[PDF / Epub] ☆ Kartography By Kamila Shamsie – Bilb-weil.de

I was going to give this a 4, but then had to settle for a 3.5 3 on Goodreads due to the very fact that the author, in the name of whatever you call it, introduces something at the very end of the book.I was drawn to this book by its title which finds an explanation in the book in a nice way and the Goodreads blurb Fiction set in Pakistan is always something that I look forward to reading particularly after Moth Smoke and it helps that the author is a native of Pakistan and knows the geo I was going to give this a 4, but then had to settle for a 3.5 3 on Goodreads due to the very fact that the author, in the name of whatever you call it, introduces something at the very end of the book.I was drawn to this book by its title which finds an explanation in the book in a nice way and the Goodreads blurb Fiction set in Pakistan is always something that I look forward to reading particularly after Moth Smoke and it helps that the author is a native of Pakistan and knows the geography well Set in a timeline which makes 1971 the center of the premise figuratively and chronologically, Kartography is a tale of people affected by the partition of East and West Pakistan The characters central to the book, Karim and Raheen, are easily the most lovable characters that I have come across in the recent part With their own sense of incompleteness and indecisiveness, the characters find a great place in this story which traverses along geography and timelines while continuing to get back to the happenings of 1971 The keyword that I d like to associate with this book is the consistency The story could have been a short story of less than 50 pages in length However, Kamila decides to weave in a lotdetail and does not expose the Why of a major happening in the book until the last few chapters While this book easily runs the risk of being dismissed as a slow book, it is the element of suspense that drives you to move forward in this book.This was my first Kamila Shamsie book and I am glad I picked it up after having it in my TBR for over 6 months Looking forward to readingof her books soon Can angels lie spine to spine If not, how they must envy us humansGOD The Ending O O I read and re read it for many times It was kind of out of nowhere Kamila did a great job And she has a way with words I can see you, out there, reading between the lines.Come home, stranger.Come home, untangler of my thoughts.Come home and tell me, what do I do with this breaking heart of mine And thank god, I didn t miss the following paragraph In Karachi s streets even the mourners turn their fa Can angels lie spine to spine If not, how they must envy us humansGOD The Ending O O I read and re read it for many times It was kind of out of nowhere Kamila did a great job And she has a way with words I can see you, out there, reading between the lines.Come home, stranger.Come home, untangler of my thoughts.Come home and tell me, what do I do with this breaking heart of mine And thank god, I didn t miss the following paragraph In Karachi s streets even the mourners turn their faces skywards to the rain and falling leaves.Between sheets of water, indistinct figures dance together.I take Karim s hand and pull him into the music Follow me, I say I know the way Raheen And Her Best Friend, Karim, Share An Idyllic Childhood In Upper Class Karachi Their Parents Were Even Once Engaged To Each Others Partners Until They Rematched In What They Call The Fianc E Swap But As Adolescence Distances The Friends, Karim Takes Refuge In Maps While Raheen Searches For The Secret Behind Her Parents Exchange What She Uncovers Reveals Not Just A Family S But A Country S Turbulent History And A Grown Up Raheen And Karim Are Caught Between Strained Friendship And Fated Love A Love Story With A Family Mystery At Its Heart, Kartography Is A Dazzling Novel By A Young Writer Of Astonishing Maturity And Exhilarating Style Shamsie Transports Us To A World We Have Not Often Seen In Fiction Vibrant, Dangerous, Sensuous Pakistan But Even As She Takes Us Far From The Familiar, Her Story Of Passion And Family Secrets Rings Universally True I was all ready to give this book 4 stars until the final 2 pages I m curious to know what others thought of the ending, but without writing a spoiler review I don t understand it AT ALL It s in a completely different writing style than the rest of the book i.e almost a confusing poem style, not a book story style I was left not understanding at all what happened to the main characters in the book I loved the story, even better loved all the book characters Raheen, Karim, Sonia and Zia I was all ready to give this book 4 stars until the final 2 pages I m curious to know what others thought of the ending, but without writing a spoiler review I don t understand it AT ALL It s in a completely different writing style than the rest of the book i.e almost a confusing poem style, not a book story style I was left not understanding at all what happened to the main characters in the book I loved the story, even better loved all the book characters Raheen, Karim, Sonia and Zia, and then their parents I liked their strengths and their flaws I liked how the book went back and forth in time and how the sins of the parents continued to affect their lives of their children I felt REALLY fortunate that I had just finished before this book A Golden Age about the war for independence in Bangladesh, so I knew about all of the human right abuses in that country perpetrated by the Pakistani military Kartography constantly references 1971 and alludes to a lot of these abuses, so it was great to have some idea of what had happened in that war In any case, I really liked the book, hated the ending I m now going to be left searching the Internet endlessly trying to guess what actually happened at the end of the book Who wants to do that after reading a book All