Thursday, March 28, 2013

HF Virtual Book Tours Review and Giveaway: Flesh by Khanh Ha

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Title: Flesh
Author: Khanh Ha
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Black Heron
Publish Date: June 15, 2012
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like really good writing.
  • You don't mind grit.
What's the Story?:

From "The setting is Tonkin (northern Vietnam) at the turn of the 20th century. A boy, Tai, witnesses the beheading of his father, a notorious bandit, and sets out to recover his head and then to find the man who betrayed his father to the authorities. On this quest, Tai’s entire world will shift. FLESH takes the reader into dark and delightful places in the human condition, places where allies are not always your friends, true love hurts, and your worst enemy may bring you the most comfort. In that emotionally harrowing world, Tai must learn to deal with new responsibilities in his life while at the same time acknowledging his bond, and his resemblance, to a man he barely knew--his father. Through this story of revenge is woven another story, one of love, but love purchased with the blood of murders Tai commits. A coming-of-age story, but also a love story, the sensuality of the author’s writing style belies the sometimes brutal world he depicts."

My Two Cents:

The topic of "Flesh" is a hard one to get through. Tai is young but he knows that needs to revenge his father's death even though he didn't ever really have a chance to get to know him well. This guy has more courage packed into one person. I know that if I had been in his position, I would not have been nearly that brave.

Although I loved the historical setting of the book (more on that later), I was really gripped by Ha's writing in this book. Tai's story certainly has a lot of gravitas on it's own but Ha's writing makes the story really come to life. There are those books out there where after reading the first couple pages, you know you are going to fall very hard for the style of the writing. "Flesh" was very much that way for me. In a lot of places, the writing is beautiful and almost poetic! The subject matter may not sit well with everyone (some parts of the book are quite brutal and raw) but the writing turns this book into something really special.

Set in the late 1800s in Tonkin (which is now Vietnam), the setting and time period of this book will definitely appeal to historical fiction readers that prefer their book settings a little more off of the beaten path. We get to see what Tai's village is like as well as what some of the other villages are like. Ha's descriptions in the book are really great.

Bottom line: This is a great historical fiction with difficult subject matter but it's one that those who want good detail and good writing will enjoy!

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, March 25
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, March 26
Review at Raging Blbliomania
Wednesday, March 27
Interview at Tribute Books
Thursday, March 28
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Friday, March 29
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Monday, April 1
Giveaway at A Writer’s Life: Working with the Muse
Tuesday, April 2
Review & Giveaway at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Wednesday, April 3
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, April 4
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Friday, April 5
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Monday, April 8
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Tuesday, April 9
Interview at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Wednesday, April 10
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Libraria
Thursday, April 11
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, April 12
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, April 15
Review at bookramblings
Tuesday, April 16
Review & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader
Wednesday, April 17
Review at I Read a Book Once
Thursday, April 18
Review at Book Nerds Club


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  1. This sounds like a different kind of read than I'm used to. It sounds like a difficult read, but worthwhile. I'm not quite sure what to expect from it. Thanks for the review.


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