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  • Writer's pictureOanh Tu

Book review "Bi mat cua Bong toi" - by Dinh Thanh Trung

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

I received the book over two weeks ago, even before it was officially released, as I was lucky enough to get a pre-release copy that the author had only given to a limited number of people. I had to "beg" and "plead" for it since before Tet. And the author is none other than a senior writer who I greatly admire, someone who is well-known to everyone. That's why I am determined to write a fair review.

The reason why this book was published is that it won the "Van hoc tuoi 20" award from the Tre Publishing House. Congratulations to the author, Dinh Thanh Trung!

Regarding the appearance:

When opened, the book is very fragrant which always delights you with the addictive smell of ink and paper...! Meeting someone who also loves the smell of ink and paper like me is like paradise. I have bought many books in my life, but there are few that smell as good as this one. The book has a soft, lightweight cover, with a simple yet impressive design, coated with a layer of matte film and a shiny UV layer on the details. The spine is glued normally, and since the book is not thick, it is acceptable. Behind it, because it was a gift, there is a unique sticker. Which make me sad is during the shipping process, the cover of my book was wrinkled near the spine due to the long journey. But, looking at the author's dedication in the book makes me forgive that.

When you flip the book, the yellow paper helps to prevent eye strain when reading for a long time, and the paper is very smooth, which you can feel by simply touching. However, the paper is slightly thin, so you can see through it a bit to the next page. (Attached image)

Also, there is a short description by the author on the back cover that is very impressive. "I love wandering in the alleys, the markets, a world hidden behind the bustling streets full of light. There are some destinies that when told, I receive only smiley face emojis." (Attached image)

Regarding the content:

This is a collection of 10 short stories written for people in their 20s, for young, healthy people who are just starting out in life. Each story is very short, just a few pages, and the whole book only has 168 pages in total, so it is not thick and very easy to read even for those who do not read much. According to what I have been told, the original manuscript was three times thicker, but it was all cut out, which is a shame.

As for the content, I am not a professional writer or reader, so I can only give a simple personal opinion, which is: Fluid and Calm. Fluid here means easy to read, as soon as you start reading, you will immediately get into the emotional flow, and read it all in one go. The stories are written in a familiar, daily style, and we may have experienced or seen them before, so it is easy to relate. As for Calm, this is the author's perspective, looking at different fates, different situations, the writing style still maintains a calm tone, though there are expressions of sorrow and candidness, but ultimately, it is still quiet. Reading with this style of writing makes us feel like we are peering into the world through someone else's eyes...

Finally, after taking my book for a photo shoot and carefully wrapping it in a cover, I would like to express my gratitude to the author for graciously giving me a pre-release copy with a signature. Unfortunately, due to geographical and pandemic reasons, I could not attend the book launch event, but I hope to have another chance in the future.

I wish the author good health and hope that the next book will be even thicker, satisfying readers' thirst for literature. Thank you very much, Mr. Trung.


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