Title: The English Patient Author: Michael Ondaatje Publisher: McLelland & Stewart Year of publication: 1992 The English Patient is set near the end of the Second World War. Hana, a young Canadian nurse from Toronto, leaves her unit and assigns herself a post in a small ruined villa near Florence so that she can take care of a victim of a plane crash. The patient had crashed into the desert in northern Africa and had been brought to Italy. He remembers nothing at first, but gradually familiar sounds and stories help him remember past events. He tells his story to Caravaggio, a Canadian spy who is posted next door, and to Kip, an Indian sapper who befriends Hana. The patient had been a member of a field team of desert mapmakers and fallen in love with Katherine, the woman on their teamÕs expedition. He relates their story of tragic love. This book is an very original idea. Reading any paragraph, the first thing one notices is that the description is entirely in the present tense. This approach give the book the flavor of a summary and makes the actions seem more real. The sentence structure is generally loose, and parts read much like poetry, like this: River-mud arrow-wood formaldehyde paraffin ether. ThatÕs a sentence on its own. The writing appeals to the readers mind mostly by making strong images. A film of this book was released recently, and is still in the theaters. It is an excellent reproduction of the book, and keeps to the plot very carefully. The pace of events is somewhat schizophrenic, though, because the English patientÕs story in the film is introduced early on, and the scene alternates between the desert in the 1930s and Italy during the war. That part of the story is given a stronger emphasis, a sub-plot that in the book is only introduced later. Overall, I found this book to be a wonderful study in love. The relationship between Katherine Clifton and the patient reminded me of Catherine and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a long, thoughtful, informative read. The movie, although it presents a bit less background information than we need, is also a sure bet. Thank You.