Alentejo Blah

The Guardian digests Monica Ali’s Alentejo Blue in a few deft paragraphs, and sums it up in one line:

“Mad Portuguese and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”

Other reviews have been politely underwhelmed, though there’s some faint praise here.


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2 responses to “Alentejo Blah”

  1. Amit Chatterji Avatar

    Baboo,I think you’re being too dismissive, probably even before reading the book (or have you read already?). Ali is moderately young, moderately good-looking, quite talented and has a super-agent in Nicole Aragi. So how bad could the book be? And she deserves grace points for having to deliver the second novel of a two-book deal. It’s like writing at gun point. Some of her old short stories stored in her purse, and that how-to book (How to link up short stories into a literary novel?, ed. P. Mishra, Picador, 2000) might have come handy.

  2. Hurree Avatar

    She’s still a wonderful stylist, but Alentejo Blue was disappointing. It’s not that the book is bad; it’s just not particularly good. Beautiful, lackadaisical sentences, finely crafted but empty prose; the involvement that she displayed in Brick Lane seems to be missing here. It does read, really, like a book that was written at gunpoint!

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