Welcome To The Kingdom of Edwin

Review of Entertaining  Strangers; Jonathan Taylor; Salt Publishing 2012; pp 312

– Shana Susan Ninan

Let’s talk ants. Jonathan Taylor’s Entertaining Strangers revolves around Edwin and his obsession with ants. His obsession is so acute that he walks, talks, and dreams ants. From making a “home” for ants to writing a book on the A-Z of ants, Edwin’s life’s focus is this tiny insect. He compares humans and their  structures to those of the ants’.

This tragic-comedy is a cherishing read. I loved the way Jonathan has weaved the plot – there aren’t the twists or turns of a thriller, nor the nail-bitingness of a mystery, but the characters and plot keep you going. The circular conversations and rhetorical questions are there to lend you some fun-filled reading.

The narrator, Jules, is quite funny, especially when he’s around Edwin or Edwin’s ex-wife. The writing is precise and fluent, even with long and windy sentences. I enjoyed the author’s imagination, which I must admit is super! Sometimes, the ant talk and narrative does get to your head, and you wish to read some paras differently, but the newness in Jonathan’s words and events makes you turn the page. The acknowledgement at the end answered my question as to how Jonathan came up with a story like this – he attributes it to a homeless lady whom he met and helped one night in 2001.

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Rating: 9.2/10 (12 votes cast)
Welcome To The Kingdom of Edwin, 9.2 out of 10 based on 12 ratings

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 28th, 2013 at 10:48 pm and is filed under Reviews, Tragic-comedy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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