Now That It's Over

Now That It s Over Winner of the Epigram Books Fiction Prize Winner of the Singapore Book Award for Fiction During the Christmas holidays in an earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggers a tsunami that deva

  • Title: Now That It's Over
  • Author: O Thiam Chin
  • ISBN: 9789814757287
  • Page: 414
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winner of the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize Winner of the 2017 Singapore Book Award for Fiction During the Christmas holidays in 2004, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggers a tsunami that devastates fourteen countries Two couples from Singapore are vacationing in Phuket when the tsunami strikes Alternating between the aftermath of the catastrophe and past event Winner of the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize Winner of the 2017 Singapore Book Award for Fiction During the Christmas holidays in 2004, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggers a tsunami that devastates fourteen countries Two couples from Singapore are vacationing in Phuket when the tsunami strikes Alternating between the aftermath of the catastrophe and past events that led these characters to that fateful moment, Now That It s Over weaves a tapestry of causality and regret, and chronicles the physical and emotional wreckage wrought by natural and manmade disasters.

    One thought on “Now That It's Over”

    1. This is my first review, but if I'm gonna rate a book poorly, I feel obliged to at least say why.I really wanted to like this book. But the only way I got through this title was by cheating on it -- I read other things in between. Another reviewer has mentioned that the characters weren't engaging, and I agree. The story swerves shakily from one person to another, and from one time frame to another, so that any seed of attachment or sympathy you'd feel is quickly uprooted. In spite of these char [...]

    2. Ehh, I suppose I'll finally have to review this. I've spent months skirting it because I felt mean, but - isn't it meaner to leave a one-star and not explain why? Realistically speaking, it was probably a two-star, but since I decidedlydidn'tlike it and says what a one-star meansFor one, I thought it was clumsily-written. A metaphor taken from the book itself: "his hair plastered in his forehead like a row of inverted C's." There was a general lack of rhythm to the writing, and though I had mor [...]

    3. “A heart-stopping elegy to the unrelenting tragedy of time, the trauma of impermanence, set against the backdrop of a tsunami that devastated Thailand's coastlines. O Thiam Chin's characters are tested for their resilience and courage as relationships and self-deceptions are unforgettably wrung to the breaking point.”—Cyril Wong, author of Ten Things My Father Never Taught Me“A sensuous, heartbreaking and devastatingly true account of the everyday disasters of our lives: the tiny tragedi [...]

    4. A capably written but supremely un-engaging and predictable book that shockingly won the Epigram Books Fiction Prize. The water-related metaphors and similes get really heavy-handed after a while, using a natural tragedy which affected locals most as a backdrop for foreigners' petty domestic squabbles is flat-out exploitative and the most illuminating bits, strangely, have to do with adolescent sexuality.

    5. I'm not going to rate this book, because I would rate it poorly, & I don't generally like to do that. But I will try to give a review.I really struggled to finish this book after reaching the halfway point. It's a very neatly structured book, which is not wrong, but oddly the 4-person structure multiplied with the narrative jumping from present to looking into their past made me a little confused -- what exactly is the book about? Is the book ultimately about the stories of their relationshi [...]

    6. An unremarkable story about a catastrophe. Readers may only have a glimpse of what happened in Phuket after the tsunami, yet it doesn't clear that author wants to bring out the real picture of any affected subject. Nevertheless, it gave me quite a meaningful message and some delightful moments by peeking into Singaporean lives.

    7. Told from the viewpoint of four friends, it is a compelling read of life, not just Singapore life, but any life. O Thiam Chin writes beautifully with a power of words that only a poet can have. Not all poets can succeed writing a novel but he does. A most deserved win of the first Epigram Books Fiction Prize. I really look forward to reading the rest of the list. Singapore literature has truly come of age thanks to publishers like Epigram.

    8. O thiam chin uses the sea and tsunami as metaphor of time and circumstance, and puts it against two tangled relationships for emotional effect. I enjoyed many of the chapters. I liked his clean prose.If something didnt work for me its probably the lack of metaphor in writing; and sentimentalism which sometimes takes over. Might suffer from lack of foreshadowing. Regardless it is a neatly put together schnovel.

    9. O's writing is smooth. Enjoyed his descriptive prose, though I find the use of 2nd person POV for Cody jarring and distant. Tried to read them as Cody's philosophical thoughts, but some words and sentences in there just do not permit it. I was expecting to read more of the emotional traumas the characters underwent after the tsunami and how they overcome them. Instead, I was overwhelmed with too many back-stories. Too many flashbacks, not in time sequence, interspersed across chapters (also not [...]

    10. Now That It’s Over is a story about the wreckage and gruelling loss caused by the Tsunami in 2004. Boxing Day gone rogue as the infinite sea (also its original title) shores up. The story is told through the perspectives of four characters, two couples to be specific: one straight, the other queer. Points of view interact, revealing the kinds of unvoiced care and the many nuances of love that in face of such a catastrophic event translate into a profundity of pain and regret. What is striking, [...]

    11. I don't know if there will be a lynching mob coming after me, but I actually really like the book. It did take me a while to complete, but that was mainly due to the reading coinciding with me starting on Dragon Age: Inquisition and then Stardew Valley, and nothing to do with the style of writing. (Heh, this is what happens when you love books and games.)The language of the book is languid, mulling and soulful. The writing goes into the minds of the different characters and navigates their narra [...]

