Monthly Archives: September 2008


Review: Ocean Sea

Posted 6 September, 2008 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review…with school starting again, my reviews will becoming sporadic again with everything that’s going on but I’ll try to post whenever I can. I might also start posting reviews and random comments on manga and anime series and stuff as I’ve been reading a ton lately xD Anyways, moving along now…

Ocean Sea
By: Alessandro Baricco

I’ve been waiting forever to get my hands on this book (had to put some money aside for this book as the price was a bit of a turnoff for some time (given the length of this book)). Anyways, Alessandro Baricco is the author of Silk (which was adapted into a movie starring Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley); as that book is probably his most well-known here in North America, you think I’d pick that book up first. But nope, it was Ocean Sea that caught my attention (and not just because it has the title conjures up endless sea and the cover was rather intriguing). Its premise is an interesting one: five different individuals all end up checking into a remote hotel facing the sea as a way to solve their troubles. For me, Ocean Sea is deeply rooted in the post-modern tradition of the novel (think stream of consciousness; book II is a clear example of this) so it was a different experience for me altogether (I hardly read post-modern books from the 20th century as I’m still going through the classics ;)); you had to really read each word and look beyond the the surface to really understand the psychological implications of what’s going on. Additionally, you have to suspend your sense of reality when you read this book as there are some mysterious elements that come into the story as you read along. But the events leading up to the end of the novel makes complete sense, including some twists that I didn’t figure. The journey that each of the characters make is compelling, like they’re all a metaphor on certain aspects of life. Even after I finished the novel, I was contemplating at exactly what the sea was supposed to represent: life? heaven? freedom? Another thing I liked about the book was the prose; I’m sure some meanings were lost in the translation from Italian to English but overall, it’s absolutely beautiful, another reason why you should read every single word in this novella. Overall, it’s an interesting novel that really gets you thinking about the deeper elements in life.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Learn more about Alessandro Baricco here || Order this book from the Book Depository