Mead Fegley is a genious and goes to college at a young age to study mathematics where he has a real aptitude, but his journey to college is waylaid a...moreMead Fegley is a genious and goes to college at a young age to study mathematics where he has a real aptitude, but his journey to college is waylaid and he rushes home a few days prior to his presentation of an important paper on a noted mathemician's theorem. Jacoby's tale is split into three separate time lines, which are her way of showing how Mead turned out the way he has, what happened in college and why he left. This non sequential story worked for me although I could see how it would not work for everyone. The most recent timeline is right before his presentation of the paper and graduation from college, one of the other timelines is three years before when he started going to school and the other is about his life as a youth. There are a lot of side issues that Mead has to deal with besides the main one. Firstly, there is the death of his cousin. Then there is his cold mother. Finally there is the situation with his Aunt's reaction to his cousin Percy's death and finally there is his situation with Herman Weinstein, a student in his college who he is running away from. In the end Mead does grow up a little and take awareness of his life, but as in all decent books its the journey of self discovery that is the main thing and I thought this journey was handled well.(less)
A really fascinating look at the underbelly of Indian culture from the viewpoint of a driver of a rich landlord -- industrialist in India. The White T...moreA really fascinating look at the underbelly of Indian culture from the viewpoint of a driver of a rich landlord -- industrialist in India. The White Tiger, a poor boy who without any formal education becomes a wealthy man recounts his path to wealth in a series of letters to the Chinese Premier who is visiting India. (Personally this style fo the story made little sense but the story told was fresh and interesting and informative). Update -- this novel just won the Man-Booker Prize as the best novel of the year written in the British Commonwealth
Balran decides that the way to get out from under his Grandmother's thumb is to become a driver for rich Industrialist. He finds a way to get somone to teach him to drive. Then he gets employment as the second driver to a family of rich people who dominate his village. Balran shares his insights on Indian culture and the corruption that dominates all walks of life. From the politician who takes graft from the industrialists to the landlords who take a bite out of everyones work, to the families who force their sons out of school to finance the weddings and doweries of daughters, to the doctors at hospitals who take money from the government but never go to the hospitals to treat anyone. Its all here. The white tiger, supposedly a rare individual, learns the hard lessons here. He uses his skills to learn the secrets of the first driver and get rid of him. He learns how to get into the mall by faking that he is a rich fellow. He learns all of the tricks of his master and his master'fs family and puts that knowledge to work for him. Ultimately he decides to that he can sacrifice his whole family -- with little regret and resorts to a novel approach to gaining wealth. Balran is no innocent and his rise to power and wealth and the inescapable lesson of this book are sobering.
A good read and a fresh approach to the economic resurgence in India.(less)
**spoiler alert** If you like to be emmershed in real life you will like Price's latest novel. The story is in the context of a police investigation o...more**spoiler alert** If you like to be emmershed in real life you will like Price's latest novel. The story is in the context of a police investigation of a murder in the Lower East Side of New York, but using that jumping off point, Price accurately presents a mixed bag of characters and nails their essences down pat. As in the Wire, where Price was a writer, the story does not flow straight ahead. It pauses, it digresses, it disolves into various character moments. It presents everyones side of the story. It spins a web from each characters reaction to the events jumping from one viewpoint to the next, but you never feel lost or striving to understand who is talking. Its alive and you are there. It captures the flaws in each character -- and everyone is flawed in some way. From the initial witnesses who falsely accuse the wrong man to Eric, the presumed murderer who is raked over the coals in an interrogation, and you feel sympathy for him, but then he is skimming at the nightclub and holds out on the cops, to the father of the victim who goes a little nuts and blames himself for how his son acted on the night of the murder examining how he raised the boy to the cop investigating the crime, who has the hots for the murder victim's stepmother and barely knows his own two wayward sons who are called Older One and Other One. The stepsister's guilt, the killer, his criminal accomplice, an ex lover of the victim, a waitress who screwed the victim on the night of the murder. Each person finds his way onto the stage of the novel and in small snippets, and utterly convincing dialogue, Price shows their lives -- warts and all.
I am not so concerned about geography or whether Price accurately depicts the exact neighborhood. This is fiction. But dialogue is why I read books. Its what I love, and if you love dialogue you will love this book.
I was captivated, enthralled, engrossed. I read it in 48 hours 455 pages on two work days. Gulped it down finished it and said now thats a book and a half.
In this tale of reflection, loss and heartache, a 67 year old man buys a house in a remote part of Norway to live out his final days in a countryside...moreIn this tale of reflection, loss and heartache, a 67 year old man buys a house in a remote part of Norway to live out his final days in a countryside similar to a place he lived as a youth of fifteen with his father. We learn about his recent losses and the sorrow he has experienced, and Trond, the main character also journeys back in time and tells the story of a fateful summer when he was 15 in 1948 and was logging with his father and his life and the life of his friend, mother and father changed forever. Betrayal, death, loss are all set forth in quiet authentic prose that sticks with you. A winner of many literary awards. Serious fiction. Not my usual fare, very disquieting.