This is one of my favourite Christies. I have been wanting to re-read it ever since I watched 9 parts of desire - set in a very different Iraq! The meThis is one of my favourite Christies. I have been wanting to re-read it ever since I watched 9 parts of desire - set in a very different Iraq! The mention of the places - Basra and Baghdad took me irresistibly back to this lovely book while I was watching that relentless and disturbing play.
But back to Christie - this is one of her lightest and most charming books. And somehow the one thing that has stayed with me is the dig where our heroine finds the broken and repaired pan. Christie is at her best when she is talking about ordinary people, everyday things. It really is her forte and for this subject, this is JUST the book she should have written.
It is way better than her other attempts at writing thrillers - including the Tommy and Tuppence books. I can read it any lazy holiday. Doesn't matter that I remember every bit of the who's and why's....more
Hardly anyone on Goodreads seems to dislike this book. Just me then.
I read this book during a recent bout of illness. It gave me nightmares through thHardly anyone on Goodreads seems to dislike this book. Just me then.
I read this book during a recent bout of illness. It gave me nightmares through the high fever deliriums.
A lot of readers mentioned how the language complicated things for them till they gave up on checking the glossary. As an Indian, I can freely admit that several of those words were new to me too. But no need to hurry to a glossary. It was mostly only profanity. And it was all gratuitous. But that in itself was not a deal breaker. I found the story fast moving and gripping to start with. I found both Sartaj and Gaitonde very interesting characters. But somewhere about the 60% mark (according to my Kindle), I found myself really struggling to plough through and wondering if there was a point to this book at all. And when I reached the whole Zoya Mirza segment, I shut it, walked up to my husband, demanded the ‘what nexts’ to all the threads in the story and did a remove from device. I just did not want this sick book on my kindle. I did not want it when I was feeling ill, I did not want it to depress me any further.
Unfortunately my husband had forgotten some of the resolutions and when I thought of something I had missed, I had to reload the book. But there was no reason for me to read sequentially anymore so I went back and forth to pick up the pieces.
Having read about 90% of this book then, here’s what I think. There is no point to this book. There is a theme and it is violence. The circularity and inevitability and ultimate pointlessness of it. The book begins with an act of meaningless violence as an innocent puppy is hurled to it’s death. There is no remorse, retribution, redemption, nothing. And it keeps flowing. There is gangster violence, naxal violence, police violence, partition violence and in one deeply affecting story thread, the killing of identity instead of the body with the still looming threat of domestic violence in suburban America. But they are all cyclical and never-ending and unresolving of anything.
It is not a total loss. Vikram Chandra is a very gifted writer. Even his minor characters like Ram Pari, Mataji and the little girl Aisha, oh and Jana are well etched. Actually that is the problem. These minor characters are the normal ones. They’re the ones we can care for. They feel real. They populate our world. I am sure there is a real world populated by Gurujis and Kamala Pandeys and Ganesh Gaitondes too but it is so far removed from my reality. It is such a big investment for me to enter their murky world and stay there for a while. There is nothing to make me want to stay there long. I wish this book had had some sort of editing.
Final final final verdict – This is a two Heyer book. I will need to read two of Georgette Heyer’s sparkling romances with one chaste kiss at the end to lift me from the blues of this one!...more
It did not surprise me very much to find a lot of cribs about this book here on goodreads. The real mystery is how it ended up being a bestseller! I doIt did not surprise me very much to find a lot of cribs about this book here on goodreads. The real mystery is how it ended up being a bestseller! I don't really have a lot of issues with the factual inaccuracies and so on because I am Indian and my knowledge of the civil rights movement/southern culture/local dialects is quite limited. Also, having grown up on a diet of Bollywood movies, being real and correct are not mandatory to my appreciation of anything. You could take pretty much any topic, douse it in melodrama and stir up a rabble rousing hit. But there is a cardinal rule to that sort of thing. You can't be boring. And Stockett is! When I'd finished the book I actually stopped and wondered what was in all those pages! Did this book have an editor? Pretty much the only portions that worked for me were those involving Aibileen and Mae Mobley. Those bits sprang off the pages and felt real. The rest was a forgettable mess....more