To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
This is an enjoyably easy-to-read novel which draws you into the lives of the main protagonists (as well as the city of Mysore itself). Although the story is very much character driven, the author effortlessly evokes life in modern-day India (a society experiencing profound social and economic changes). The author's ability to describe the sights, sounds, and smells of India is remarkable. His descriptive ability is quite stunning. This is Mahesh Rao's first novel and given its quality it surely marks the start of what will be a long and successful career as an author. I was attracted to the novel for two reasons. First, it's setting. I'm currently reading a great deal of non-fiction about India's economic rise and wanted something else to contrast this with. Second, the plot appealed. It's topical because it reflects the profound changes that are currently happening in India. Rao has a light touch; he captures nuances and gestures which lesser writers would ignore or fail to appreciate. This means that what is left unsaid is sometimes as important as what is revealed. This is very much a novel to savor in terms of prose and narrative with some wonderful humor thrown into the mix - I'll leave you to discover all about Mysore's vision of the future: HeritageLand. I would describe it as languid and charming. The story lingers on long after the last page has been read. Highly recommended.
The characters in Mahesh Rao’s novel set in Mysore represent different strata of Indian society. Through the glimpses into their lives that the author offers, the reader comes away feeling that only the super rich - more exactly the nouveau super rich – have some control over their destiny.
Despite the inroads of modernity in the form of India’s first rocket launch to the moon, theme parks, luxury malls, an international film festival, dieting clubs, lifestyle fads, ubiquitous advertising of “entire ranges of products that the middle classes were completely unaware that they required” and an effort to make over the city’s image into the “Geneva of the East”, everyone else is to a greater or lesser extent oppressed by the traditional evils that still plague India : the cast system, extreme poverty, sub-human living conditions, environmentalf degradation, an erratic electricity and drinking water supply, spousal abuse, etc. As if all that were not enough, Rao’s characters are suffocating under the pressure exercised by society, their own families and friends to conform to some rigid ideal of propriety. Envy, vicious slander and humiliation destroy even the most innocent attempts at happiness.
This is an intelligent, very well written novel which despite the seriousness of the subject matter is not strident and often very funny.
The book is beautifully written. The descriptions are good, but long-winding. Unfortunately some of them go on too long and the reader tends to lose the plot. Also unfortunate is that there doesn’t really seem to be a plot! Just excerpts from some people’s lives during an exciting time in a small town.
This is the India which the tourist doesn't see. It is a poignant story of suburban India, specifically Mysore, in transition from age old culture and customs into the 21st century. The writing, which has literary quality and is at times poetic, takes the form of vignettes of mainly only loosely related characters.
a funny irreverent book. about India, shining , changing, progressing. India with modern aspirations and yet it remains unchanging and trapped in convention. a good book for people wanting to understand the contradiction which is India.
Had to get this book for my Literature class. The first few chapters were a little of a drag to read for me since I needed to read it in order to complete my last paper of the class however, after reading a book multiple times and being able to analyze a few aspects of the book I have come to enjoying it a bit more.