Slug: the-last-samurai Date: 2002-08-19 Title: The Last Samurai layout: post
Just finished The Last Samurai, by Helen Dewitt. It's a remarkable piece of fiction centered around the story of a single mother and her prodigious son who share the mother's fascination, nay, obsession with Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (Salon).
The book revolves around Ludo's (the son) early childhood as a boy genius, self-motivated to learn, devouring languages, mathematics and the classics in the original Greek (Arabic, Hebrew, French…) while circling London on the subway to escape the bone chilling cold in their unheated apartment.
Ludo eventually goes on a quest to find his father, guided by the samurai's test in his mother's favorite film.
I happened to pick this book up at the library, more or less at random, and I'm glad I did! The writing style is very intersting while only slipping a few times into the overly-clever. -)