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The Inscrutable Americans

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  4,414 ratings  ·  221 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition of ISBN 8171670407.The Inscrutable Americans

This hilarious novel describes one year spent on a small university campus in the US, by an Indian student. His English is comically Indian, and his initial notions of America are absurdly inadequate and stereotyped. The theme of the novel is his comic discovery of America, and his own growth an
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Paperback, Fiftieth, 248 pages
Published 2011 by Rupa (first published July 1st 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ashwini
It started off really well!

It was hilarious, I thought. The stereotypical cultural references to the average Indian upbringing were spot on. The letters written by Gopal- the protagonist- from the U.S to his brother in India are laugh out loud funny! Unnecessary capitalization of phrases like "Higher Studies" and "Revered Grandmother" are adorable as is his puzzlement with everything American.

Gopal-the-village-boy's innocence has been portrayed quite convincingly and his obsession with Jajau's H
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Asra Ghouse
Jul 29, 2011 Asra Ghouse rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who understand humor
You see there aren't many books that make me laugh out loud. The Inscrutable Americans was the first book that could do this. I first read this book at the age of 14. Adolescent I was, I could relate to the transitory period in Gopal's (the protagonist) life.

The story is about an Indian boy Gopal, hailing from a small town in Madhya Pradesh who goes to USA to pursue his higher education. There he battles the usual issues faced by an Indian living in the US- racism, sexual discomforts, food, etc.
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Deeksha Kapoor
I remember reading this book over 4 yrs ago sitting on a bus. I laughed so hard the old man sitting next to me actually had to get up and change his seat because he thought I was mad!!

There are tons of books that have cropped up recently dealing with the lives of the ABCD's living abroad as well as the adventures and the misadventures of fresh of the boat people who traveled from remote cities in India to foreign lands; but since this is the first one I read - I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sree
Great read! It was funny cover-to-cover, and the author captures the immigrant experience of culture clash really well. Some of the perspectives are dated, but even those were true when the book was written.
Priyanka
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend. I had no idea about his reading habits, so this was done purely out of respect for said friend. However this book was so annoying and stereotypical that I vowed never to take recommendations from friends again, lest I lose respect for them. Eventually, this sentiment led me to join goodreads.com so that I can take recommendations from perfect strangers online and choose to agree or disagree without affecting my private life in any way. Goo ...more
Deepak Motiramani
The book Inscrutable Americans by Anurag Mathur is a hilarious adventure of a young Indian in United States. Like most students the character Gopal also goes through culture shocks and its very well articulated by the author. The novelty of this book is light read, simple wordings and introduction to American culture to an outsider.
Carolyn
A cute, charming story about Gopal, a young man from a small town in India, who comes to the U.S. for his final year of college at a small midwestern campus. It's usually amusing and sometimes hilarious as he tries to understand American customs and idioms with the help of his young mentor, Randy, a fellow student assigned by the dean to show him around. Gopal at first assumes Randy is a description rather than a name, and he isn't far wrong. Part of Gopal's preparation includes a selection of A ...more
Sandeep Kumar
I had bought this one at a railway bookstore in year 2005 for 80-90 Rupees. In those days that was the most money I carried with me. I can't forget the amusing language the book had and reading it was such a fun then. America was still alien to me, and reading story of a guy who had probably funnier English than mine was a complete amusement. I don't know whether I will still like it as much as I did the first time and that's a shame!
But,there is an incident I still remember which sealed its re
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Tarun jain
Aug 27, 2011 Tarun jain marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
“The Inscrutable Americans” By Anurag Mathur
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read by an Indian author. When Anurag Mathur had written this book, India was still not connected with rest of the world through TV and Internet. For the hero of the book who is a simple and “virgin” guy from India, America and Americans were really Inscrutable. The book is a story of this simple guy who goes to America to study and along with studies his another main motive is to lose his virginity.

