Magic Carpet Ride

TITLE: THE ENGLISH PATIENT

AUTHOR: MICHAEL ONDAATJE

PUBLISHER: KNOPF; 307 PAGES; $21

THE BOTTOM LINE: A hauntingly beautiful tale weaves myths and metaphors around the end of Empire.

FOUR FIGURES MOVE LIKE SHADows through an abandoned villa. All four of them have converged on this Tuscan space, without lives or real identities, in the limbo at the end of war. All four pass in and out of consciousness, half- daydreaming in a crumbling palace "lit only by candlelight and now and then light from a storm, now and then the possible light from an explosion." One of them is an "English...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!