Opening: World War Two, Italy, with some flashbacks showing Almasy's plane brought down and how he was brought to Pisa and then, with Hana, to Villa San Girolamo, pp. 1- 131.
In the novel this is framestory. In the movie it is simply juxtaposed with earlier story.
We are told the story of how Almasy and his group of fellow male explorers (including Madox) met with Geoffrey and Katharine Clifton and how Almasy and Katharine gradually became lovers, pp. 133-58.
In the novel this story is one of two inset into the framework of 1944/45. The other is Kip's. In the film this second material begins and ends the film and is therefore the frame.
We delve into Caravaggio, and meet Kip. We learn more about Hana, pp. 162-77.
We do have still moment of return to dead woman and plane shot down in desert. In both novel and film, this climactic moment remains unexplained (fully) until the end.
How Kip was chosen and trained by Lord Suffolk, Miss Morden and Mr Harts, pp. 182-203.
This gives Ondaatje ample room to depict minefield bombs, the horror and barbarism, the spite of it. Opens with Kip's life in India; ends with sense of green and pleasant England where local people who are different from a "norm" tolerate one another.
This moves back and forth with Kip at center (or sometimes at margins) defusing bombs. The love affair with Hana comes out strongly here, pp. 207-226.
This begins with Almasy as storyteller but story is also retold again with another perspective, pp. 229-261, with climax at cave again at center (see pp. 169-175 especially).
Anticlimactic, violates much that has literally gone before in the personal stories; includes straight history (as do earlier sequences), pp. 265-302.