The English Patient Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The English Patient

"The English Patient" is a novel of overload. It is filled with images, poetical descriptions and overwhleming emotions. The story revolves around a burned spy pilot and his emotionally fragile nurse, Hana, after the second World War. The love story of the 'English' patient takes the reader on a series of passionate flashbacks that will eventually piece together his past and identity. Hana's romance remains in the present of the novel--her growing love for an Indian man named Kip. The settings of the books alternate between a small villa in Italy where Hana and the patient reside, and the deserts of Africa where the patient and his lover's doomed romance blossomed.
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The review of this Book prepared by Magnolia Peterson

Chapter Analysis of The English Patient

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's In love with caretaker or teacher    -   Yes Falling in love with    -   Nurse

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   spy Age/status:    -   20's-30's Sex makes him    -   sensitive    -   a better lover    -   scared    -   guilty Unusual characteristics?    -   Physically sick

Main Female Character

Age/status:    -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   nurse Effect of sexing    -   a better lover    -   scared Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy Desert?    -   Yes Desert:    -   dying of thirst, sunburn Air?    -   Yes Air:    -   warplane Misc setting    -   resort/hotel    -   fort/military installation

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths What % of story is romance related?    -   80% How explicit is the sex?    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   Boob talk Focus of story    -   equally on two couples How much dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Michael Ondaatje Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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