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Thursday 29 December 2011

All About Books~ The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri & The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

It has been a while since I did a post on books. I am a regular reader but of late the books I laid my hands on did not entertain/impress me and for that reason, I have not been very enthusiastic about writing about them.

I picked up The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri just by chance. The title of the book and the Indian name of the author intrigued me and the blurb was interesting too.
"Vishnu, the odd-job man in a Bombay apartment block, lies dying on the staircase landing: Around him the lives of the apartment dwellers unfold: the warring housewives on the first floor, lovesick teenagers on the second, and the widower, alone and quietly grieving on the top floor of the building. In a fevered state Vishnu looks back on his love affair with the seductive Padmini and wonders if he might actually be the god Vishnu, guardian of the entire universe.
Blending incisive comedy with Hindu mythology and a dash of Bollywood sparkle, The Death of Vishnu is an intimate and compelling view of an unforgettable world."

The book started in a promising way with the author dwelling on the lives of the inhabitants of the apartment block in question, where the man named Vishnu was lying, dying every moment. The author has done a commendable job on the character building of each of the character, but I found the story line itself very confusing. The author has tried to imbibe too many things into the story without focusing on anything in particular. I found the mythological mix in the story very weird and it is what that disappointed me. Vishnu on his death,actually imagined himself to be Lord Vishnu (from Hindu mythology) and was hallucinating about it through out the story. All thanks to the nutcase, Mr Jalal. I finished the book just for the sake of it even though I had lost interest half way into the novel. It was an unsatisfying read with a gripping start, vivid characters,too many sub plots, no main storyline and an absurd ending. I do not recommend it to anyone.

The second book that I picked up was The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. 

I had a hard time reading this book. I was really looking forward to reading it and I had added it to my To Read List 2011. I gave up the first time I picked it up early this year. But, then again I felt I should trying reading it again. But, it couldn't hold my interest for long. There is something about these Man Booker Books that is above my understanding. 

 Here is the blurb from the book cover:

"High in the Himalayas sits a dilapidated mansion, home to three people, each dreaming of another time.
The judge, broken by a world too messy for justice, is haunted by his past. His orphaned granddaughter has fallen in love with her handsome tutor,despite their different background and ideals. The cook's heart is with his son, working far away in a New York restaurant, mingling with an underclass from all over the globe as he seeks somewhere to call home.

Around the house swirl the forces of revolution and change. Civil unrest is making itself felt, stirring up inner conflicts as powerful as those dividing the community, pitting the past against the present, nationalism against love, a small place against the troubles of a big world."

It was a difficult read and pathetically slow. The narrative was monotonous and unenthusiastic. I do not want to crib more about this book. It was just not my kind of read and I abandoned it after reading half way through.

 If you have read these books and have different opinion, I would like to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

PS: I am reading Deception Point by Dan Brown at the moment. It is a typical Brown novel and I am enjoying it. It will be 2012 when I write about it.


  1. I had the Inheritance of loss in reading list for sometime and planned on picking it up from the Lib the next time but thanks for the warning Jyothi. I'm sure you will enjoy deception Point very much though. I had already read it and it is very gripping and a typical Brown.

  2. I have had both these books on my TBR for the longest time.. But if it is too slow , i might ot want to pick them up for a while..

  3. you said it,Jyothy .even i wonder at times ,what these booker awarded ones or for that matter selected for one, have in it .some times the story line is good .but not the entire story and it`s climax.`The oath of vayuputras` is another example of the much hyped makes you wonder whether we have to pray or not to pray to can be a good hit with the younger generation..but not with the middle aged people like me ..we already have a set idea and definitions about our deity and God.
    Sheela Devi


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