I STARED blankly into space after I finished Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach. McEwan always does that to me: he paralyzes me with wonder. As usual I was in a restaurant, whiling away time, as if I—an overworked medical intern—had extra time to while away. (My excuse: that I'm in the hospital most of the time, and that I need to see the outside world, too). I've had the book for months now but only started on it a few days ago. Short, sweet, and tragic—just the way I like love stories to be.
Two virgins discover each other on honeymoon night. This was in 1962, in a hotel on the Dorset coast in England. Edward Mayhew is a bookish fellow who dreams of writing about history. Florence Ponting is a violin player who comes from a wealthy family. Although they come from vastly different backgrounds they love each other very much, so much so that on their first night of what would be many matrimonial nights together, they want to make wonderful memories.
My initial concern with the plot was whether the story was going to turn out to be inappropriate. Thankfully McEwan runs through the story with impressive tact, showcasing delight and fear and uneasiness without being vulgar. Therein lies his genius: his ability to weave tales so elegantly worded, so beautifully crafted, that one longs for more after the last page.
THE CLOSEST thing I’ve come to being Chinese is to have been mistaken by rowdy Filipino OFWs as Chinese; this, while buying fruit juice at S...
End of the road at Pierce Point, Singapore, taken during an early morning walk. There’s no virtue in it for me—I wake up early. It was n...
I'VE DONE away with the two-column template with the drop cap—I will miss it, of course, but it limited what I can do with the photograp...
MACARTHUR by Filipino writer Bob Ong is a short, powerful novel about four boys raised in Manila's slums. I read it early this morning...
Give us this day our daily bread is a familiar phrase, part of the Lord’s Prayer we’ve memorized since the time it was taught to us in schoo...
I don’t remember the last funeral I had attended. My experience with death is largely limited to the hospital: me, attending to a code, defi...
I got a couple of emails from a few readers asking me for tips about the NMAT (National Medical Achievement Test), the big qualifying exam...
I got an email from a reader asking me for tips for the UP College of Medicine interview. I don't know how else to respond, except to sa...
PGH experiences sweltering afternoons, what with the lack of centralized airconditioning in the Charity Wards—and rightly so. We prioritiz...
Another month has ended. These days, I only force myself to blog whenever the month ends, if only to place bookends to chapters of personal ...
- ► 2015 ( 80 )
- The Countdown To The End of Med School: A Prelude
- Barrel Fever by David Sedaris: short book, explosi...
- Edward St. Aubyn's Bad News: learning about heroin...
- Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach: stories that wound u...
- Round and round the bend
- Send off
- The Countdown
- Kate Atkinson's Case Histories: rooting for a char...
- Jon Bloom's Not By Sight: powerful stories for the...
- We go a long way
- Comfort in conversations
- Your face
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