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Frequent Contributor
Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Introduce Yourself

Reply to this message to introduce yourself to the group! Have you read Desai before? What attracted you to this book club?
Frequent Contributor
LeftBrainer
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I found this book on a recorded book at the library. What attacted me to the book was the similarity to Namesake. Nancy
Contributor
ctgarcialeon
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎07-05-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I was part of a bookclub that read this book a few months ago. The club wasn't a very dedicated one and fell apart before we could discuss the book. I look foward to hearing others thoughts on the book and participating in a good online discussion.
Reader
doctopanga
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I must begin this with a warning that I disagree wholeheartedly with the favorable reviews of this book and am genuinely curious about a process that could allow a book this bad to receive the award it did, particularly when there were so very many better first novels this year that might have been recognized more legitimately.
I read this book with my book club a couple of months ago and found it very very disturbing. I do not enjoy the absence of flow in the author's writing style and found the many references to things Indian without benefit of explanation or translation (footnotes, anyone?)very annoying. But most of all, I found many of the scenes physically, viscerally, abhorrent---the level of violence and the complete devaluation of human life was nothing less than pornographic. I finished the book for two reasons: first, because it was for my book club and I wanted to be able to discuss it, and second, I kept assuming that because of the awards the book had won, at some point it was going to get better. I am very sorry I purchased this book.
New User
libretto
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Doctopagna wrote:
"I must begin this with a warning that I disagree wholeheartedly with the favorable reviews of this book and am genuinely curious about a process that could allow a book this bad to receive the award it did, particularly when there were so very many better first novels this year that might have been recognized more legitimately.
I read this book with my book club a couple of months ago and found it very very disturbing. I do not enjoy the absence of flow in the author's writing style and found the many references to things Indian without benefit of explanation or translation (footnotes, anyone?)very annoying. But most of all, I found many of the scenes physically, viscerally, abhorrent---the level of violence and the complete devaluation of human life was nothing less than pornographic"

I am totally surprised by the hostility in this response. I found this book to be amazing.One of the reasons I read is to expand the narrow parrimaters, of which being able to live only one life in my fairly limited circumstances of a large world allows me.Yes, there was violence in the book; but it is in a part of the world where inequities and violence have reigned for eons. The author has done an excellent job of telling a story that needs to be told no matter how abhorant and I think she peppers it beautifully with humor, wit, poetry and describes the beauty too. Is there cruelty? Yes, of course, that is the paradox of life, the joy is in overcoming the cruelty to say more at this point would give too much away about the book.
New User
A_Beaverhausen
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-30-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I am only a few pages into this book, and I have to have it read for a book club discussion in just over a week and I must say I don't know if I'll be able to do it. Much like doctopanga, I'm already having a problem with the choppy writing style and the use of Indian terms with no explanation. I really dislike feeling like I only have a tenuous grasp on the story because of the vocabulary. Additionally, the promise of violence and horrible situations really doesn't encourage me to continue. When I read for entertainment, I do prefer to be entertained, and I'm afraid that these situations do not do that for me. I will go to the book group whether or not I finish it, though, because I would like to hear the viewpoint of others (which is what brought me to this thread).
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello, I go by IBIS, which are my initials.

These previous posts are intriguing, to say the least. I was initially attracted to the title; it sounded very poetic. But I've started THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS and am having trouble maintaining interest in it.

First of all, the paperback I bought had 30 pages missing. Pages 48-90 was included twice, and pages 91 to 120 was missing.

UGH!

With all the awards listed on the cover, I had a premonition that most of INHERITANCE would inaccessible to a pop-lit reader like me. I've discovered that many literary awards are awarded to high-brow Literature (with a capital L) that is opaque and too experimental for me.

I'll continue reading it and drop in occassionally on this board to see how other readers are faring. I'm interested to share your insights.

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Contributor
ctgarcialeon
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎07-05-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I have to agree with libretto. The Inheritance of Loss is not a happy book but it's beauty is what made it entertaining for me. It describes a tumultuous time in a country's history and in the lives of several characters. But it does so beautifully. Although there is some violence in the book I don't believe it is gratuitous or excessive and certainly not pornographic. This is not a plot driven book but for those who appreciate lovely prose and value character development over a clever plot it's a wonderful read.
New User
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-01-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

My book club read this book this month, but I missed the discussion because I was visiting my mother. I was excited to see that I would get another chance to participate in a discussion of this book, since I had missed that one. I found the book a "slog" in the beginning, and like some of the others who have responded, I kept "slogging" because I really try to finish the books my club reads (and I had blown it and read the wrong book the month before!) I started out despising the judge, but that turned to pity after the description of his lonely years as a student in England. I have spent time living abroad in various places, and I readily connect with anyone who has to live as an outsider. Of course, I can't forgive his treatment of his wife or the cook, or just about everybody else with whom he came in contact, but he did redeem himself a bit toward the end.
New User
libretto
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi IBIS

I hope you stick with the book and the discussion. We all start out as pop-lit readers; just like we all start out with fast food and cheap wine until we learn to refine our tastes. Also I see you quote Blake so you must read other writtings you deem opaque.
Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi all,

I'm glad to see have a bit of discussion starting, and I can vouch for Ibis from reading many posts authored by her on these boards that she is by no means only a pop lit reader!