His fri
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Jonathan
The book reads like a young Indian man's dream of what Americans are like, with a university student-level twist on global geopolitics. It is occasionally funny, occasionally offensive, and always naive and immature.

Within this mode, one issue dominates. The book's image of American women as sex addicts who will sleep with anyone and everyone, and just can't wait to make love to an obnoxious Indian boy, is depressing. The author has an incredibly low view of White women that permeates the narrat
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Jairam Mohan
The book begins well narrating the travails and peculiar difficulties that small town boy Gopal faces in the US of A. All the usual cliches (at least now they are, but back in 1991 when this book was originally published, I am sure they weren't quite as cliched) of driving on the wrong side of the road, the electric switches being upside down, etc make for the usual funny moments of the initial part of the book.

The book deals with how Gopal tries hard to assimilate American culture and make sens
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Kushal Srivastava
A fairly easy read. Tries to talk about cultural differences between Us and THEM and does a pretty superficial job. It doesn't tunnel deep into the human psyche as The Inheritance of Loss but if you're in mood for a light and cheesy novel for a train journey, you may very well try out this one. Not a compulsory read though.
Kavita
In the days before Chetan Bhagat, this book provides a humorous account of the clash of the Indian and American cultures. Really funny and definitely must be read once. I would have given it 4 star rating, except all the "sex in America" theme bored me quite a bit.
Sneha
Nov 21, 2011 Sneha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 2
Hilarious! Subtle humor, your face humor, sarcastic humor, ignorant humor. You name it and it has it with the cliche story of a lucky simpleton who gets a chance to stay abroad.
Anusha M
The pace and humour was amazing to start with, but the narration went on to be a drone by the end of the book
Hari Pashikanti
Fun book to read about the findings on an orthodox indian studying in the U.S.A
Rohit
Damn hilarious one. It gives insights to the 90's USA through the eyes of Gopal hailing from a small town of Madhya Pradesh who get cultural shocks during the period of higher studies. His point of view and stereotyped nature is very comical.

The book has a good pace that builds up gradually and its novelties are pun intended. Humor is subtly incorporated into dialogue which do not seems to be an exaggerated one . Finally his gods has allowed him to do the formidable thing and his "revered grand
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Manoj Arora
If you have been to America and stayed there for atleast 6 months, you would relate well to most parts of the book. Though itis extremely well narrated, connecting and comparing India and America in the period of 1990s, read it just for some fun. Do not read with the expectation of improving the quality of your life.
My learning:
(1) East or West, India is the best.
(2) America being America, there will always be illogical and strange things happening in America which may not ever make sense to the
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Neethi
The problem with this book is not in its plotline, its characters, or its style. The problem is in the humor.

Books, or anything for that matter, are funny when the humor is subtly incorporated into dialogue between characters, or into situations in which humor seems untimely or unexpected. When humor is boldly thwarted in every paragraph of every page, with little variation, it can easily ruin a story.

When you start reading this book, you laugh. Gopal's quirks and naivete are humorous. However,
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Himanshu Modi
A bumbling, wannabe-American, rustic Indian yokel who lands up in America, to be dazed by the sights and sounds of the western culture… makes an easy setting for humour, be it for a movie, or a book. The book came at a time when the whole “America” craze perhaps started gaining ground in India; when families from Gujarat, Punjab and rest of the states came up with ingenious and desperate strategies to get to US-of-A. The wave persisted in the 90s and the dying (hopefully) remains are still found ...more
Puja
I was a teenager growing up in India when I read this book. I found it incredibly funny and enjoyed it so much that I re-read it atleast once. Infact I recall that for a while I had the book sitting on my bedside and I would go to the funniest parts and chuckle myself to sleep.
'The Inscrutable Americans' is a story of a simple and God-fearing (and mom and grandma fearing) boy from a small town in India. Gopal has had no exposure to Western culture and many things in modern life, which seemed pr
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Priya
Anurag Mathur is a hilarious, honest writer with a flair for getting into his characters heads. THis is the first book by him that I have read, after a recommendation, and I have to say, I'm hooked. The novel focuses on the struggles and adventures of Gopal, a small-town, religious Indian boy who attends a small-town American university for a year. Having lived in both India and America, I could at once understand Gopal's dilemnas and the social restrictions that seem to make no sense in America ...more
Pawan
http://iandbooks.wordpress.com/
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read by an Indian author. When Anurag Mathur had written this book, India was still not connected with rest of the world through TV and Internet. For the hero of the book who is a simple and “virgin” guy from India, America and Americans were really Inscrutable. The book is a story of this simple guy who goes to America to study and along with studies his another main motive is to lose his virginity.