    12. I enjoyed Love, Or Something Like Love, so when I scored this at the library, I squealed. Anyway, I liked how the story presented itself in languid, effective flashback chapters of each character's life, but they overshadowed the present arc. The "current" (lol) events was almost uneventful, a lot of feelings and thoughts, to be sure, but the plot didn't move as swiftly as an event like a friggin tsunami should. I do get that the whole thing was surreal, and maybe that's the point. One thing I r [...]

    13. I like the subtle portrayal of the emotional dynamics and O Thiam Chin's style of going deep within the undercurrent of turmoil in human relationships, although the middle and ending parts are too slow-paced for me. Maybe the novel can be better structured or shortened in some way to quicken the pacing in the middle and ending. just an afterthought. Now i am going to read Surrogate Protocol and Death of a Perm Sec. I just came back from overseas studies and surprised by the splendid range of nov [...]

    14. It was excessively descriptive at the beginning, with hardly any action. Normally even with descriptive writing, the plot progresses or characters are developed but it wasn't the case for this book. A friend recommended I stick to it until at least page 100 before deciding whether or not to continue, and I'm sort of glad I did. Things progressed afterwards, though a lot of it seems just fluff to make the book longer. I'm not sure if several chapters of basically the same thing being described wa [...]

    15. To some extent I enjoy the first part of the book, as the second part is quite predictable. I appreciate the partly languid, subtly seething style that suggests the emotional energies and existential angst beneath the life events and emotional side of the characters. Yet I have to agree with many readers that the characters are not as engaging as I have expected, which is very disappointing. Hope to see more engaging and refined works by O Thiam Chin in future.

    16. I like the way the author handles and delves into the emotional dynamics and some existential issues, but somehow it does not go deep enough. Too slow pace, a drag for me. If the author is trying to write in the style of Raymond Carver and other well known story writers, it's better he writes short stories. I have read a few of his short stories. They are better. Prefer Death of a Perm Sec and Sugarbread.

    17. O Thiam Chin's latest short story at QLRS is startling, good but near pornographic, a masturbating freak, new funk porn, inching towards Trainspotting but at least it is more thrilling that his novel Now that it's over, which is filled with relatively flat unengaging characters. I guess if it is shorter, it is less monotonous. Didn't like it.

    18. Trying to get used to Thiam Chin's style which kind of vacillates between the lyrical and some personal expose or erotica. some parts were mawkish and slow. His first novel is not as interesting as his second novel, and I prefer Sugarbread and Surrogate Protocol. Will be reading some of his short stories and other 2016 shortlisted winners.

    19. I struggle through about 50 pages, give up and give the book away. A disappointing read. Not deserving. Over-written in many parts. No substance and superficial presentation of the key themes. O Thiam Chin's second novel Fox Fire Girl is better, more engaging and lively.

    20. A novel written in the different perspectives of the four leads which depict the internal and personal struggles each of them carries and how the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami impacted all of them.

    21. Death is illustrated ever-so beautifully by O; along with the feelings of guilt, betrayal, regret, and loss.

    22. The first part is interesting, poetical but the middle and ending become dull, boring, draggy, overall a disappointing read as I had expectations. His short stories are better.

    23. "Actually it doesn't matter how long a couple has been together, to show the kind of love they have. Though of course, the longer you know someone, the more you know about him But is that all we can know about him? How can we claim to know anyone, a lover, a husband or a boyfriend, fully, completely, when there's a part that is hidden from us, maybe a side of him he is not aware of? Every man is a mystery, to himself, to others. Maybe that's why we can continue to love someone after so many year [...]

    24. I had high expectations of this book since it won the Epigram prize so was feeling slightly disappointed as it started out a tad too slowly for me. I thought it might be a long slog, but the more I read it, the more intrigued I was. Ended up finishing it in two nights, because I couldn't put it down - so much for some light bedtime reading! I like how everything is so subtle and what is left unspoken is sometimes far more poignant than what is already set out on the page - an apt reflection of r [...]

    25. Fresh from being almost caught in the typhoon in Taiwan, I was eager to read this novel because of its tsunami theme. Considering it won the fiction prize, I could not but help compare it with other novels that were the finalists, particularly Let's Give It Up for Gimme Lao by Sebastian Sim and Sugarbread by Balli Kaur Jaswal, both of which I enjoyed tremendously given their wealth of detail and good plot. I tried to be drawn by this novel throughout the course of reading it, but it just didn't [...]

    26. This is a book filled with intense reflections about the complexities of human life and relationships. Each character meets irresolvable difficulties that arose from their personal history, dreams, desires, fears and expectations. Each anecdote weighs down on the readers' minds as if they are the most pressing and urgent issue on earth. Yet in the face of the god's wrath, all these insurmountable challenges becomes minute and negligible. Skilful writing and great use of literary techniques helpe [...]

    27. Beautifully structured and paced tale of two Singaporean couples caught up in the Asian tsunami of Boxing Day 2004; their minor personal tragedies revealed by the major disaster. Deserving winner of the inaugural Epigram prize, Singapore's richest literary award.

    28. I can understand how it won the epigram award but it's not as entertaining as I'd like it to be. I give it props for its poetry and attempt to weave different story lines from each of the characters' point of view.

    29. Got into the story more so towards the middle section, didn't really take to the 4 persons' narrative style initially. Enjoyed the story on the whole; another commendable local effort.

    30. Very moving and engaging read from O Thiam Chin, I found this a very impressive read and look forward to more works from this promising local writer.

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