature and intelligent readers who simply do not see what the big deal is about this book. I read this book about ten years ago, well before the movie came out, after hearing a friend gush endlessly about it. The critical response to this book is a good example of what B.F. Myers in "A Reader's Manifesto" referred to as the "cult of the sentence." Everyone oohs and ahs about the supposed "lyrical," "compelling," "meditative," "hypnotic" (and other meaningless adjectives) quality of the writing, but no one can explain what's so great about it or why we're supposed to find the book interesting. Look behind the "lyrical" writing and you'll find nothing but a dull story about unmemorable characters, dressed it up in overly descriptive language and a deliberately confusing narrative structure. While I have nothing against difficult reading, the technique employed by an author must have some underlying purpose other than hiding the author's inability to tell a good story or to create interesting characters. If you enjoyed the book, more power to you. But I suspect that for most fans of the book, the real payoff is the cachet they get walking around with an "intellectual" book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2002

    The road of war

    I dont know if I liked the book to much, I dont think I understood what the author was trying to say there were so many stories going on at the same time that I had a hard time reading it. Hana, pratically the main character, was so disturbed by the war that it was a good thing that she had this patient to keep her mind off the war aroung her.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2000

    Make it go away ...

    I *made* myself read until the fourth chapter - then I couldn't decide if the author or the publisher should be shot. I guess the author was trying to write some kind of poetic masterpiece. However, I could not keep the characters staight, I couldn't figure out what they were doing, and after 100 pages I stopped caring. What's funny is how this book made me think of high school Literature class when I had to read books that I hated. (I was so surprized when I saw the movie that it was halfway decent.)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2000

    Wonderful writing

    My wife and I read it aloud together. We had seen the movie first and enjoyed both the similarities and the differences. I found the nonlinear style annoying at first but mostly came to appreciate it although I wondered how much seeing the movie helped me understand what was going on. The writing is beautiful and satisfying. A question: Why is Carravagio sliding down a rope a the end of the book. What is that about?!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 61 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 4