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Seven Sixes Are Forty Three

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  21 reviews

Kushank Purandare is a young writer living off the goodwill of a host of friends, relatives, and lovers while he waits to gain recognition for his work. He is witness to their struggle as modern Indians to hold on to a semblance of truth and sanity in the face of alienation, squalor, violence, and loss of hope. Nagarkar's explosive style and irreverent approach caused an e

Published (first published 1974)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
On further reflection, this book is just too good for the 4 stars I gave it in the morning. It is a series of fragments of the life of Kushank Purandare as he steps out into the big bad world. Totally irreverent, sometimes crude, sometimes touching, always with an undercurrent of humour.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is a unique book with a distinct language, one of the most under-rated first class literature. As much as I loved the voice of the text, I totally enjoyed the unconventional flow of the story that unfolds randomly from any point. The text, which, on one hand is witty, on the other hand has the potential to wrench your heart. Read it for the love of reading, relishing the small sips. It cannot be enjoyed in large gulps!
Jun 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in the early 70s, this is the one that put Nagarkar on the map.

The risk here is that the narrative is not temporally linear; past, present, and future are mixed together -- as for example in Heller's catch-22. Nor are the characters introduced -- the slip in and out of the novel quietly.

I do not know enough about Marathi novels or South Asian novels to understand why this caused such a stir in its time. But I can sense that many of the characteristics of Nagarkar's writing are here: s
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
what a pleasure to read, it has been. it bothers me the way this book is so underrated. and some complaining about not making the head or tail of it! ah it's not supposed to be read this way (i guess ). don't worry about understanding the story, let the prose take over you. the prose is so delightful....
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic read. This is the story of a man and his life, in anything but a chronological order. The beginning of the book, while gripping, is a little random because there is little to no introduction of the people in the story. But when you stick with it, you can form images of the characters in your head.
Richa Jain
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
“For heaven’s sake, how can you write such blatant lies? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Seven sixes are forty three? What are you staring at the floor for? Now rub that nonsense and write the truth.”

Above is an excerpt from the book, and very simply tells the reader the essence it holds. That every society, as we see it, is not ideal. That not all the pieces fit together, and that its mathematics is often questionable.

Published by Harper Perennial, Seven Sixes Are Forty Three is Kiran Nagarkar’
Ashima Jain
Originally written in 1974 in Marathi, Saat Sakkam Trechalis was Kiran Nagarkar's debut novel and is considered a landmark in Post-Independence Indian literature.

Translated in English, Seven Sixes are Forty-Three is about Kushank Purandare - a writer living off the generosity of friends and lovers - who drifts about wallowing in his past and doing odd jobs. He reminisces about the people who intersect through his path and this is what forms the narrative.

Having read and loved the insanely funny
Rakhi Jayashankar
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed

To portray the deepest human emotions is the toughest job for a writer. Kiran Nagarkar proved to be the master of the art through the book 7643.

The plot unravels with a suicide. The first chapter sets a deep impact of a mystery thriller but later transforms for a literary fiction. The story of Kushank Purandare will stay with the readers forever. The pain of reality is sure to mark the name of the author in golden letters in the history of literature.

The book and the characters are above time a
Swati Garg
I have been a Kiran Nagarkar fan since I read Cuckold (the best historical fiction I've ever read) and this book came highly recommended so I wanted to give it a try. The book is something else from what you would normally expect. It's dark, it's funny, it's weird and it's comforting at some points and disgusting at others. So probably it's like life? I think this is the kind of book which everyone will interpret differently at different times.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Perhaps the only book I've ever read without paying attention to the name of any of the characters or understanding how any of them are connected. In many ways, to read this book is to just drift along, much like the protagonist. Not as intensely funny as Ravan and Eddie, in parts it reads like a series of sketches torn from an angsty young writer's notebook, but it's still enjoyable in a hazy I-don't -know-what's-going-on-but-I'm-too-comfortable-sitting-here-to-go-find-out kind of way.
I just didn't get it. Maybe something was lost in translation? The non-linear narrative was chaotic and confusing and the parts which I could follow just weren't anything special.
Ankita Gour
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful beautiful prose.
Erica Parker
I have no idea what I think about this. I received this in my December 2017 Boxwalla book box and was pretty excited about it as it’s the first work of Indian literature I’ve ever read. It’s an odd novel and it’s strangely playful, I think. I’m fairly sure that I didn’t quite understand everything on the page and that I’ll probably have to read it again. I’m glad I read it too - I do enjoy reading books that are unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I like being forced to content with things ...more
Parmeet Kohli
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautifully convoluted. Convolutedly beautiful.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is this third book I've read by Kiran Nagarkar and found it haunting me days after finishing it. My first intuition after reading it was to want to read it again someday. Not immediately, but a few years from now. The nature of the writing is so personal, even addressing the narrator's lover as "you", placing the reader in the text. There is no fluff in this book either. All of the moments blend from meaningful to meaningful interaction, often defined by Kushank's sexual relationships with ...more
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: marathi, 2013
I couldn't make head or tail of this book. Kushank Purandare narrates different incidents of his life in a non linear fashion making it hard for the reader to grasp the thread of each character and narration. His involvement with the woman with whom he shares a flat, the influence of his landlord on his life, a friend's momentary craving to molest a woman in college which ends in a violent way are some of the key fragments that get elaborated here. While the narration and style of presenting is ...more
Sadiq Kazi
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Tough-to-comprehend! One of the most difficult books to read, and coming from Kiran Nagarkar, I was left wondering what the hype about it was all about. Yes, there are Nagarkar's gems interspersed all over, but the non-linear approach and the lack of adequate punctuation baffled me. Probably, I need to read it again. Or read it in the original Marathi.
Dec 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in a piecemeal fashion which did not help my comprehension of the fragmentary narrative. I suspect this is masterful, but didn't read it with enough concentration and in a short enough period of time to keep the characters sorted. I need to return tot this someday. It's short, but dense.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An ok book
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As said, Milestone in Marathi lit
Kiran Ekbote
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Feb 03, 2010
rated it it was ok
Aug 30, 2020
Pauline McGonagle
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May 17, 2009
rated it it was ok
Sep 30, 2015
Sujata Navalu
rated it it was ok
Apr 23, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2012
Suyog Deshpande
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May 29, 2014
rated it it was ok
Mar 14, 2013
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Sep 17, 2018
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Apr 07, 2018
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Kiran Nagarkar was born in Bombay in 1942. In addition to plays and screenplays, he has written four novels, establishing his reputation as an outstanding representative of contemporary Indian literature. His books are a target of ideological critique due to the hybrid nature of his version of postcolonialism, involving irreverence alongside seriousness.

Nagarkar studied at the Ferguson College in

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