Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thoughts Concerning Buddha of Suburbia

I've a habit of thinking for a long while once I finish a book.  Usually it concerns the emotions of the characters in the book as I try to empathize with them and attempt to understand what drove them to do the things they did.  This usually follows a particularly good book with well-developed characters, I most assuredly put Buddha of Suburbia on my list.  All of the characters in the book were, I thought, outstanding.  My favorite though, and the one I considered to have the most depth apart from Karim was that of his fat crippled friend, Changez.  This guy absolutely blew my away at the end of the book, and the entire time he was in it.  His story arch was astounding.  My assumption of his motives to go to the west were that of finding a loving wife and being able to settle down.  He always seemed a bit discontent, but tried to, it seemed, fool himself into contentment.  By that I mostly mean his prostitute friend/lover.  The guy was just so ignorantly innocent the entire time I at first thought he was just simply dumb and content.  This proved obviously to be far from the truth as was shown near the end of the book.  I was most deeply affected by him and sat around just thinking about all he had to go through and I felt terrible for the fellow.  His "loving wife" wanted absolutely nothing to do with him, he lived first in the slums then with a bunch of political radicals who he, as it appeared, just didn't understand fully.  I can't help but be crushed along with him at the end with his act of brazen desperation.  All of his hopes and dreams were crushed or just simply did not come to fruition, he was a wreck it turned out who just wanted the love of his wife, who routinely slept with others, often in the next room.  I was forced to feel even worse for him with how he took it all with a grain of salt, still talking to Karim and being friendly even after finding him in bed with his wife.  After I finished reading I thought not of Karim and his search for himself but instead I thought of Changez and the relatively horrible existence he found himself in when all he had before were hopes of happiness.  An example of a fine, round (pun intended) character in a fine book.

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