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3.05  ·  Rating details ·  331 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Мирис (1999) е дебютният роман на Радхика Джха, който разказва за отчуждението, белязало живота на красива млада жена в Париж – отчуждение, усилено многократно от изключителното й обоняние. Романът е носител на френската награда Герлен. Преведен е на двайсет и три езика.
Paperback, 392 pages
Published November 2011 by Janet-45 (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Soumen Daschoudhury
There is a thundering sound up there. The first drops of rain fall on the parched earth; they have traveled miles only to splatter against the myriad surfaces and amidst the scattering crowd looking for shelter, a penetrable smell arises; of the soil. It has always been there but it takes the advent of the rain to catalyze that strong happy odour, a smell marking change, a wetness redefining green and your eyes close unconsciously as you sniff with a deep breath and a heaving chest and the smell ...more
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Книгата ще допадне на хората, които харесват типа книги, които акцентират върху сетивността. Авторката се справя доста добре с представянето на усещанията за мирис, допир.
Книгата е и доста секси, интересна е и гледната точка на жената без корени, не-пасваща на мястото (Париж) и на културата (Индия).
Начинът, по който се разви историята обаче ми се видя твърде банален.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had such high hopes regarding this book.... and all came crumbling down one by one, one page after the other:(
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A girl is living in a happy, privileged childhood in Africa. When she witnesses the death of her father in a fire, her mother and brother leave for England and she is sent to Paris to live with an uncle. The story follows her experiences as an immigrant in a strange city, learning the language and trying to survive ... using the scent to describe/define the different stages in her life.

I really enjoyed reading this book, although the story is a bit darker than I had expected. It is exceptionally
Jane Alberdeston
The writing was good, the story-telling - well, not so much. I suppose what happened to me was that I got so very angry with the protagonist and that anger inadvertently flowed over onto the author. I suppose that's not fair: in other books, I was able to separate the two. What was wrong? The book was chock full of self-hate. The main character felt, through incidents of racism in her home, her community, her migration to Paris, that she smelled. Initially, she thought she "reeked" of curry; lat ...more
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
A book I could not put down till I had reached the very last word. "Smell" takes you on an olfactory journey from terrorist ridden Kenya to a part of Paris one had not thought about; with spicy Indian smells winding their way to our noses now and then... So natural for a women to be so sensitive to smells and a delight to read the narration of a girl's journey through life and the discovery of herself through these smells... Radhika Jha is a good story teller with her indianness coming through i ...more
It was a captivating book up until the first half, then you stop feeling sorry for Leela and just begin to hate her for being so weak. She lets herself be degraded by every character in the book and all you see is revolt but no clear action to follow it. It could have been a great book but i find the ending lacking in substance and the omnipresent force that the other chapters had. I always though that she's open her own restaurant and make good use of her sense of smell but i was left wanting.
Oct 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I felt very unsatisfied by Smell - start was good as I was also wrenched from East Africa after a parental death and went to live with an uncle and aunt in Europe - so could identify well initially with the character. Thereafter the story meandered without direction / sketched over subjects that would have benefitted from deeper treatment whilst overindulging subjects of limited consequence. Radhikaben is talented but needs a very assertive editor to help her develop and keep to a compelling sto ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jha makes up for the rather watery plot with subtle character psychologies and evocative use of language which makes this rather lackluster story spring to life... altogether a remarkable debut novel made rather unforgettable by its atmospheric quality.
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of those books that fits in the "I studied abroad for a year and now let me write a crap book set in this locale."
Ward Behle
Years ago, when I was working at a clothing store, I read as much as I could in order to escape the banality of my own life.
What drew me to this book were the locale (Paris; I had lived in France before), the subject matter (food), and the heroine's nationality (I had once fallen hard for an Indian man). So, I picked it up from the library and stuck my nose in. (Pun intended.)
Thirteen years later, what I remember include Leela keeping mum about her uncle's affair with a woman who visited the st
Sofia Girardello
May 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
L'ho trovato terribile, Con una Trama noiosa che non lascia alcunché, finale scontato e detestabile ed una protagonista che di per sè non tiene a nulla, neppure a se stessa. Bocciatissimo.
Богиня Книдска
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Ударни 2/3 от повествованието, много чувствено, сластно, ароматно. Обичам истории за храна, ухания и сложен житейски път. Централният персонаж Лила някак обаче остана затиснат между планините подправки и мъже.
Rogue Reader
Smell by Radhika Jha is the full body, full mind, full nose experience of a super sniffer. Fiction, yes, but a super sniffer, never the less. I've been waiting a long time to read Smell, and grateful to the Bookmooch person who gave it to me.

