I was looking forward to enjoying this book, but was greatly disappointed. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Aw’s great prose and use of language, I did. If not because of that, I wouldn’t have survived 342 pages. What lacked in this novel, I find, was drama, suspense, thrill and the strength of the characters.
Almost all of the characters were given equal attention, so much so that it was so hard for me to fall in love with even one of them. Hence, I couldn’t feel their loss, loneliness, sadness (there was hardly any happiness or joy in this book :P) and fear, as compared to Tan Twan Eng’s characters in The Gift of Rain. Tan was so good that you could love every of its character. There were some parts I could hear myself saying ‘Tan, you better not kill this character…pleeease….’
In Map of the Invisible World, I felt none. The story was hardly engaging, lack of drama and suspense. I’m so sorry Tash, but that’s my truth. I mean, imagine lah, I didn’t even feel afraid for Adam (one of the brothers in this story) when he was ‘forced’ to be a participant in an assassination plot.
To put it plainly, imagine this: After reading more than half the book, you can afford to skip some pages, and you still wouldn’t miss anything important….
Next book please…
(Image of book taken from http://www.singaporewritersfestival.com/admin/data/Map-of-the-Invisible-world.jpg)