you want is to know what happens to a book s main characters Why would an author do this, completely change her writing style for the last 2 pages So odd, and SO frustrating I remembered loving the book when I read it a few years ago Yesterday as I finished the book in one sitting, I remembered why I d loved it as much as I did The premise is touted as a love story between soul mates Raheen and Karim, set amidst ethnic and political factions in Karachi This in itself covers a lot of issues such as ethnic, religious and socio economic prejudices, changing history, redemption, forgiveness, whether one big consequential action defines a person, as well as the conc I remembered loving the book when I read it a few years ago Yesterday as I finished the book in one sitting, I remembered why I d loved it as much as I did The premise is touted as a love story between soul mates Raheen and Karim, set amidst ethnic and political factions in Karachi This in itself covers a lot of issues such as ethnic, religious and socio economic prejudices, changing history, redemption, forgiveness, whether one big consequential action defines a person, as well as the concept of love fate, as a verb, dynamic and everlasting The strength of the novel lies in its characters They are treated with compassion, without excusing their mis actions The maps are analogous to the complexity of characters On one hand, maps can be used to get from point A to point B, bring order to a chaos and increase efficiency On the other hand, maps are the illustrators of stories, which describe the heartbeat of a city, its people and its history Likewise, the characters in this story are good and bad, flawed and admirable, irritating and generous, wise and silly, and ultimately perfect because they made you stop for a minute and think about who you are And that is why the book is so brilliant it makes you realize, perhaps even understand and accept, how truth changes with time As do people 2.5 stars to be exact. A very quick read Not very special Probably good if you want something easy for your next long flight.Though Shamsie depicts some pecularities of Pakistani society very accurately her main theme is not capturing She believes too much in the perfect match and destiny Her message is well intended but her insight to the differences in society rich and poor, generational conflicts, historical implications and the East West culture remain superficial I didn t learn anything new from her. SPOILERS Ahead Consider yourself warnedKartography is a book set in my dear hometown, Karachi I guess that is reason enough to love it but that is not the only reason At it s heart, Kartography is a beautiful love story between two childhood best friends who are a made for each other coupleit just takes them some time to reconcile to that fact I loved the description of Karachi and I also hated it at the same time because it was so very true The road near 2 talwar, I guess it s alwa SPOILERS Ahead Consider yourself warnedKartography is a book set in my dear hometown, Karachi I guess that is reason enough to love it but that is not the only reason At it s heart, Kartography is a beautiful love story between two childhood best friends who are a made for each other coupleit just takes them some time to reconcile to that fact I loved the description of Karachi and I also hated it at the same time because it was so very true The road near 2 talwar, I guess it s always supposed to remain nameless The description about the high society I don t really know if that is accurate But what I do know that the attitude is very accurate Karachiites are a bunch of very resilient people Tragedy strikes, we cry, we scream, we mourn, and then we just get on with our lives There is so much tragedy all around that people from all classes and ranks of life have their own sanctuaries to seek refuge from all this madness Each and every one of us have a coping mechanism to push our problems to the back of our minds and steal some moments each day to laugh with our loved ones friends.I read about the unstable law and order conditions of the city and that still rings true even today People are targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, race, color and religion The biggest surprise is that each and everyone of us has as diverse a group of friends as shown in the book a mix of Punjabi, Sindhi, Muhajir, Bengali etc And yet, ironically, even these so called intellectual minds born in this metropolitan city and sometimes educated in foreign universities fail to stand up for each other For a moment I thought living in Karachi is like living in the dystopian world of Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games I wonder if are we ever going to learn from 1971 Or are we waiting for another event like that I think it s time to put our egos aside if we actually care for Pakistan.I have always believed that Karachi is my home I believe the city is in my blood I want to travel the world, but at the end of the day I want to come home to Karachi But sometimes I wonder if I had a chance at a better life someplace else like Karim did would I be courageous enough to return Or would I cowardly abandon the city that has taught me to fly Especially since I might not even have a reason to return like Karim didhis soul mate, Raheen The trouble with books that end poorly is that no matter how much you enjoyed the beginning, it s always those last few pages, that collapsed narrative, those damning passages that linger in your memory You forget, several years later, how much you relished the first 200 pages, how tightly the prose gripped you, how quickly you devoured it And so when I slammed Kartography shut, exhausted by the redundance of its last 50 70 pages, I tried to separate the beginning that I did race through f The trouble with books that end poorly is that no matter how much you enjoyed the beginning, it s always those