Romesh Gunesekera’s Reef begins with the story’s narrator, Triton, filling up his tank at a petrol station in England. When he goes to pay, he notices that the. Romesh Gunesekera’s Reef manages to align and illustrate these two congruent ideas. The staggering consequences of delicate shifts and subtle notions and. 24 Jun But the shy cook who narrates Romesh Gunesekera’s serendipitous first passions with a reef lecture: REEF – Romesh Gunesekera: Granta.

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I heard Romesh Gunsekera on the BBC’s World Book Club and was tremendously impressed by his unassuming wisdom rerf ability to share his knowledge about fine writing. The quiet rhythms of Ranjan Salgado’s bachelor life and Triton’s kitchen are so satisfying that the usual readerly appetite for human conflict seems, in this context, a corrupt one.

Reef Summary

Triton takes note of the developments with a keen observing eye. In blissful ignorance it is completely beautiful; unruffled until its last moment, until it is too late.

Often stories are not just stories. We are also treated to some delightful gastroporn as the servant lovingly prepares gunesekea. The narrator, Triton, becomes Mister Salgado’s houseboy when he is 11, in Through these characters and the forty years of political disintegration their country endures, Gunesekera tells the tragic, sometimes comic, story of a lost paradise and a young man coming to terms with his destiny.

Fiction Book Review: Reef by Romesh Gunesekera, Author New Press $20 (p) ISBN

This page was last edited on 21 Augustat Wh I can’t give this book more than three stars because of how unevenly I liked the first and the second half of the book. There are rumours of political fissures around the island, but they are veiled teef the douceurs of civilised conversation taking place in the foreground. The eponymous reef—itself bleaching slowly into obscurity—furnishes an apt metaphor.


Mr Salgado is a marine biologist with an obsessive interest in all things related to the ocean that encircles the island paradise — in particular the nature, formation and fragility of the coral reef. So, it’s a lightweight book, a crisp and shimmering snowflake of a story that opens a channel for empathy, not solidarity. The bit about how earth, people, wounds, salt were related to water. Over perhaps ten years Triton becomes indispensable to Mister Salgado and when, some time in the 70s, mounting Tamil terrorism forces Mister Salgado into exile, there is no question but that Triton, by now attending to all of Mister Salgado’s domestic needs, will go with him.

I expected to learn more about Sri Lanka’s political changes, but details were skimpy. No fear of the eagle that would swoop down on it one day and rip its yellow feathers.

This is wholly original, very ambitious language, and it is often, like the descriptions, exquisite. Hence, I can’t give 5 stars.

This admixed delight and disgust is perhaps not unintended. Triton stayed in London, realizing that deep down he had always wanted to be on his own. Triton is a character of gentle innocence.

Reef (novel) – Wikipedia

Fill in your ginesekera below or click an icon to log in: The one which proves to have truly earned its myriad positive critical reviews.

We are also treated to some delightful gastroporn as the servant lo An engaging story of servant and master in Sri Lanka.


Follow Us on Facebook. Triton cooks a turkey for Thanksgiving for some visiting Americans, rwef he knows how to cook well so it is a success.

Reef Summary & Study Guide

Triton thought they should open a restaurant, and Mister Salgado eventually bought him an old snack-bar to start him on the path to making his dream come true. Almost immediately, thanks to his master’s obsessions, Triton works hard to please him with his carefully prepared delicacies. Suddenly everything becomes possible and the whole world, that before seemed slowly to be coming apart at the seams, pulls feef. The story relies less on Naipaul-like telling detail than on the nostalgia, the regret that the prose captures in structure as well as subject, a careful progression of guneseoera described venues, like photographs of the past, a succession of tableaux more than a sequence of dramatic scenes.

Salgado would’ve been people I knew or seen in the society pages of a Sunday Newspaper. Other recurring themes, threaded subtly throughout the narrative, gradually become visible. To find out more, including bg to control cookies, see here: His culinary artistry, like Mr.

The novel is rich in sensuous descriptions not only of the gardenlike loveliness of the countryside, but also of the pleasures of cooking, which Triton discovers as a creative outlet.

This study guide contains the following sections: After the failed love affair, master and servant leave for England. Get Reef from Amazon. Dec 29, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: