1001 Group Read: January,2012--The Inheritance of Loss

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1001 Group Read: January,2012--The Inheritance of Loss

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1george1295
Dez 31, 2011, 8:15pm

Happy New Year to all my group read friends!! I hope this year brings you all the best you could hope for. Our book for this month's group read is The Inheritanc of Loss. I cheated and started about a week ago. I look forward to what your thoughts are about this one.

2Jacksonian
Jan 1, 2012, 5:47pm

I started a couple of days ago too. Shame on us.

3Jacksonian
Jan 2, 2012, 9:58pm

Finished The Inheritance of Loss on the plane down from Boston to Atlanta tonight. The poverty of India is apparent in the descriptions of the life in the countryside around Darjeeling and the effects of colonialism on India. I found the dichotomy of the paths of Biju and Sai particularly fascinating.

4annamorphic
Jan 6, 2012, 2:54pm

I'm about half way through the book now. The writing is lovely and evocative, the humor very sweet. But I am waiting to find some sort of spine to the book. I've just come to the part where the uprising is going to interrupt/shatter (I don't know which) the lives of the Darjeeling inhabitants. I am not sure how anything very heavy could possibly work with the way the book has been set up thusfar.
Yes, there are serious matters at work here -- poverty, colonialism, prejudice. But they just sort of blip by, without an anchor. Does anybody else have this feeling? I've read quite a few other Indian and Anglo-Indian books before -- Narayan, Naipaul, Roy, even Kipling and one might include Farrell's Seige of Krishnapur here. I get the style and the tension between that amusing, distanced evocation and a more serious, even somber side. But I'm not sure Desai is going to pull it off.
What have others thought about this?

5Deern
Jan 7, 2012, 10:40am

#4: I needed two attempts to finish the book (2008 and 2010), and the first time I abandoned it after the first half. On my second try on exactly the same point I was struggling again, but that time finished it. And now I don't even remember exactly what happened in that second half. I read many books about India in 2010 and found this one the least impressive, somehow I didn't really believe the author. She is able to write very well, quite poetically sometimes, but for me the plot development didn't fully work out.

6joeinma
Jan 9, 2012, 9:25pm

Finished the book, while it was a struggle to maintain my concentration with this one, I did think it was good.

7annamorphic
Jan 10, 2012, 11:57am

I'm approaching the end of this book. Kind of amazed that it won the Booker, but in a sense it is indeed gripping just from the texture of the writing -- it kind of entwines itself around you by leaving European-style emotionalism behind. There's such an odd sense of distance from every event and character, so that even when bad things happen to innocent people, we see the injustice without feeling involved. In fact, it's almost surprising when the repercussions of such an occurrence emerge, because we weren't that invested in it to begin with. I am thinking of the man who is blinded, or Father Booty's deportation.

8chrissybob
Jan 11, 2012, 3:05pm

I wasn't going to read this thread until I had finished but really glad I have - I am struggling to get through this. The writing is style is beautifully descriptive and the humouress elements gentle and warm - but as for a thread of a story I haven't found one yet and I'm about haf way through. Will plough on though.