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The Inheritance of Loss
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January 2017: Foreign Literature > The Inheritance of Loss - Kiran Desai - 2*

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Elise (ellinou) | 525 comments This book is about an old judge, his orphaned granddaughter, their cook and some neighbours living in an isolated little village at the foot of the Kanchenjunga mountain near Everest. It also contains the story of Biju, the cook’s son trying to make it as an illegal immigrant in the US. And then there’s a revolution, the Tibetans or Nepalese want something from India... I think... Honestly I didn’t quite follow.

I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it had started with the last quarter and gone on from there. The last 100 pages were the only ones that interested me, in which I felt something worthwhile was going on. Everything before that felt like a long-winded introduction (and the sugary relationship between Sai and Gyan made me nauseous, which didn’t help).

Also, it seemed like the author had no plan when she was writing, putting flashbacks whenever she felt like it, going back and forth between the past and the present to the point where I wasn’t sure anymore if a chapter was happening before or after a certain event. I remember once, Sai made a reference to the robbery which had occurred the previous week, and until then I had thought the chapter was taking place a few years before said robbery...

Maybe it’s just Indian literature that’s not for me. It’s the second time recently I read a book written in and about India, and I get left with the same feeling: dry, unlikeable characters, a story touching only the surface or things, leaving me with an uncertain unsatisfied feeling.

It’s a Man Booker prize winner, and I feel those are “love ’em or hate ’em” kind of books. Unfortunately this one fell on the latter end of the spectrum for me.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6016 comments I liked it quite a lot.


Elise (ellinou) | 525 comments I can see how people could like it, but unfortunately it didn't speak to me at all.


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