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The Reluctant Fundamentalist
3.68
really liked it
Nine Reasons To Read This One:

Because it’s short, yet evocative: a relief at a time when authors needlessly pile on the pages.

Because it’s hard enough
...more
not set
Jul 13, 2007
 
The Palace of Illusions
4.12
it was ok
A retelling of the Mahabharata from Draupadi's point of view sounds like it has much potential -- but this attempt is let down by trying to encompass ...more
not set
May 06, 2008
 
A Writer's People: Ways of Looking and Feeling
3.36
did not like it
Words used to describe Naipaul's work in the jacket copy of this book: "Astonishing", "rich", "extraordinary", "compassionate", "rich", "elegant", "ge ...more
not set
Sep 30, 2007
 
Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
4.20
it was amazing
With 'Complications', Boston-based surgeon and New Yorker writer Atul Gawande joined the ranks of Doctors Who Can Write. (Speaking of which, whatever ...more
not set
Jun 26, 2007
 
Mister Pip
3.66
really liked it
The words "deceptively simple" are such a cliche; nevertheless, they're the words that spring to mind when reading this novel. A charming and often ve ...more
not set
Aug 23, 2007
 
Evening Is the Whole Day
3.62
liked it
Lush evocation of the activities of a dysfunctional Indian-Malaysian family over the decades -- very well-written indeed, but a bit over-ripe and, ult ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2008
 
The Elephanta Suite
3.34
it was ok
Should be two-and-a-half stars, actually. Well-written, with an eye for the telling detail, but containing too many generalisations about India -- at ...more
not set
Aug 15, 2007
 
On Chesil Beach
3.55
really liked it
On Chesil beach in Dorset, the sea and wind grade pebbles according to size, smaller yielding to larger. It is this that Ian McEwan’s elegantly-fashio ...more
Apr 2007
Jun 15, 2007
 
Balti Britain: A Journey Through the British Asian Experience
3.43
liked it
Interesting enough, and heartfelt enough, and worthwhile enough in this age of hardening attitudes towards multiculturalism, but it's hardly a "journe ...more
not set
Nov 10, 2008
 
What You Call Winter: Stories
3.84
really liked it
Another one of those debut collections of sensitively-written short stories by a half-Indian-half-American writer. So far, so ho-hum. But what makes N ...more
not set
Aug 23, 2007
 
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
3.38
really liked it
Jinn cocktail: some reflections on @SalmanRushdie's Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, in fewer than 1001 tweets. 1/15

With more magic tha
...more
not set
Oct 02, 2015
 
Engleby
3.72
liked it
Well written and evocative of university life in Britain in the Seventies, but somehow a bit too, um, creepy for my liking. One also wondered why, if ...more
Jun 10, 2008
May 29, 2008
 
Experience: A Memoir
3.95
really liked it
Amis weaves together his dental agonies, his relationship with the cousin abducted by a serial killer, his memories of Kingsley Amis and his meetings ...more
not set
Jan 16, 2008
 
Sorrows of the Moon: In Search of London
3.57
it was ok
Yes, one can see that this will have some worth as a social report on the lives of some of London's immigrants, but on the whole it was way too faux-n ...more
not set
Jul 25, 2007
 
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
3.75
it was amazing
Wonderful collection of interlinked short stories dealing with characters drawn like iron filings to the status and power of a wealthy landowner in Pa ...more
not set
Feb 25, 2009
 
The Lemur
2.97
really liked it
John Banville’s alter ego, Benjamin Black, returns with this slender novella that was serialized in The New York Times earlier this year. Unlike Chris ...more
not set
Aug 22, 2008
 
All the Sad Young Literary Men
2.89
it was ok
Early on in Keith Gessen’s debut novel, one of the characters visits his ex-girlfriend being treated for depression in a sanatorium. The institution, ...more
not set
May 06, 2008
 
Dreams Of Rivers And Seas. Tim Parks
3.26
liked it
Tim Parks takes his novelistic gaze away from decadent Europe and brings us a story of overseas visitors in India. The central -- though absent -- pre ...more
not set
Aug 09, 2008
 
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
3.89
liked it
With some books, you know you’re in good hands from the beginning, and so it is here with ex-Granta editor and current New Yorker staffer Bill Buford’ ...more
not set
Sep 10, 2007
 
Two Caravans
3.49
liked it
In this follow-up to the charming A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian, Marina Lewycka takes the same theme – immigrants from the former USSR searc ...more
Jun 2007
Jun 14, 2007
 
Cutting for Stone
4.28
it was ok
Disappointing first novel from the doctor whose earlier sensitive memoirs were so moving. This one is more of a love letter to an Ethiopian upbringing ...more
not set
Feb 25, 2009
 
On the Road to Kandahar: Travels through conflict in the Islamic world
3.84
liked it
Towards the end of the 1991 Gulf War, Jason Burke and a friend arrived in Iraq to fight for the Kurds. They were all of 21 – ah, the headiness of yout ...more
Sep 2007
Sep 21, 2007
 
Tanglewreck
3.46
really liked it
Jeanette Winterson’s first novel for so-called “young adults”, Tanglewreck is a fast-paced, imaginative tale involving travel through time and space a ...more
Mar 2007
Jun 14, 2007
 
A Fraction of the Whole
4.07
it was amazing
A wonderful, over-long, rambunctious, subversive, sardonic, comic, sprawling, digressive and wonderful (have I used that word already?) debut novel ab ...more
not set
Nov 24, 2008
 
Clearing a Space: Reflections on India, Literature and Culture
4.16
liked it
In this collection of essays formerly published in the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement, among others, Chaudhuri attempts to l ...more
not set
Aug 19, 2008
 
A Place Within
3.40
liked it
A genteel and courtly look at the land of Vassanji's forebears. Written with detailed observation, affection and a desire to link history to the prese ...more
not set
Jul 01, 2009
 
Broken Verses
3.57
liked it
A story of two families that stretches from the Nagasaki bombing to India's Partition to 9/11 and beyond. Much more wide-ranging in scope and ambition ...more
not set
Apr 16, 2009
 
Amis & Son: Two Literary Generations
3.19
liked it
Well-informed and opinionated, and therefore almost always interesting -- but Martin Amis puts in an appearance only in the last 100 or so pages, and ...more
not set
Jun 18, 2009
 
Then We Came to the End
3.45
really liked it
Considering that most of us spend most of our time in cubicles, it’s surprising there aren’t more novels about office life. Which is among the reasons ...more
May 2007
Jun 14, 2007
 
A Far Country
3.23
it was ok
A quaint, old-fashioned word comes to mind while reading Daniel Mason’s second novel, and that word is “integrity”. Though it isn’t mentioned anywhere ...more
not set
Jun 19, 2007
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