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Thursday, July 26, 2007


I don't usually read fiction. So the fact that I just finished reading Pierre J. Mejlak's Riħ Isfel means that there's more than what's between the covers of this book (masterfully designed by Pierre Portelli, who is also responsible for the image that accompanies my weekly music podcast) that attracts me to it. Now that's the worst thing I could say about my friend Pierre's new book. This is simply because I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

One other thing I certainly didn't expect was the twist at the end of the story. The plot is constructed in a way that, to me, is just as surprising as that in some of the best thrillers I've come across. Other readers may have a different experience, but at least I can truthfully say that I didn't see the ending coming.

If I'm to be honest about my experience of reading Riħ Isfel, I'd say I could have done without some of the similes he employs in his writing; then again this book is meant for young adults who, we could argue at the risking of a gross generalization, need all the stimulation they can get for their risk-managed imagination. But enough of that, I don't want anyone to think I'm a sourpuss.

All in all I'd wholeheartedly recommend Riħ Isfel to anyone who can read Maltese. If for no other reason, just because it is a rare offering: a highly original carefully thought out piece of writing in the Maltese language. I sure don't have the time to write anything like this, but I'm mighty glad I found the time to read it.


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