[PDF] The Black Isle BY Sandi Tan

review The Black Isle

Nted and lonely Cassandra at first tries to ignore her ability to see the restless apparitions that drift down the street and crouch in cold corners at school Yet despite her struggles with these spirits Cassandra comes to love her troubled new home And soon she attracts the notice of a dangerously charismatic man Even as she becomes a fearless young woman the Isle's dark forces. note i m uite surprised that people actually read my midnight review that was riddled with grammatical errors lol Even I can t make sense of what I wrote Truth to be told This 90th book of my reading challenge that made the most lasting impact in all my days of 2012 s reading First of all because the story is set in a place and in a time settings that I was naturally familiar with Second I was familiar with the characterizations and understand the ravages that plague the characters Third although Asian history was not on of my favourable subject but the book made it intriguing enough to make me continue reading from past midnight till dawn it was around 6am now and last night before my kitchen class I had drunk a potent concoction of caffeine and chocolate that kept me awake even after my usual nightly babysitting of my fussy baby nephew that instead of continuing sleeping on this very bed amidst being surrounded by the warmth that I had left after sitting in avid trance at a length of time I went on to review the book while it s still freshWhy suddenly I m filled with flowery words now I blame the book ReallyThe descriptive writing style is linear and easy to comprehend It flows with occasional setbacks from the futures and the timeline converging itself into a memoir told by an old woman about her past Personally I can hardly find fault in the author s writing style and I rarely read descriptive novels I do enjoy reading her prose despite it being too infectiously flowery The story was written in the woman s point of views with careful fluidity of a structured storylines and it does contrast to the dark world of the darkest part of the centuryThe story is narrated in several time frames from the introduction of the narrator an old woman in the future to the narrator s past when she was called Ying with her family in Shanghai As a child she had led a rather privilege life despite her growing up to an absent father a shrewd mother an attention hungry twin brother a finicky sets of sisters and the watchful eyes of her maids Then one day an incident tore at the relationship between her and her brother made her became sensitive enough that she began to see ghastly things in her room As the world at the brink of the first war and as the inevitable events that surround the 20th century era finally led her father her twin brother and herself being spirited away to a curious isle called Black Isle or Pulau Hitam leaving her mother and twin sisters to their old house in ShanghaiHer relationships with her two family member were strained heavily and she began to find herself occupied by a mysterious man called Mr Odell whom she eventually carry a flame for and whom she looked up to When they arrived to the island she immediately found herself repelled by the astral beings and divide of the caste in the new world where she have to call home She eventually being schooled in a catholic school that was filled with haunted beings that plagued her every move and with every little things she try to do not everything had happen as she expected Cassandra was a character that I was a bit curious about and had some of the traits that hated She was a strong soul but had a hunger need to be seen but not seen With every mistake she made her character grew with every year and events that scarred her She reminded me a bit of Cersei Lannister which actually there are similarities at some moments in the middle of the story that made me stare in surprise She sees the world in a really small frame and ambitious enough until she realized her mistake but then its too late She was confusing and at some times can be extremely frustrating and can be idiotic She s intriguing which made her somehow complicated and layered as a real person which made her a decent character to be readIn the beginning of the book I was a bit confused with the story until the end where I look up again to the beginning and saw the broken pictures that consisted of the map of the South East Asia and the curious island Here s the deal the Malay peninsula was severely cropped leaving anything below Perak and parts of Terengganu Pahang Malacca parts of Selangor and west of Johor absent from the map leaving a very large dot of an island that was where the place was set in and exaggerating the island I don t know about you fresh water is an issue in the island the issue that was absent in the novel I was reading the book thinking that the Black Isle was the size of Singapore since obviously from reading the book that the whole story is a fictionalized Singapore but since the island is right on top of Johor that was somehow a glaring historical bias especially with the portrayals of the locals in the bookIn case you re wondering Singapore is a part of Malaya until 1965 so essentially from the map and at the end of the book you get a feeling that most of the story does had the feeling of being sanitized I really need to convince myself that it s just a fiction since the book does have several plot holes in its superbly superstitiously noir world Since the story was from the 20th century till the 21st the story revolved around the issue of mass migrations the social caste between the residents the british empire the locals superstitions the conditions in the rubber plantation the world war II with the Japanese occupying the Asia Pacific communism the late 20th century s economy To include a barrage of historical issue in one book is deary enough for the readers but for me it was until the end of war in the book that was what made me sceptical and the plot holes became apparent enough that it left me with the feeling of half glass empty the whole timeJapanese war experiments was a major subplot in the book but curiously so is the absence of British POW in the book which are prominent Not everyone left I actually know an English guy who told me that his father was in Malaya when the Japanese arrived To date his father was still mute about his experience In history the British soldiers were taken to concentration and prison camps Some were killed starved to death made to work until they were just bags of bones The Japanese reign in Asia pacific lasted only several years but it left a huge scar to old veterans and the locals It is rare to find older people