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Bad Karma: A True Story Of Obsession And Murder
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Bad Karma: A True Story Of Obsession And Murder

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  142 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Prosenjit Poddar was the brilliant engineering student who wanted nothing more than to return to his native India a big success and to marry a woman of his parents' choosing.

Tanya Tarasoff was the naïve coed who just wanted somebody to love.

And Larry More was the young psychologist who thought he recognized the warning signs that his patient was not just suffering from a j
Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published December 10th 2012 by 2 (first published January 1st 1986)
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(showing 1-30 of 340)
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Dennis Littrell
Apr 28, 2010 Dennis Littrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Blum, Deborah. Bad Karma: A True Story of Obsession and Murder (1986)*****
Cultural shock at Berkeley, circa 1969

This is a beautifully written, painstakingly researched and organized, fearless exploration of a tragic clash of character and culture. Deborah Blum strove for objectivity and empathy, understanding and identification, and she achieved it. In so far as a true crime story can be a work of art, this is one.

The setting is Berkeley 1969, Telegram Avenue and People's Park, etc. recalled wit
Jan 26, 2013 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was extremely interested in this book since I was hanging out at the Berkeley campus around the time the events happened and was a student at Berkeley shortly afterwards. I loved the book and read it without stopping, front to back, in one day. The writing is excellent and I think the portrayal of the characters is extremely realistic. Basically, I loved everything about this book.

There are a few very minor inaccuracies in the text. For instance, in one place it says that People's Park is at t
Cindy Smith
May 16, 2010 Cindy Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
haunting is the word that comes to mind about this book.

Tarasoff v Regents of the University of California is the resulting suit from this murder. the decision changed things not only in CA but the rest of the US: "Protective privilege ends where public peril begins."
♥ Marlene♥
Wow. What a fantastic read. So glad that I did love this book. The way it is written, how the suspension in the book gets higher and higher for us readers. love it. Highly recommend and not only for true crime readers.
It reads like fiction.Could not put it down.
Feb 10, 2013 Meghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that the cover that is on the Kindle version really threw me off. I'm not really a "judge a book by the cover" kind of person, but this one is bad and it almost made me not purchase it. Once it was in my Kindle library, it still sat there for awhile, me not being able to press the button on it because of that. Maybe it's just me ...

This was a good book. It was really interesting to see just how crazy he went, how he twisted what she said into what he wanted to hear ... and how sh
Mar 02, 2013 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Genetics or environment? Heredity or culture? Biology or sociology? Which is it that sometimes prompts good people to mess up their lives, so tragically, so young?

In the true-crime writing mold of Ann Rule (‘The Stranger Beside Me’, ‘Small Sacrifices’, ‘If You Really Loved Me’) Deborah Blum’s, ‘Bad Karma: A True Story of Obsession and Murder’ is an obsessively compelling read.

Although it has been decades since I’ve read it, I couldn’t help but, at times, feel that I was re
Feb 04, 2013 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled onto this book by accident, through a Facebook Group, and I am glad of it. The story is riveting and disturbing -- and while I'm typically not a reader of true crime, I found this one impossible to put down. The cultural gap between the young Indian murderer and his troubled teenaged victim is the real heart of this tragedy. I wish the author had provided more detail on the psychiatric and legal battles, but that's carping. Recommended.
Sue Smith
This was an interesting story - based on a real occurrence of murder back in the late 60's. No doubt the facts are all accounted and presented but there was a lot of conjecture as to how - and why - it all went down. It was laid out well though and was understandable how it ultimately ended in a tragedy of murder and how it all came to be because of a clash of cultures and morals.

I personally would have liked a bit more at the end.... the actual facts of the case and how it changed the face of t
Mar 11, 2013 Valerie rated it it was amazing
This book is a reprint of a book which was first published in 1969 ( I read it on my Kindle Fire). The book takes places UC Berkeley during the time the student rebellions were going on during the Vietnam War). The primary characters are and Untouchable Indian student, Prosenjit Poddar, and an American girl of Russian descent, Tanya Tarasoff. In 1949, Mahatma Gandhi made great strides toward ending the caste system in India; however, a culture always takes quite awhile to catch up to its ideals. ...more
Amelia Chameleon
Mar 28, 2013 Amelia Chameleon rated it liked it
I'm on the fence about whether this is a 3 or 4 star book. The writing was pretty good, but it was awfully drawn out for what amounts to be a surprisingly small story.

