Monday, August 17, 2009


Pages: 290
Date: 17/08/2009
Grade: 4.5

Last February I was fortunate enough to see Colum McCann do a reading in the Central Library in Cavan (click here for a description of the evening), and found myself falling in love with his use of language and the passion with which he spoke about his writing and his books. It is very much to my shame that it took me this long to pick up one of his books and read it. However, it is a case of better late than never, and I found myself reading a fascinating, if not easy to read book.
It is the fictionalized story of Rudolf Nureyev's life, from his days as a boy in the Soviet Union, through his years in the west, to a short reunion with his family after more than half a life time of exile.
The picture painted is not one of a nice person. The Rudi emerging from these pages is someone who expected to be allowed and forgiven anything because of his talent, and found this to be, largely, true. There are glimpses of a nicer, more human, less selfish person, but overall it was like reading about a spoiled and over-indulged child who was never taught about boundaries and refused to accept that any existed for him.
The story is told through the eyes and words of various people in Nureyev's life, in several individual voices and writing styles. This turned it into one of the harder to read books this year, but also added greatly to making this book as fascinating as it was.

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