Sure, this Gurnah novel is heavy with vintage whine. So what. But I still love this book, the prose especially and, too, the meditations about diaspora, the implicit and explicit post-colonial issues involved. And I'm not a diaspora 'purist' myself, to recall a phrase from one of this novel's reviewers. And I did not read this book because it's a required text for a class. I read this novel because of Gurnah's prose, seductive, whiny, intimate, and ironic. Indeed, there are predictable moments in the novel, as predictable as the ending of Flaubert's Madame Bovary, when I first read that book. But a novel's predictabiblity is never a factor for me to discredict a novelist's power and talent. I read Gurnah because he's a purist not so much about disapora, but of language.
I don't recommend this book to anybody who feels they must read this book for a class. But I do recommend this book to those who care about literature itself.