Originally posted on 06 Jul 2024

less than 1 minute read

Chandrasekera’s Saint of Bright Doors is one of my favourite books of recent years. I was first in the hold queue for his new novel, Rakesfall, when it appeared in my library’s catalog and I could hardly wait for it to arrive.

This latest book is obviously brilliant. I can tell, because it was such a bloody challenge to get through. I have to imagine that the meeting where Vajra explained the plot of the book to his editor looked a lot like this:

A wild-eyed, gesticulating man standing in front of a bulletin board covered with pieces of paper, connected by pins and a web of string

The praise blurb front and centre on the cover is “A fearless, hallucinatory novel” and that’s certainly accurate. Even days afterward, having had more time to think about it, I only vaguely know what the book was about or how it all fits together. It’s pretty obvious that it’s political commentary, at least, though the politics in question appear to be Sri Lankan and therefore not familiar to me.

I can’t say I enjoyed this work, purely because I couldn’t understand it very well. Given some time away from it, I’ll read it again to try to parse it.