Chinaman

Shehan Karunatilaka

Chinaman

Retired sportswriter WG Karunasena is dying. He will spend his final months drinking arrack, making his wife unhappy, ignoring his son and tracking down Pradeep S. Mathew, a spin bowler who has mysteriously disappeared and who WG considers ‘the greatest cricketer to walk the earth’. 3.9 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
Chinaman

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Hardcover
Pages 432
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication April 2011
ISBN 978-0224091459
Publisher Jonathan Cape
 

Retired sportswriter WG Karunasena is dying. He will spend his final months drinking arrack, making his wife unhappy, ignoring his son and tracking down Pradeep S. Mathew, a spin bowler who has mysteriously disappeared and who WG considers ‘the greatest cricketer to walk the earth’.

Reviews

The Guardian

Nicholas Lezard

I can hardly believe this is a first novel by someone self-described as a bass-player and advertising copywriter, the dumbest jobs in music and writing. He has with no apparent effort got into the mind of an articulate, wise, but despairing and cynical drunken old hack, and this long, languorous and winding novel has registers of tragedy, farce, laugh-out-loud humour and great grace.

17/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Independent

Salil Tripathi

Cricket allows Karunatilaka the outfield to show what his country is capable of, without being overt about it. For concurrent with Sri Lanka's cricket success is the appalling fraying of the nation – Tamil separatism, suicide bombs, the brutal end of the war, and the devastation of the 2004 tsunami ... What Karunatilaka has produced may or may not be the Great Sri Lankan Novel. Other worthy contenders exist, and parts of Chinaman are genuinely abstruse for those who see cricket as a game of flannelled fools. But it a Great Cricket Novel.

29/04/2011

Read Full Review


The Observer

Tishani Doshi

It is incredibly funny, and while it does occasionally meander with the laboriousness of a test match, the heart of this expansive novel isn't just about cricket. It's a story about many stories: friendships, rivalries, nationhood, the undesirability of old age, the quantification of genius and other "unknowables"...

01/05/2011

Read Full Review


The Times

Kate Saunders

It’s funny and original, extremely revealing about Sri Lanka, and as for the cricket, in the author’s own words: “If you can’t understand why anyone would watch, let alone obsess over this dull game, then this is the book for you.” Brilliant.

30/04/2011

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Adam Lively

Steering just the right side of sentiment, Chinaman is a debut bristling with energy and confidence, a quixotic novel that is both an elegy to lost ambitions and a paean to madcap dreams.

24/04/2011

Read Full Review


The Financial Times

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney

Chinaman is the Singapore-based Karunatilaka’s first novel, and betrays a rawness you might expect from a first-timer. The chronological structure darts around confusingly and there’s an awkwardly tacked-on subplot about an English expat friend accused of pederasty. Pages are dense with dialogue and characters. Yet Chinaman’s free-wheeling, zany tempo is part of its charm too...

29/04/2011

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore