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One Amazing Thing

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  4,492 ratings  ·  886 reviews
Late afternoon sun sneaks through the windows of a passport and visa office in an unnamed American city. Most customers and even most office workers have come and gone, but nine people remain. A punky teenager with an unexpected gift. An upper-class Caucasian couple whose relationship is disintegrating. A young Muslim-American man struggling with the fallout of 9/11. A gra ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Mohamed Al Marzooqi

بادئ ذي بدء يجب أن أنوه بأن تقييمي هنا للعمل الأصلي لا للنسخة المترجمة والرديئة التي أصدرتها دار دال مؤخرًا!

وأنوه كذلك إلى أن مشكلتي ليست مع دار دال أو غيرها ولكنها تكمن مع الضمائر الفاسدة !

إلى الحادثة ..

اقتنيت هذه الرواية من دار "دال" للنشر والتوزيع أثناء مشاركتها في معرض الشارقة الدولي للكتاب. كنت قد سمعت عن هذه الكاتبة ذات الأصول الهندية كثيرًا لذلك لم أتردد كثيرًا في شرائها لحسن حظي وسوء حظ الناشر!

مرّت أيامٌ قليلة بعد انقضاء المعرض ، عندما قررت أن أبدأ بقراءة هذه الرواية. أول ما شد انتباهي
...more
Shalyn
This is another book introduced to me through my book club. In short, nine people trapped in a crumbling building after an earthquake share stories about themselves to pass the time and distract themselves from the desperateness of their situation. In considering it, we read the synopsis and I remember thinking, "so is this supposed to be a kind of modern remake of The Canterbury Tales?" Then, sure enough, the character of the book that suggests the story-telling does so because she is a fan of ...more
jo
this is a delicate, almost fragile book, and it won't stay with you the way other books do. it will disintegrate in your memory and all you'll remember is that a bunch of people got stuck in a basement during a california earthquake and, in order to survive, swapped stories. the stories started off sluggish (who wants to tell stories?) but became terribly urgent as the day and night wore on. this is all you'll remember. you won't remember the stories.

the stories are not remarkable. they are not
...more
☮Karen
Nine very diverse people, trapped in an office following an earthquake, decide to pass the time by recounting a special time in their lives. The stories are told one by one, not much is memorable about most of them, not much is amazing really, just the fact that each storyteller took away something of value from those times. Just everyday life. Interesting how the stories seemed to help in their collective struggle to get free from the collapsed building.
I expected to be more amazed. I do like
...more
Connie
Thanks to my book club for introducing this author to me. She is apparently known for her short stories, and this novel reads like a collection, and it is. The characters trapped together after an earthquake share their stories, share the one amazing thing in their lives.

The surprise to me is that for the most part the stories were not uplifting, nor amazing. They were stories of what was important to the storyteller, they were stories that were spoken aloud for the benefit of the teller, not
...more
Britany
One Amazing Thing shares with us how 9 strangers stuck in an earthquake riddled building that is slowly collapsing all around them, that there is hope, and comfort in stories. Each person shares "One Amazing Thing" from their lives.

Some of the stories were heartbreaking, all carried themes of guilt, sorrow, and acceptance. I wanted more from the stories. Instead, they all ended abruptly leavinig me wanting more depth from these characters. These stories could've been much more powerful to the r
...more
Barbara
I was impressed by the unusual and imaginative premise devised by Divakaruni almost immediately. The plot focuses on a group of unaquainted people who are trapped in a passport office following an earthquake. The author has expertly imparted the emotions and the actions of the nine characters involved.

In order to maintain a semblance of equilibrium and relieve stress among these survivors, it was suggested that each should relate a significant story in his/her life. Each narration was intriguin
...more
Susan Johnson
I really liked this book. It is the story of nine people trapped in an office after an earthquake. It is the Indian consul and for various reasons they all have a connection to India. As they are trapped, the water is rising, the roof is collapsing and various other problems keep occurring.

As they wait for a rescue that may never come, they each tell a story from their past. It's called one amazing thing but the stories, by themselves, are not amazing. They are moments that change the course
...more
Kieran Walsh
I was a little disappointed with this one. I've always enjoyed the idea of strangers sharing stories and the context here was a good one (random customers/employees of Indian consulate trapped in the basement office building after an earthquake). What was, I had hoped, a Scheherazade type of story series really ended up being, with the exception of one or two, a hodge podge of uninteresting recount of situations (stories, certainly not). For fictional purposes I think ordinary lives could have a ...more
Meegan McCorkle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
April
One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a smattering of short stories within the context of a larger story. Basically an earth quake hits some town in California, so I think nine people are trapped in the Indian Consulate office. These people are all panicing and unhappy until Uma, a grad student who reads awesome books like The Canterbury Tales comes up with the idea to have all who are trapped share one amazing story from their lives.
Read the rest of my review here
Denise
Mildly absorbing but incomplete, thus unsatisfying..., March 27, 2010


This review is from: One Amazing Thing (Hardcover)
After I finished the book I went back to the beginning again just to clarify how it all began. Found a second read of it more interesting. BUT, I hated the ending. It's what a consider a NON ending and thus leaves me as a reader very frustrated. I don't like reading books that make me have to try to guess what happened. If I wanted to write a story, I would. I expect the aut
...more
Elevate Difference

One Amazing Thing is one amazing set of well-woven characters and stories. One scene, one event, one moment has drawn a complex set of diverse actors together in this novel, and Divakaruni does an excellent job of giving each character the perspective and depth that we need to not only listen to their voice, but to stand outside of them and see them as their companions on this journey do.

Set in a city-less visa office, a group of applicants waits for their turn to handle the bureaucracy required
...more
Pat Gent
This book reads like a collection of short stories tied together with an overlying setting. I think the whole of the book is about how our lives don't ever turn out like we plan and we end up making the best of whatever path we've chosen. Some of us are better equipped to be happy than others, some more resourceful, but each of us has at least "one amazing thing" that, when we look back over our lives, we can pick out and examine and say, "there. That was it..."

It's an easy read - I finished it
...more
Natnat
Yang membuat saya terkesan pada buku ini adalah setiap karakternya yang memiliki jiwa seakan-akan mereka tokoh nyata. Kisah-kisahnya pun sangat ringan, tidak berbelit-belit, tanpa drama berarti namun sangat manusiawi. Pada setiap paparan demi paparan cerita, saya diajak menyelami sudut pandang setiap tokoh, dan akhirnya memahami apa yang membuat mereka menjadi diri mereka saat itu. Dan yang membuat buku ini semakin KEREN, Divakaruni berhasil menutup kisahnya dengan indah.

Ah, saya cinta penulis-p
...more
Monica
This book is about the personal stories of nine people trapped in a basement in a visa office as they wait for either rescue or death. To keep themselves distracted from what has happened, they take turns telling one story about themselves that they feel is the most important to them at that time. And this leads to learning a little bit about each...yet enough to see what shapes their personalities. I like stories...this is why I read. And so this is a wonderful book that offers up one big story ...more
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
In an unnamed American city, seven customers and two officials remained in the visa office of an Indian consulate, during the late afternoon, each lost in his or her own thoughts, when an earthquake struck. Amidst the chaos that follows, only one person, Cameron, an African-American ex-soldier retains his senses. He tries to calm the people down, and keep them away from the collapsed section of the office. Soon after, everyone's focus turns to survival. They try to scrape together as much food a ...more
Betty-Anne
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s One Amazing Thing is a small but very powerful novel that examines the reactions and motivations of nine people following an earthquake that leaves them trapped in the basement Visa Office of an Indian embassy in an unnamed American town.

The focal character is Uma, a young girl of East Indian heritage who is questioning how she feels about love as she endures the long, protracted wait for a Visa to India. While she waits, she watches some of the people waiting as wel
...more
Wallace
Feb 15, 2010 Wallace rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wallace by: Voice (publisher)
The latest book sent to me from Hyperion/ Voice is called One Amazing Thing. I read half of the book today in just a little over an hour. At first, it was a bit hard to digest considering it is about a large earthquake that traps a motley crew of people in a basement of a visa office. In light of what is going on in the real world, this was not what I wanted to read. However, I became hooked. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a talented writer, who's work (and this particular book) is touted by such ...more
Michael
Nine strangers are in the Indian consulate's office of an American city to apply for visas for their trips to India when an earthquake strikes, leaving them all trapped together. The doorways are blocked, no escape is possible and amid rising water and increasing gas in the air, the sense of doom and panic among the survivors begins to increase. One of the strangers, Uma, an Indian-American woman, who coincidentally was reading The Canterbury Tales as the story opens, suggests that each of the n ...more
Rosanne
“One Amazing Thing” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a brilliant novel well thought out and well executed. I found myself captivated by the very first pages. I truly got caught up in the drama of being involved in an earthquake. I felt as if I was trapped in the building with them. I was anxious and nervous with each passing page fearing that the next page would surely take the characters all away.

