[[quoteright:298:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/109-c-English-Patient_8551.jpg]]

-->''All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.''
-->--the English Patient

A 1992 novel by Canadian author Michael Ondaatje. The book opens in an abandoned villa in WorldWarTwo Italy, where Hana, a Canadian army nurse, cares for a man referred to as the English Patient. He refuses to reveal his identity, but his speech and mannerisms indicate that he's an Englishman (his status as a patient is considerably less ambiguous, given that he's being treated for critical burns all over his body). Hana and the Patient are joined by David Caravaggio, a Canadian thief who knew Hana before the war, and who worked as an Allied spy until he was captured and maimed; and Kip, an Indian Sikh who's one of the best sappers in the British army. The story sprawls out [[AnachronicOrder non-linearly]], digging into each character's backstory, with running themes of nationality, nationalism, and the PowerOfLove.

Made into [[TheFilmOfTheBook a 1996 movie]] directed by Creator/AnthonyMinghella. It cast JulietteBinoche as Hana, Creator/RalphFiennes as the "English Patient", Creator/ColinFirth as Geoffrey Clifton, Kristin Scott Thomas as Katharine Clifton, Creator/WillemDafoe as Caravaggio, and Creator/NaveenAndrews as Kip. The film was a box office hit, earning $231,976,425 in the worldwide market. It has earned the distinguished pop-culture status of being "That movie Elaine bitched about in that one episode of {{Seinfeld}}." Both versions won a bunch of awards, most prominently the 1997 [[AcademyAward Oscar for Best Picture]].
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!!Provides examples of

* AFatherToHisMen: Lord Suffolk. Especially for Kip.
* AnachronicOrder
* ActorAllusion: This isn't the only time Creator/RalphFiennes played a [[spoiler:Hungarian]].
** Neither it is the first time his character wound up in a desert during a major war, as he also played T.E.Lawrence in a TV-movie ''A Dangerous Man: Lawrence after Arabia''.
* BattleaxeNurse: In Caravaggio's interrogation scene.
* BedouinRescueService: How the Patient survives the plane crash. Not ''[[MurderTheHypotenuse that]]'' one, the second one.
* [[BoobyTrap Booby Traps]]: The villa is full of bombs and mines left by retreating Axis forces.
* CulturedWarrior: Lord Suffolk.
* CutHimselfShaving: The Patient's excuses for the scars Katharine gives him.
* {{Deconstruction}}: The book and movie to a degree deconstruct ThePowerOfLove and identities, including the Patient's rejection of nationalities.
* DuringTheWar
* FakeNationality: In the movie, Juliette Binoche (French) plays Hana (French-Canadian); Willem Dafoe (American) plays Caravaggio (Canadian); and Naveen Andrews (English) plays Kip (Indian). Ralph Fiennes, who plays the title character, actually is English. [[spoiler:His character isn't.]]
* GeekyTurnOn: The Patient realizes he's attracted to Katharine when she reads aloud from Creator/{{Herodotus}}. Of course, the story she chose to read was rather [[LoveTriangle apropos]]...
* HeroicBSOD: Kip, towards the end, when he learns about [[spoiler:the bombing of Hiroshima]]. Hana and Kip have slightly toned-down versions in their backstories as well.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[Film/SpiderMan The Green Goblin]] and [[LosT Sayid]] meet in a villa where a nurse cares for [[Film/HarryPotter Lord Voldemort]].
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: The Cliftons (Claytons IRL), Almasy, [[RalphBagnold Bagnold]] (who really did have connections with British intelligence).
* IfICantHaveYou: Geoffrey Clifton takes this to an extreme.
* ImportantHaircut: Hana cuts off her hair shortly after she starts work as an army nurse.
* InterchangeableAsianCultures: Inverted [[spoiler: by Kip, who ultimately (and derisively) considers every white European "English."]]
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Well, everybody involved in the Patient's affair with Katharine was already a little crazy, but their romance pushed things over the edge.
* LoveTriangle: The Patient's affair with Katharine Clifton. Either a Type 7, as labeled on the [[TriangRelations Triang Relations page]], or a [[HoYay Type 8]].
* MalevolentArchitecture: The Villa, in a [[JustifiedTrope justified]] example; the retreating Nazis [[BoobyTrap booby trapped]] every place they could.
* [[MurderTheHypotenuse Murder The Hypotenuse And The Legs]]: Geoffrey Clifton's solution to the love triangle: attempt to take out the Patient, kamikaze-style, [[IfICantHaveYou with Katharine aboard the plane]].
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: In-story; "David Caravaggio" is implied to be a pseudonym, which he [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]], mentioning Caravaggio's painting [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_with_the_Head_of_Goliath_(Caravaggio) David with the Head of Goliath]].
* NotSoDifferent: By the end [[spoiler:Kip]] realizes that the Patient's worldview is just the same as the very identities he tries to erase.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Most of the characters, in one way or another, especially Hana and Kip.
* SlipknotPonytail: Done with Kip's topknot.
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* ThePowerOfLove: One of the recurring themes is the ability of love to transcend national boundaries in wartime. The result [[LoveMakesYouCrazy isn't always pretty]].
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: There was a Lazlo de Almasy who was a part of the [[AdventurersClub Zerzura Club]] and later worked for the Germans during the war. However, he died in 1951 in Austria of dysentery and, recent discoveries heavily imply, was gay. The Claytons, on whom the Cliftons were based, both died in the early 30s, he from poliomyelitis, she in a flying accident.
* VillainProtagonist: The Patient, arguably, once we learn that [[spoiler:his rejection of national ties led him to help German spies across the desert]]. Not to mention the unrepentant wrecking of the Cliftons' marriage (though [[MisaimedFandom some people]] would agree with his behavior there).
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: A very brief one showing [[spoiler:that Kip is now a doctor, married with children in India; he still thinks of Hana]].
* WireDilemma: Part and parcel of Kip's work as a sapper; most prominently when defusing the bomb in the villa courtyard.
* WorldWarTwo
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