On Such A Full Sea
Chang-Rae Lee

Here is a book which will throw you for a loop, but do it in such a gentle and soft way, you will barely notice the jarring detour into the realm of sci fi.

Science fiction is not a genre of writing which I enjoy. I cannot put my finger on why I pass on this type of writing so readily. Perhaps because it is the world beyond reality; perhaps it is just sailing on the waters of what is not likely to ever be; perhaps I simply am not happy with the marriage of technology, invention and imagination. I dont know my reasons for avoiding this world of possibility.

But On Such A Full Sea is a captivating read. You can imagine the world as it is portrayed by Chang-Rae Lee as very possible, if not very imminent. The world as we know it has been changed, maybe destroyed environmentally and society has been polarized into “elitist” and “non-elitist” groups with Fan, our chief protagonist, a member of the latter.

The story follows Fan’s life from her work as fish tender in a fish farming system to her quest to find her love-mate, Reg.

The most captivating feature of the book is the incredible dynamics of the writer. He amazes in his selection of words and his sentence development. Nearly every sentence is a linguistic gem that will puzzle the reader if not draw out admiration for the lexiconic power of this writer.

The story 0pens with a languid calm, unthreatening to the reader’s comfort expectations. Gently the reader proceeds into every more shocking events and episodes. As one thinks about each episode or event, it becomes an easy matter to accept what is happening for the particular event is not far removed from what happens in our society today. Child molestation, human slavery, employment bondage, and such…all based on conditions of poverty and economic deprivation such as job loss.

As I am only three quarters of the way through the book, my review needs to be put on hold for the moment.

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