Speaking of the characters, I loved each one of them. I really enjoyed the writing style of havin
...more
Diane D.
Mar 31, 2011 Diane D. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my girlfriend, Mary, and my live booksclub members
Recommended to Diane D. by: Have read Chitra before; and I heard her speak at LA Times Festi
I picked this book up in April of 2010 at the Festival of Books after having been to a panel and reading at which the author was participating. Plus I had met the author at past festivals and was her author escort one year.

This book did not disappoint. It takes place in a dire setting of the basement of a building where individuals are trapped after an earthquake. The individuals are all from different ethnic backgrounds with very different past and present lives. What they have in common is tha
...more
Deb
Everybody has a story, or maybe even one amazing thing that's happened to them. Amazing is not always a positive word, but it describes something that might have changed a life, or the course of one's story.

Some of the stories are heartbreaking, all of them paint a picture of the characters and why they may be who they have become. I think the author intentionally tells some of the stories so you are left wanting more. You have so many questions, want to know the outcome, how the central person
...more
Riawani Elyta

Cerita ini berkisah tentang sembilan orang yang terjebak dalam sebuah kantor permohonan visa saat terjadi gempa dahsyat. Hampir 12 jam berlalu, pertolongan tak kunjung datang, Salah seorang dari mereka – Uma – kemudian mengusulkan agar mereka saling bercerita sebagai pengalih perhatian dari rasa takut. Cerita yang menjadi momen penting dalam hidup mereka.

Maka, kesembilan orang ini : nenek Jiang, Lily, Cameron, Mr dan Mrs. Pritchett, Thariq, Malathi, Mangalam dan Uma sendiri, saling berbagi cerit
...more
Suze
Wonderful book. Made me think...have I done 'one amazing thing'? I believe everyone has.

Excellent presentation of characters throughout the storyline. I became so attached to them that I worried about their rescue until the very end!

I liked that the characters presented in a much different way in the beginning than they did at the end. This has a moral to it....don't judge a book by it's cover.

Recommended!
Barbara O'Neal
A page turner with heart. A group of strangers are trapped together when an earthquake strikes, and to keep their minds off their troubles, they each tell a story from their lives. A lovely nod to Chaucer, well done and evocative.
Toni
do most of my reading on my commute to and from work and because I work in a bookstore there are rules about bringing in books and other items that we sell. If you bring in something you own that is also an item that we sell, someone on the management team has to put a sticker on it to show that it is your personal property. So, to escape that hassle, I tend to read advance reader's copies (ARCs) that don't have bar codes and aren't for resale and therefore don't need to be stickered. Recently I ...more
Anjali
This book is set in an Indian visa office in a random American city where some people find themselves trapped in the building after an earthquake hits the city. The group is a mixture of age and race and the people struggle for survival. To pass away the time while they wait for the rescue team to arrive, they start narrating stories from their past about ‘one amazing thing’ about their life which they have never told anyone before.

There is a failed love story between a Chinese woman and an Indi
...more
Amy
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

A group of strangers are thrown together when an earthquake traps them in the basement of an Indian consulate in an unnamed American city. (most likely San Francisco) Inspired by her book of THE CANTERBURY TALES and in order to pass the time and prevent them from turning on one another, a young college student named Uma comes up the idea to share stories of "one amazing thing" from each of their lives. As the individuals sit in the dark
...more
Bridget

Nine people are stuck together. They have survived an earthquake and are now working together to survive. There is a teenager, a couple, a young man who suffered on 9/11, an ex-soldier, a grandmother and two people who are about to cheat on their spouses. To pass the time and release some tension, they decide to tell a true story about themselves. After learning about life from another point of view they begin to appreciate the life they had and gain new perspective on the life they want to lead
...more
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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author and poet. Her work is widely known, as she has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies. Her works have been translated into 20 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew and Japanese.Her newest novel is Oleander Girl (Simon and Schuster, 2013) http: ...more
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“She had always been this way: interested-quite unnecessarily, some would say-in the secrets of strangers. When flying, she always chose a window seat so that when the plane took off or landed, she could look down on the tiny houses and imagine the lives of the people who inhabited them.” 5 likes
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