Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Archive for July 9th, 2006

A Crowded Heart

Posted by nliakos on July 9, 2006

by Nicholas Papandreou, Picador 1999 (orig. published 1996)

ISBN 0-312-20400-0

This is supposed to be a novel–it even says so on the cover!–but it is a thinly veiled one at best.  The narrator, like the author, was born in California to an American mother and Greek father who is heir to a political dynasty, just like Andreas Papandreou, former Greek Prime Minister and father of the author.  The book describes the boy’s childhood and coming of age from about age eight to seventeen, set in Greece and Toronto.  It was undoubtedly a difficult childhood: only part Greek, not even fluent in the language, the boy must live up to a certain standard of behavior, and his life, like that of all politkcal families, was very public.  I am sure it wasn’t easy.

That said, there is no real plot; no ascending action, no climax, no real resolution.  The book reads more like a memoir or collection of autobiographical essays than a novel.  It is interesting and well written, but not gripping.  It was also an easy read and quite short, only 177 pages.

I am left wondering to what extent the events were fictionalized, if at all.

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