this book's something like that - almost human in the complexity and character that it manages to pack in. full of the incredible magic that makes up life and is almost always overlooked. rich, detailed and vivid, an amazing read.
In the first reading, I got a little lost in the story within a story, within a story, within a story ....you get the idea. Stick with it -- it isn't critical to enjoyment that you keep it all straight.
Good book for those who like a little magic in their stories, who want insight into the Indian culture and perspectives, who like a rousing tale of love, longing, battles, sacrifices, and consequences of personal choices, and the possibility to do better the next time around.
I read, and then re-read this book. Enjoyed it even more the second time!
Although a little hard to follow at times, this novel was quite enjoyable and puts a new spin on this genre of reading.
Two weeks ago, while at the library, I searched the fiction shelves looking for treasure. As usual, I started at the top of the alphabetical arrangement of authors methodically pulling out titles and reading flyleaves. (I hope this technique will afford me a chance to read all of the great works of fiction. So far I haven't managed to get past the "C's" and I've been doing this for over 15 years.)
Chandra's book seemed to leap into my hands. I felt as if I should hug it or cradle it or in some other way protect it lest some other reader's psychic need draw it from my grasp into theirs. Without even reading the flyleaf I was certain I had found a book of serious magic.
As I will, I found two other books as safeguards against the possibility that I wouldn't enjoy Red Earth and Pouring Rain. I could have saved the effort.
For two weeks now I have devoured the book. I read excerpts to everyone I can tie down. I laugh out load if not at some humorous segment then simply in outright delight. I cry as I identify with the sorrows Chandra so perfectly portrays.
This is a steller work. Vikram Chandra has here worked a piece of art in mixed media. It is both realism and abstraction. It is infinitesimally jewel-like and thunderously monumental.
I am a 62 year old male. I have been feeling my age of late. September 11th sorrowed me for my country and my feelings for all humanity. Two things have restored my hope: the 2002 Winter Olympics and Vikram Chandra's wonderful gift.