last few pages, that collapsed narrative, those damning passages that linger in your memory You forget, several years later, how much you relished the first 200 pages, how tightly the prose gripped you, how quickly you devoured it And so when I slammed Kartography shut, exhausted by the redundance of its last 50 70 pages, I tried to separate the beginning that I did race through from the sorely disappointing end Sadly I realised that despite it being fast paced, parts of Kartography grated on me from the very beginning.Kartography is the story of Karim and Raheen, two best friends growing up in an increasingly violent Karachi Intriguingly and somewhat salaciously, Karim s father used to be engaged to Raheen s father and vice versa Despite this mysterious partner swap, the families remain admirably close The only explanation from Raheen s father for this swap is that the music changed Karim s mother, Maheen is a Bengali living in West Pakistan at the time of the brutal civil war that created Bangladesh Shamsie hints that her ethnicity somehow plays a role in the partner exchange, but the reader is denied the details.Against this suspenseful backdrop, Kartography is ostensibly a tale of children growing up in 1980s Karachi, a period when the city was once again beset by ethnic strife Frightened and frustrated by the violence, Karim s father decides to move the family to England, a decision that both separates the best friends and destroys Karim s parents marriage For reasons that Raheen and the reader never fully understand, Karim is never the same again Though they keep in touch, Karim is conflicted between his undeniable love for Raheen and a dark truth that gnaws at this helpeless love He develops an obsession with maps, as if by lending structure to Karachi s streets, he could make sense of his beloved, imploding home.Shamsie does a decent job in driving home the irrational and fatal grasp of ethnic struggles, stressing that no one no matter how upright is immune from the madness of war While making this point, she often overexplains to the point of being didactic, but it s an important message, one relevant to all wars, not just the largely forgotten Pakistani civil war Shamsie also evokes the constant struggle of expats between the staid comforts of the West and the love, loyalty and guilt that draws them back to their troubled homelands.That said, one of my biggest gripes with the book from the very beginning was Shamsie s dialogue It is unattractively witty Every character speaks with arch self consciousness, meaning Shamsie clearly could not separate her own voice from that of her characters The most glaring offender is the banter between the four teenagers The dialogue between the kids especially between Karim and Raheen, but Zia and Sonia were guilty too was unrealistic and annoyingly precious Maybe one precocious 13 year old could make jokes about kinky communist parties, but 4 precocious 13 year olds infusing their comments with casual socio political references and scathing wit was a bit excessive The end result is that most of Shamsie s conversations are structurally really contrived, even if they are substantively interesting Despite these irritations, I finished the book in one sitting, urgently wanting to solve the mystery behind the spouse swap Shamsie builds up a crescendo that is enticing, making the reader desperate to know why Karim s mother and Raheen s father broke up, why they remained close friends and why this knowledge ultimately repels Karim away from Raheen Unfortunately, the denouement of this narrative is seriously underwhelming Shamsie never adequately explains any of the characters motivations or reactions Raheen harps on about being ashamed of the last letter she wrote to Karim, but I re read it several times trying to figure out what was so offensive Yasmin s forgiving nonchalance is lazily written Ali s immunity from ethnic issues is never addressed Zafar s hysteria is flat Karim s hatred is warranted, but strangely uncompelling I kept waiting forsinister revelations to come tumbling out, but they never did Worst of all, the book continues for 70 odd pages after this big climax Here Shamsie s writing is clumsy and rudderless, never quite knowing how to make its way home, hysterically connecting every sub plot and character to each other for no real reason Still, Kartography isn t as bad as I am making it out to be Shamsie clearly has a lot of talent Her prose is lush with symbolism and shamelessly lovely in certain parts Never is her writingincandescent than when she is describing Karachi She writes, It hits you in unexpected moments, this city s romance everywhere, air pockets of loveliness just when your lungs can t take any congestion or pollution or stifling newspaper headlines I knew that there were so many reasons to fail to love it, to cease to love it, to be unable to love it, that it made love a fierce and unfathomable thing It might be cliched to invoke the city as character trope but in Kartography, Karachi really is the main character, one I empathized with most and understood best Perhaps this is because I am from a city but 2 hours away by air, a bitterly estranged sibling, but one that shares Karachi s turbulent history, frustrating filth, maddening chaos but most of all its inexplicable, heart wrenching magnetism Kartography is not a perfect novel, but it is a quick read that is interesting in bits, frustrating in others sometimes beautiful, other times blundering I wouldn t write Shamsie off completely, though If nothing else, her pained but beautiful description of Karachi compels me to search outof her work I loved this book On the one hand, it s a story about love and friendships and growing up On the other, it takes on much bigger themes betrayal, forgiveness, morals I don t know why I have never read Kamila Shamsie before, but I definitely want to readof her work after reading this.