who are willing to tell the depravities of the Japanese in the time of war If you look up Burmese Death Rail you ll see that it was build by the blood of these POWsEven now there are still unsolved issues in the current government especially with the higher people trying to shut down those who want to be seen such as the comfort woman pre teen and teenage girls sent to various parts of the war conuered parts to be a sexual release to the soldiers Its also a way to control venereal diseases that plague the soldiers So in a way the book doesn t give much to the readers in terms of the realitiesAnd it s uite fascinating that for a tale set in Nusantara part of South East Asia that there are absolute no mention of the Malay royalties and the social caste of Malays in a predominantly Nusantara area there are Bourgeois Malays in that era not just slaves and coolies in rubber plantation In fact food rationing was severe in those times that a lot of people resort to using barleys or tapioca since rice were in short supplyI would understand it being a subject that the author wasn t familiar with but in recent year s I ve experience and seen weird mystical things by superstitious people when I visited down south and honestly there s a bunch of Indonesian related mysticism that can be explored to make the portrayed supernatural to be a child s play I also found the Issa is an unconvincing character for a Malay witchdoctor some things I just had to raise an eyebrow about that the whole thing plot around him was kind of bland and seems like something that the author simplified so much that I feel the idea wasn t being fully researched properly I guaranteed you this any mention of Malay mysticism in this book is just a pinky dip to a vast sea of the things that you could make a whole new fiction about But again it is not a major grievance since I do not expect it from the authorThis year I have being exposed to the Australian sleuth series s Miss Fisher s Murder Mysteries and the story was set in between the world wars like this book and does included communism mentions in the series by struggling post WWI veterans against the British capitalist In this book the communism sentiments was prevalent among some of the character due to the Japanese occupation and later the British Frankly it was way complicated by that I was sort of curious why that was also oversimplified Unlike this book the communists rebels post Japanese occupation was obviously based on Malayan People s Anti Japanese Army a product of the Maoist idealism and an army of people hell bent to kill those who survived the war that are suffering the least This is the reality that a lot of innocent people were killed while these groups are rampaging through the states seeking Japanese sympathisers and unruly enough that the British migrate people from the entire state just to avoid these communists attacking the people for food and shelter Most of this happen in gun pointsThis effectively sanitize the whole era of terror the whole world politics involved and although it make the supernatural story that was prevalent in the book seemed plausible but at history context there s a lot of weakness in the bookThe main issue in the book was that it was the idea that the British left the island colony upon hearing the incoming Japanese invasion that the people of the island were helpless until the end of the invasion due to the atomic bombs and when the British came and expect things to be as it is until the people rise against them Here s the thing the invasion happen only days before Pearl s Harbor It happened so suddenly that the british who had armed the sea outposts looking for incoming soldiers haven t expected was that the Japanese infiltrated from the thickness of indochina jungles into the peninsular using just bikes and avoiding the heavily defended sea There was hundred of thousands British soldiers that were caught and became Prisoners of war in a blinkI was familiar with this since I was literally drowned by the reading materials and rereadings that all of these information had stuck like a glue in my long term memory and I do occasionally watched the documentaries of the eras read stories of the era and listening to my family s war stories and other people s war stories In fact could make a whole historical fiction book based on what I kept inside my head So naturally I caught the discrepancies in the storylines that it was apparent that the author was made unaware of a lot of these or the editors itself felt it was harmless enough Well here s the thing about historical fiction For someone who may not familiar of what happened with the era in this side of the world can magically became factsTo argue about the accuracies you could always take it to an alternate dimension take But AGAIN it s a bloody fiction I just leave it to thatFrankly I enjoy the book since the book is magnificently well written to the end despite some of the things I ve encountered along reading this that made me feel like it was a bit overzealous with its shock factor attempts there s a lot of subplots in the book that can make a person blush or scratch their heads And after I have analysed through my thoughts and feelings after the initial awesomeness subsides I found that I had serious misgivings about the historical aspect of the story I would have been forgiving had not it bug me while writing this review which influence my re rating for the book Most of all since I was VERY familiar with the era and I do live in the culture and the languages and familiar with the people issues and understand a HUGE chunk of what the book is portraying the book made me very critical to it In a good waySo for average readers I do not think my issues for this book may bother you since its still a uality fiction with a storyline that was unlike anything you ve read in about Asian Literature sectionHowever I do think its a good book that I would recommend if you like reading a combination of some genre with prominent adult horror storylines and adult historical setting but full of adult drama and contain serious romance elements The book might be hard on the stomach but the uality of the writing is refreshing and for most parts on local flavours of this part of Asia the story does feel natural to be read I do expect to come by this authorFor easier comparison its like True Singapore Ghost Stories meet Romance in the Rain meet The Haunted Changi meet Memoirs of a GeishaThe ARC is supplied by the Grand Central Publishing via Netgalleycom and will be published on 7th August 2012I clue you in do pre order this book and I m sorry that I do a too bloody long review but what to do it was my turfMy blogpost for this review