His friends in Ameri
...more
Sajitha Jayaprakash
The Inscrutable Americans is a book by Anurag Mathur who lived in US for a while and then returned back to India.

It is a hilarious book that describes an year of the life of an Indian student, Gopal spent in a university campus---his first visit to the USA for a year’s diploma in Chemical Engineering. Gopal is from a village called Jajau (in Madhya Pradesh) where his family runs a hair oil factory. The hilarious situation is often caused due to the comical English used by him or due to the fact
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Adarsh
Mar 13, 2007 Adarsh rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Indians
Shelves: india, fiction
Gopal, the main character in the story, is a bright young Indian from one of the remote parts of the country. The book narrates his experiences as he makes his first trip to America to further his education. Mathur does a great job exploring the psyche of the character as he fumbles in between alien surroundings and people. Gopal's English is really bad, and provides for a kind of comedy that you have to be Indian to understand. (My head is eating circles)

This book is really funny. If you are lo
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Sowmya
The usual stuff about the ordeals of a gauche, naive, teenaged virgin from India growing up the fun way in an American University. Gopal goes through a series of adventurous mishaps all while trying to lose his virginity in a country he cannot begin to understand, either the language or its people, and does his cramming in between because it’s just too easy to waste all his time on.

The hilarious encounters are thankfully not just restrained to the vernacular translation gaps. The entire thought
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Gaurav Vartak
The Inscrutable Americans is a delightful book by Anurag Mathur. It focuses on the life of a young Indian student who has gone to the US for a diploma course of one year. The situations that are created due to his not-too-good English are quite hilariously depicted. Also his impressions of the American people and their culture is also quite nicely described. Though it describes the student's life in the US, it is quite different from 5 point someone; though not in the same league humor wise. One ...more
Jatin
The book is a mild read. I particularly liked the way Gopal(the protagnist) brings homour with everything he learns in America. Also the fact that the guy who was a strict no no for girls in the beginning, in the end makes his aim to get laid.

Overall it does it feel like the guy has had his first experience with Americans, the cross cultural theme pouring out.
Primal Pappachan
As the number of stars suggests 'it was an okay' book. The story of an Indian(more like Jajau) boy going for higher studies in US is predictable and stereotypical to the highest level. Most of the times you are inside the head of Gopal whose only knowledge of English books and movies are Penthouse Letters and Blue Lagoon respectively. With this shallow knowledge he is trying to unravel the mystery called America and in most part American girls.


Most parts of the story defies logic and is at wors
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Anil Anuragi
The book start with an Indian student named Gopal a small town boy from Madhya Pradesh going USA to study Chemical Engineering, a one year course so that he can make his oil company flourish. As he is a hardcore vegetarian, teetotaler a devout Brahmin and comes from high strata, he encounters many petty problems as he lands in America. His accent is jocular. He had his own conviction to see Americans from a different angle. He misunderstands many things American says like “Watch your ass” or “Ta ...more
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Anurag Mathur was born in New Delhi and educated at Scindia School (Gwalior), St. Stephen's College (Delhi), and the University of Tulsa (Oklahoma). He lived for three years in the U.S.A. before returning home to India to embark on a career in journalism and publishing. He now lives in New Delhi and contributes regularly to leading Indian magazines and newspapers. He is also the author of a travel ...more
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