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The Match by Romesh Gunesekera
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The Match (2006)

by Romesh Gunesekera

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Cricket is one of the odder legacies of British imperialism. In this story of the Sri Lankan diaspora in the Philippines and Britain, Gunesekera uses cricket matches - at one end an amateur game between teams of expats, at the other a test match and a one-day international - to provide the defining moments in the narrative, much as the British schoolboy fiction of the great days of New Imperialism used to. His central character, Sunny, feels disconnected from life - living in places he has no real connection with and without any obvious family network. It's only the collective experience of the match that - ironic though its colonial origins are - helps him to regain a sense of belonging and realise that he is loved and capable of loving.
I enjoyed the detail of this book, and I liked the way Gunesekera keeps cheating us of neat narrative resolutions, but I felt it was straining a bit too much to make the cricket thing work effectively. ( )
  thorold | Jan 3, 2015 |
Not at all what I expected, but interesting nonetheless. The whole thing felt a little numb, I guess, and it just glided along. But I liked the writing, and it's different than the kind of thing I normally read. The multi-cultural aspects were interesting. ( )
  GraceZ | Sep 6, 2014 |
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Timing is the thing, the ageing Hector wrote from his home on the outskirts of Colombo.
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"As a teenager from Sri Lanka, Sunny is living the typical life of an expatriate in 1970s Manila - a privileged, carefree existence - until one day when the secret behind his mother's tragic death years earlier is accidentally revealed to him, turning Sunny's world upside down. His life takes a series of unexpected turns - first in England, where he meets the luminous Clara, and later in Sri Lanka, where he returns during a brief lull in the country's brutal civil war." "Spanning three countries and thirty years, and bookended by two masterfully described cricket matches that are unlike anything else in contemporary fiction, The Match is a touching exploration of the nature of loss and displacement, the search for identity and love, and the possibility, in the end, of redemption and renewal."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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