Leela Patel is sent from her home in Kenya to live with relatives in France where the scent memories of her Indian upbringing haunt her, and flavor her life. It's Indian spices that are are so present in the early narrative. In this passage, she corrects the
I bought this book in Paris a few years ago for more Euros than I remembered. I questioned myself for it when I picked it up this week. My questions were silenced by the evocative language on the first page.

Radhika Jha creates powerful images and empathetic characters. Some of her writing is so beautiful and clever it stopped me mid-paragraph, prompting me to pause and reflect on what had come before and what was being set up to follow. There is much to reflect on about identity--place of origi
Sonia Ahmed
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Smell is an enjoyable book and a quick read. The plot is fairly simple but using smell instead of the most common visual sensations gives it an overall artistic lure. I found the use of words very fluid, easily captivating. In the beginning, the relations are a bit difficult to remember, who is who to whom, but as the story progresses it makes little difference.

Leela and her life are driven by betrayal by fate and family. Her reaction to this and consequent choices in order to survive are quite
Susan Deborah
Apr 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have a great connection to smell and that's why I was keen on this book. But then, the smell goes nowhere. Like Leela who is quite vague about her smell and smells in general, the book also is pretty vague - it does have some evocative passages. I relished the paragraphs that link smell, food, sex and humans but beyond that, the book does not engage the reader. The last passages were abrupt and like Leela, I was impatient and restless - Will she go to England? Will she finally settle down in h ...more
Dilyana Georgieva
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it
"Мирис" привлича още с корицата. Феерията от миризми, изострената сетивност, съпреживяващата различност - увличащо неусетно. Но какво се случва към края? Сюжетът става някак изнасилен, нагласен, накърпен, ръбат, несръчен. Онова истинското, което е привлякло в началото, се е оттеглило в разочароващо недоразумение.
Идеалното уикендно четиво: прочиташ хищно две трети през почивните дни и влачиш останалото мудно през работните.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting one, a rather existential novel, almost in the vein of Camus, but with an underlying theme of smell drawing it/all characters together, sort of like a complex dish with just the right amount of spice. Good for the foodie and the literary sides of me.
I agree with other reviewers however, that the writing was good, but the story telling left a lot to be desired.
May 10, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my frenemies
I learned that even if you take the South Asian immigrant out of the typical setting, you are still left with a book that's "redolent with exotic sensuality." I am not why this book is in the pile of books on my bedside shelf, but I remember thinking it sucked. It's set in Paris and has some cool ideas but then the main character just starts cooking again ....
Увлекателно написана, чете се бързо и завладява, но щеше да е хубаво да има и някакъв смисъл цялата работа. Не намерих нищо, което мога да взема за себе си от тази книга, освен че ми беше приятно отново да се разходя виртуално из Париж :)
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bounding from one bad situation to another, a refugee from Kenya lives her life through her hypersensitive reactions to smell. The passages describing the spiced worlds she creates are beautifully written; you too can smell the ginger, cardamon and coriander....
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il Sole 24 Ore dice di questo libro che si legge tutto d'un fiato, e non é davvero possibile contraddire questo commento.
La narrazione affascina il lettore sin dalla prima pagina, più per l'ottima qualità delle descrizioni che per la vicenda in sé.
Loved the author's way of narration.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Невероятна книга. Описва колко трудно е на една жена да се впише в елегантното общество на Париж. На моменти очите ми се просълзяваха, на други дори усещах самотата й като своя.
Sensual language, unique protagonist (Gujarati diaspora displaced in Paris).
un libro leggibile ma perdibile. Un'ambientazione un po' pretestuosa e una protagonista con cui all'inizio si solidarizza ma descritta senza spessore alcuno. Tutto sommato un'occasione sprecata
Vishal Akhouri
A good read, beautifully naratted book. Takes the user on a joy ride with the protagonist in the novel towards the wonderful world of smells one encounters in our lives.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written.
Cris Ceobanu
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the stars in the galaxies are not enough to rate this masterpiece! Amazing story, great writing!
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RADHIKA JHA is from India (born Delhi 1970), studied anthropology at Amherst College, did her Masters in Political Science at the University of Chicago and has lived in Paris as an exchange student. She writes and performs Odissi dancing. She has worked for Hindustan Times and BusinessWorld, writing on culture, the environment and the economy. She has also worked for the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, w ...more
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