The author acknowledges that she took certain liberties with the dialog, which is fine, but based on the depth of the detail (in my opinion, a lot was unneeded) I had assumed that she had access to diaries or receipts and several conversations with the people involved, but it doesn't appear that she has. Which makes me wonder why w
Oct 11, 2014 dejah_thoris rated it really liked it
Written like a novel but actually the case that broke open patient confidentiality in regards to others being threatened. I liked that most of the book focused on their "relationship" rather than the actual crime, which is merely the last 10 pages. I am sympathetic to the murderer, however, as I think he was a driven to attack his obsession though he REALLY should've been involuntarily committed before it occurred. Great ripping true crime read that I burned through in two days, so highly recomm ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Hpreedom rated it liked it


This book is written from the view point of both antagonist and protagonist and reads much like a novel based on some facts from the case with conversation filler for emphasis. Some true crime books drive along incorporating researched data and history which tell you what happened but the psyche is barely treated. So Bad Karma grabbed and held my interest because it did.
Erin Schroeder
Jul 07, 2013 Erin Schroeder rated it really liked it
This incredibly detailed account of perceived love and total obsession by Deborah Blum was a very interesting read. Detailed to the point of mundane? Maybe. But through the conversations - which are admittedly semi-fabricated - you learn more about the different particles of the victim and the murderer.

Was Tanya's involvement with Prosenjit totally innocent? Did she not lead him on and continue to grow the obnoxious obsession that she hated him for? I didn't put the book down letting Prosenjit o
Jan 29, 2013 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled onto this book by accident. Fascinating read about how an "untouchable" young man, Poddar, from India beats the odds & ends up at Berkeley as a graduate student. A chance encounter with a young American woman turns his life upside down. He becomes obsessed, and ends up murdering her. Poddar was seeing a shrink, who considered Poddar a danger to the young woman, and tried to have him committed.
It was a senseless crime that could have been prevented. The Dr. Poddar was seeing tried
Chrissie Beharry
Jul 13, 2014 Chrissie Beharry rated it it was amazing
Good read

I enjoyed this book and learning about the story behind the Tarasoff case. I could not put the book down.
Jan 25, 2014 Rosario rated it did not like it
I thought it was true crime but it's 90% made up, which I find very disrespectful to all involved. The author states that she chose to dramatize the events but the level of detail is mind-boggling and completely unnecessary. The characters are almost caricatures, Tanya is a complete idiot with a mean streak and Prosenjit Poddar goes from genius to completely nuts in one step. The events of the time are also referenced in a extremely simplistic manner and, after pages upon pages of boring made-up ...more
Sandra Kovac
May 04, 2013 Sandra Kovac rated it really liked it
A tragic and terrifying recount of the cultural differences between a young, coquettish college girl and the brilliant Indian untouchable who, against all odds, finds himself studying in America. He becomes completely and psychoticly obsessed with her while she toys shamelessly with his feelings. This murder changed the laws so that therapists are able to warn people/law enforcement of imminent danger to other persons.
Mar 08, 2013 Monty rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Good picture of obsession. I felt increasing fear and revultion until the end. For those like myself who enjoy the trial and punishment of true crime, this book does not cover that part of this story.
Deke Rohrbach
Jul 26, 2013 Deke Rohrbach rated it liked it
This was a free book on Kindle but it was very good. The story is a somewhat fictionalized version of an actual incident that I had never heard about before. It was a surprisingly enjoyable read.
Mar 15, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
This book obviously takes liberties with feelings and dialogue, but does so in a compelling, interesting way.
Jul 03, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
The landmark case that makes doctors tell if they know their patient will harm someone. Really good read.
Rose Burcher
Mar 13, 2013 Rose Burcher rated it it was amazing
Cultural ignorance, obsession, mental illness and murder. An emotional read. Well written.
Susan Mobley
This was a very gripping novel. Hard to put down. I felt sorrow for both of the children involved.
Jun 24, 2014 Lenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very gripping story about a very unusual scenario. A real page turner!
Fairlee Corkran
Really fast read. I felt as sorry for the murderer as I did for the victim.
Mar 17, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it
My guilty pleasure...true crime. Culture clash gone horribly wrong.
Apr 18, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
Incredibly interesting case and told really well.
Kevin Larose
Jul 05, 2013 Kevin Larose rated it it was ok
A very depressing book.
Erin marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2016
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