Ian Buruma Playing the Game

ISBN 13: 9780374234522

Playing the Game

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9780374234522: Playing the Game
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The narrator travels to India to learn about the life of a legendary cricket player, Ranji, who was part English and part Indian

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About the Author:

Ian Buruma's previous books include A Japanese Mirror, a study of heroes and villains in Japanese culture, and God's Dust, a journey through Asia, described by Susan Sontag as 'shrewd, bold... necessary reading.' This is his first novel.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A first novel from Buruma (Behind the Mask, 1984; God's Dust, 1989)--superficially about that most British of games, cricket, and one of its legendary players, but also a somewhat self-conscious and awkward meditation on nationality and cultural identity. The narrator, like Buruma, was born and educated in Holland and is a journalist specializing in East Asia. In India on assignment, he finds himself increasingly drawn to investigating the life of the great Indian cricketer K.S. Ranjitsinhji, the Jam Saheb of Nawanagar, who played for Cambridge and England at the turn of the century. By all accounts, ``Ranji'' was an exceptional man: of royal blood, he was a favorite of the fans, generous to his friends, a player of both natural and practiced accomplishment, and accepted in England's highest society at the time when racial prejudice and snobbery about other cultures were rampant. These broad details of Ranji's life are revealed in an obvious and artificial way in letters conveniently discovered by the narrator and allegedly written by Ranji to his old friend and teammate C.B. Fry. Equally awkward are the interludes between the letters--where the narrator relates his interviews with those in India who knew Ranji, and his discussions with an opinionated young man, Inder, who was educated in England. In these discussions, Ranji is both the measure of the possibilities of cultural assimilation and of its limits. Ranji, the prince who believed in the Empire, was in fact betrayed in his last years when the British, responding to Indian nationalists, began paring the power of the princes. He died a sad and disappointed man, out of step with his times and his place. Intelligent and thoughtful, but the ideas and questions raised don't really sit well with the story of the shadowy and elusive cricketer. An ambitious but disappointing debut. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780374526337: Playing the Game: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0374526338 ISBN 13:  9780374526337
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999
Softcover

9780224027588: PLAYING The GAME.

Jonath..., 1991
Hardcover

9780099914006: Playing the Game

Vintage, 1992
Softcover

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