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The Black Isle

There are ghosts on the Black Isle Ghosts that no one can see No oneexcept Cassandra Uprooted from Shanghai with her father and twin brother young Cassandra finds the Black Isle's bustling immigrant filled seaport swampy jungle and grand rubber plantations a sharp contrast to the city of her childhood And she soon makes another discovery the Black Isle is swarming with ghosts Hau. What first intrigued me about this book is its paranormal element I don t often read much historical fiction unless it either comes highly recommended or the defined plot is irresistibly alluring choosing Sandi Tan s debut novel presented the latter element I m amazed by how deeply I was absorbed in a novel which considered such a range of topics I ve never deliberately explored To be engrossed by Cassandra s haunting past and seized by events rooted in Asian culture verifies the author s skillfulness in liberating a history which is regularly silenced The experience of reading this book was both enjoyable and educational a balance that is cherished for its infreuencyThe Black Isle tells a story brought to life by dimensional characters a vivid setting and the author s honed craft of careful and deliberate writing The metaphors that are delicately weaved throughout the novel work to enhance the reality of Cassandra s burdensome endeavors as she struggles to accept who she becomes during evolving situations Tan s characters are unuestionably complex absolutely every character she introduces is not who they initially appear to be The author carefully introduces taboo subjects without relieving the reader s comfortWhat concerned me throughout the book was the resigned attitude of the main character during circumstances which permitted even invited her retaliation Cassandra stood resolute and passive In her past she has amply proven that she takes pleasure in speaking her mind but as she grows old and submits to her age she represses her own ability to be heard and readily ceases to exercise her opinion to those who are in dire need of a wake up call Rather than her ability to see and speak to ghosts it becomes apparent that she is actually cursed by her reserved silence Nonetheless Cassandra is a strong character She may not flaunt an unfettered courage or brute strength but her ability to endure in the most hopeless situations is unparalleledIn The Black Isle the reader will uickly become entranced by Cassandra s somber and sagacious tale as they too gradually fail to resist the ghosts that haunt themRating 12 455 The Bachelors Christmas Bride unless it either comes highly recommended or the defined plot is irresistibly alluring choosing Sandi Tan s debut novel presented the latter element I m amazed by how deeply I was absorbed in a novel which considered such a range of topics I ve never deliberately explored To be engrossed by Cassandra s haunting past and seized by events rooted in Asian culture verifies the author s skillfulness in liberating a history which is regularly silenced The experience of reading this book was both enjoyable and educational a balance that is cherished for its infreuencyThe Black Isle tells a story brought to life by dimensional characters a vivid setting and the author s honed craft of careful and deliberate writing The metaphors that are delicately weaved throughout the novel work to enhance the reality of Cassandra s burdensome endeavors as she struggles to accept who she becomes during evolving situations Tan s characters are Manhattan Boss Diamond Proposal unuestionably complex absolutely every character she introduces is not who they initially appear to be The author carefully introduces taboo subjects without relieving the reader s comfortWhat concerned me throughout the book was the resigned attitude of the main character during circumstances which permitted even invited her retaliation Cassandra stood resolute and passive In her past she has amply proven that she takes pleasure in speaking her mind but as she grows old and submits to her age she represses her own ability to be heard and readily ceases to exercise her opinion to those who are in dire need of a wake The Photographers Quick Guide To Photoshop Cs6 up call Rather than her ability to see and speak to ghosts it becomes apparent that she is actually cursed by her reserved silence Nonetheless Cassandra is a strong character She may not flaunt an Petals Drifting unparalleledIn The Black Isle the reader will Quyn S uickly become entranced by Cassandra s somber and sagacious tale as they too gradually fail to resist the ghosts that haunt themRating 12 455

