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The Sound of Water: A Novel
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The Sound of Water: A Novel

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Longlisted for the 2007 Man Asian Prize, a gripping debut novel about an Indian mining disaster as seen from the perspectives of the miners, their families, and the officials charged with rescuing them.

Written by a former director of the Indian Ministry of Coal, and loosely based on the disastrous flood at the Bagdihi colliery in 2001, which trapped and killed dozens of mi
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 30th 2009 by Atria Books (first published 2009)
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Ashwani Sehgal
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book that will take you the coal mines of India, A place where death is certain because of some accident. He brilliantly told the truth in the form of fiction.
A boom that's hard to put down. Read this to know the truth about the working conditions of people in indian coal mines, Read this to experience what a miner experiences inside a coal mine... A must read
Deepanjali Sarkar
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very dramatic and evocative account of an Indian mining disaster – seen through the eyes of the government officials, the labourers trapped inside the mine, and their families. The writing is unflinchingly brutal as it looks at human nature when it is forced to act under duress, when its staring at a tragedy of horrific proportions.
The characters are strongly drawn out. There is RAIMOTI an old, experienced miner who is almost mystical in his dealings with his family and when surrounded by blac
Vibha Saroj
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
it was a good book but it really depressed me at some points. I must say Mr. Sanjay is a very potential writer.
Lex Poot
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asian-literature
Excellent debut. Greed and corruption are recurring themes throughout the book.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Wow this book made me hate humanity. Which I'm assuming was the point, so message received.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review; The Sound of Water by Sanjay Bahadur.

For being Sanjay Bahadur first book I feel he did a fabulous job. Well written, captivating and strong. The author unfolds a story about of a small India community of people and a life only coal miners experience down deep under the folds of dirt and rocks through the tunnels of their uncertain fate.

Sanjay Bahadur uses vignettes to weave through the creation of his novel to relate both the characters complicated plot of Indian life as well as the dan
May 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Some books are great because they take you to a place you will never go, other books introduce you to people or a life you will never experience. Fewer can do both, but the Sound of Water accomplishes just that.

Small vignettes weave the story through a coal mine accident deep in India. This book is both character study of people from the various, complicated strata of Indian life as well as a warning against materialism and the dangers the "beast" of a bureaucracy. The sections on the actual min
Christel Grady
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
This morning, I hit the major plot focus, the driver of the novel, the flooding of the mine. While riveting in and of itself, my main focus thus far has been the flow of the language, and the poetic quality thereof. This novel has been a much needed diversion from the murder mysteries ans thrillers I've been reading recently. Too often, thrillers, while they suck the reader into the plot, are boringly written, more function than form. This novel is teeming with beautiful metaphors, and is a bles ...more
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I feel the writing in this book is better than the story as a whole. The author delves deeply into each character, their lives, their pasts, and their view on Life. He shows the differences between the working class and management of a small mining town. The book revolves around "The Beast" each character must face in their lives and wether they choose to face it or submit to it. I really enjoyed reading the book, but feel the overall story had some holes... some missing information. However, I ...more
Oct 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub
I liked this book more than expected - but I honestly was a litte dissapointed in the ending. It just sort of stops, without any real resolution. I think the author intended it to be this way so you really keep thinking, but I find this all a little frustrating because I like to have all loose ends tied.

It kept me interested, and I liked wondering about the relationships between the charecters that were shadoweded but not really mentioned.

Wasn't amazing - but was good over all.
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a very well written book, but I didn't like it at all. I heard more about their dysfunctional sex lives than about the mine. Perhaps that was the point. That the mine is run by empty immoral folks, lacking in character, will, moral fiber, etc. If so, it was very strongly made..

I cannot imagine advising anyone below the age of twenty to read this book, and yet it is highly recommended for all to read in India.
Nov 22, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book started off really well and then ended poorly. The vague religious visions dragged on and were disjointed. The descriptions of the flood are fascinating. The character development lagged as the book went on. The politics behind the mining industry and authors background were part of the reason I read the book. However, the focus on politics was also part of the downfall of the book.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it liked it
This is fictional story about men in India working far down in the earth extracting coal - their phobias,their sad lives and the disasters that can happen at any time. And in this case after six men parish in an underground flood, the management conjure up stories to tell that will make them sound like heros and try to find a scape goat to blame for anything that an investigator may find.
Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
The book is about a mining disaster in India. It tells about the mining cave in, through the perspectives of the miner, the company executives and the family members.

I thought the family members were cold and heartless and that really turned me off. The characters were just not likable. However, the storyline was interesting.

I did not understand the ending, even after reading it twice.
Ajay Ajay
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story, weaved around the filling of gushing water inside a coal mine. It has everything: story, political and social milieu and a wonderful climax.

Kudos to the Author for writing an amazing tale.
Missy Sherriff
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
The triplicate viewpoints, with overlap, added much to the very simple plot. Seemed to be trying too hard to hit political and philosophical hot points though.
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a fascinating fictional expose into the horrible conditions for miners in India, but could apply to here as well. You feel like you are really in there.
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Mar 08, 2010
Param Jit
rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2011
Subhrajit Kar
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The plot centers on the sudden flooding of an underground coal mine. The protagonist, Raimoti, is an ageing miner, addicted to ganja and hooch. Years of unnatural living, hardship and personal tragedies have put him on the edge of sanity. For him, fear of drowning in a dark, hostile world acquires obsessive proportions and becomes personified as a “Beast”. But he is isolated in his battle against this “Beast”. His fellow miners don’t believe in his vision of doom. Later, when the disaster strike ...more
rated it it was ok
Dec 09, 2009
Jeremy Stephens
rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2009
Param Jit
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Oct 16, 2011
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“Converge all thoughts on Breath. Breathe in and breathe out and wish 'Let not Death claim me.' You will vanquish Death.” 1 likes
“From chaos the universe was born, from void came life. From the abyss of despair came the spirit of survival. Flowers from earth. Gold from fire. I burn like fire. Little flames bloom first at my toes, then my stomach, then my heart. Now my soul is on fire. Do you feel the heat?” 1 likes
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