Thursday, June 30, 2011

FIXI #3: Kasino

No translation needed here. The novel is called Kasino but Ocean's Eleven [2001] this is not. The novel tells a story about a landscape architect whose name couldn't be anymore apt; Mohd Narcissus Yussof. A hedonistic man of habit, suddenly finds himself owing the government a huge sum of money - RM3.8 million, to be exact - after a project was scrapped. Very set in his ways, he simply refuses to change his lifestyle or even flee.

Will he manage, or will he end up becoming a sacrificial lamb? Find out for yourself in this sardonic tale that pokes fun at many things Malaysian; from the not-so-romanticised point of view, where nobody is truly innocent.

What's interesting to note is the protagonist himself, Narcissus. A walking contradiction of a man who takes good care of himself, who spares no expense when it comes to gambling, and also when it comes to lavishing himself with branded clothing, fine wine and even finer women, yet never fails to uphold the second pillar of Islam, and his responsibility to his daughters.

Author Saifullizan Tahir
I know, it's weird. I have yet to figure out why was he written in such a way, but I know there are people like that. Heck, I once knew a guy who regularly smoke pot and bang hookers, but he also prays five times a day. Maybe Narcissus is just one of those guys, one with an outstanding composure.

Imagine owing the government RM3.8 million, combine that with our political parties' propensity to crucify their oppositions, would you really be in the mood for golf? Narcissus here sure knows how not to lose his head, I suppose that's how he got to the top in the first place. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's almost no sense of urgency to the plot, and I find myself smirking in delight. Yeah, I thought it was a good thing, it keeps you guessing and curious enough to keep on flipping the pages.

You might even end up admiring the guy despite his so-called flaws, I know I did.

Alright, for those of you who have been asking me which one of these FIXI books are the best, I find that hard to answer because they all deal with different themes, each unique and entertaining in their own right. But if you're asking me to rank them based on which ones I enjoyed reading the most, here's how it would go;

(Clicking on the images will redirect you to their pages on FIXI's official site)

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