Tonight I saw Shehan Karunatilaka speak at my store (yes, MY store, I don’t own it and I won’t be the manager this time next month but it will be my store FOREVER) and he was fantastic, and it made me realize that I haven’t yet blogged about The Legend of Pradeep Mathew even though it is one of my favorites of 2012. It’s just so good. The next time somebody tells me all modern fiction is crap (this is a thing that happens, incredibly), I am going to accidentally punch them in the face with it.
When I read it back in November, I wrote this in an email: “This is handily the best book about Sri Lankan cricket ever written, but somehow, you needn’t know anything about Sri Lanka or cricket in order to love it. A very funny, very serious novel that explores what happens when we realize what we’ve become and think about what we could still be. Filled with a manic energy and the sort of sharp writing that feels like it might be part of a classic.”
Six months later, the only thing I would change about that is I wouldn’t pussyfoot around with “feels like it might be” and just flat out say, this book has the feel of a classic novel and if there is any justice in the world, it will be one. (Of course, now I have the backing of the judges of the Commonwealth Prize so it’s easier to be so confident.)
Shehan is on tour now—he has one more reading here in NYC at KGB Bar on Thursday—and I believe will also be in Seattle and Boston and other fine metropolitan areas in the coming weeks. If you get a chance to see him, take it. He’s very charming and knowledgable and all the things we like in an author. And his book is fantastic and you should read it. And then maybe you can join me in FINALLY finding a cricket game to watch.