Sandi Tan Þ 6 Download

Won't let her go War is looming and Cassandra wonders if her uniue gift might be her beloved island's only chance for salvation Taking readers from the 1920s through the Japanese occupation during WWII to the Isle's radical transformation into a gleaming cosmopolitan city The Black Isle is a sweeping epic a deeply imagined fiercely original tale from a vibrant new voice in fictio. This was an interesting novel but with many flawsI cannot point out the flaws without giving away the novels basic story The major shortcoming I think is the protagonist how for a smart woman has a terrible time picking men to fall in love withit is a good first book


10 thoughts on “The Black Isle

  1. says:

    I was floored with THE BLACK ISLE from the second I started reading it Written in a voice that's so incredibly engaging that you can't take your eyes from the page it sucks you into an old world China where women are barely second class citizens and depending on your status superstition rules your lifeCassandra goes through an epic transformation throughout the book The story starts with Cassandra as an old wo

  2. says:

    What first intrigued me about this book is its paranormal element I don’t often read much historical fiction unless it

  3. says:

    While The Black Isle is absolutely beautifully written some of the content is just not for me The story is intriguing it's a dark and

  4. says:

    Let's just call a spade a spade The Black Isle is pretty much Singapore transmogrified into something unrecognizable but still familiar it is unfortunate but thic book comes across as a mish mash of historic fantasy and magic realism with altered realism winning out in the endAs a resident of the 'Black Isle' as Sandi once

  5. says:

    Well I really hate calling it uits but this is just not grabbing me at all I had full intentions of setting it aside for now and coming it bac

  6. says:

    #note i'm uite surprised that people actually read my midnight review that was riddled with grammatical errors lol Even I can't make sense of what I wrote Truth to be told This 90th book of my reading challenge that made the most lasting impact in all my days of 2012's reading First of all because the story is set in a place and in a time settings that I was naturally familiar with Second I was familiar with the characterizatio

  7. says:

    This was an interesting novel but with many flawsI cannot point out the flaws without giving away the novels basic story The major shortcoming I think is the protagonist how for a smart woman has a terrible time picking men to fall in love withit is a good first book

  8. says:

    She's an old Asian woman who lives by routine making weekly visits to the store to the laundry doing what old women doMost important she goes to the archive section of the library every Saturday to visit the book the book that contained her photograph surrounded by a story filled with lies but that revealed one truth She can communicate with ghostsThen one Saturday she finds the book she's been uietly visiting for decades has been

  9. says:

    Please forgive the random flow of this review I am supremely aggravated and all I can say is WHAT THE WHAT???I want my 3 days of reading back This gets 1 star and a DNFreally I want to give it5 but alas I didn't finish the book but 100 pages from the end of a 452 page book that hasn't shown a hint of what I signed up for

  10. says:

    I wish I had a way with words because my reviews never fully convey my awe THE BLACK ISLES a novel by Sandi Tan has left my wordless I honestly can't describe how thoroughly it drew me in; I felt like I was living in turn of the century Asia on a small island trying to decide who it was trying to decide who I was I was completely engrossed by the Asian cultureBLACK ISLES was told in two point of views an old woman recording her

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