A few have mentioned having trouble with the "choppy" writing style, (which I really loved) and I wonder if I could suggest listening to the audio? I heard the first of the disks of this novel while I waited for my book to arrive, and it was totally wonderful! It really wakes you how much the novel feels centered around the poetry and drama of speech. And the reader is fantastic.

Rachel
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi Rachel and Libretto

Thank you for your comments and encouragement.

I do intend to continue reading INHERITANCE; it definitely paints a very large canvas... the life of a New York City immigrant to the more rarified air of mountain life with the judge and his cook... what a vast view of the human condition.

So far I have enjoyed the patterning of speech... from the Judge's educated, Anglophile accent to the pidgin English of some of the immigrants. There is poetry in the prose.

I'm a violinist so I am sharply attuned to the rhythms and cadence of an author's writing style. The "choppy" style of writing is actually very rhythmic, and flows.. perhaps not as smoothly as long descriptive passages, like in George Eliot's writing, but more jazz-like and "staccato" in its tempo.

That's my musician's take on the writing style so far.

More to come.
IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Contributor
ilucas
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I began a book discussion group a year ago at my church. Over the past 14 months, I have found that the group responds well to books that introduce the reader to a new cultural setting or life experience. I am checking out the book to see if it might be something worth recommending to the group. The conversation I find on line will give me an idea of some directions for the group. This month, we are reading "Saturday" by Ian McEwan, recommended by another member. The group is reporting that it is too difficult to slog through. Because I liked that book and several others that the group found too dense, I am interested in reactions to the readibility of various books also. I have found that I am not the best judge of such things. Irene
Contributor
verso
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello, I am Terry, and I am intrigued by both the characters and setting in the Inheritance of Loss. I look forward to learning how the characters handle conflict and finding out what happened in India.
New User
rsrey
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-03-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello, I'm an English teacher... I have been offering Inheritance of Loss as a choice on my Asian authors book list for two years now. Several of my ninth graders have taken on the challenge of reading it and gave a favorable response. Many more of them choose Desai's first book, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. I enjoyed both books immensely and like to see my students' impressions. I'm interested to see what you are all saying about IOL.
Sarah
Contributor
Merryworld
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi, I'm Merry.

I heard Karen and Anita Desai interviewed together on NPR, and became intrigued. I haven't read either author before. I have read a number of books by Indian authors, enjoyed some, others not so much, though I felt all the books were beautifully written.

I'm looking forward to the discussion.
Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Ah, Merry!

I think I also heard that interview but it was long ago enough that I only remember that I was tremendously interested, but don't remember the content!

Take a peek at the off-topic thread for more along these lines,

Rachel
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself



rsrey wrote:
Hello, I'm an English teacher... I have been offering Inheritance of Loss as a choice on my Asian authors book list for two years now. Several of my ninth graders have taken on the challenge of reading it and gave a favorable response. Many more of them choose Desai's first book, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. I enjoyed both books immensely and like to see my students' impressions. I'm interested to see what you are all saying about IOL.




I loved Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. I wasn't sure if it was satire or not. But the story was so outrageously hilarious, I couldn't stop laughing.

I mean, how truly enlightened can one be living in a treetop? And when his family took advantage of his fame by starting their own little business below the tree... how hilarious is that? It's enough to give capitalism and private enterprise a bad name!

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

[ Edited ]
Hi everyone,

I read with interest the introductions and first impressions. I had always wanted to read this book and unfortunately had too many books in my to be read pile.

I think I will go pick up a copy and see what I think. I am sure that most of you will be far ahead of me since I am starting so late.

But as I catch up, I can jump in where appropriate. I have found that the Man Booker Prize awards do seem to go to books which are considered by some to be more "literary" or "artsy". Ones which seem to have some underlying message.

Anyways, I will take a chance and see what this one teaches me.

I was very intrigued by the spectrum of diametrically opposed comments; so much so I wanted to take a chance and see for myself.

Bentley

Message Edited by bentley on 01-16-2008 08:19 PM
Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Bentley,


Would enjoy it if you did jump in! Our group has been very low key, and I'm a great fan of this novel, so would like to hear more conversation about it.
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