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In Custody [Paperback]

Anita Desai
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

5 July 2001
Touching and wonderfully funny, In Custody is woven around the yearnings and calamities of a small-town scholar in the north of India. An impoverished college lecturer, Deven, sees a way to escape from the meanness of his daily life when he is asked to interview India's greatest Urdu poet, Nur - a project that can only end in disaster.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (5 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099428490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099428497
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A major attempt to tackle serious themes... extraordinarily rich in incident and detail." (Sebastian Faulks)

"Anita Desai's most subtle and mature work to date... She retains an unforced and powerful ease in conveying the colour and sounds and sensations of Indian life." (Times Literary Supplement)

"A wry, gently humorous novel, full of wisdom and restraint... The author chronicles India lovingly but it would be a mistake to think of her simply as an Indian writer, for her themes are universal" (Financial Times)

Book Description

‘A remarkable piece of work… A magnificent novel’ Salman Rushdie, Observer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this book maybe 15 years ago, and laughed from start to finish as the disillusioned lecturer discovers the flaws of his lifetime hero, and battles with the frustrations of married life, an unsatisfactory job and the general hassles of everyday life in India. Re-reading it at 40, in an unsatisfactory job, living and working in a poor and stressful area of London, it seemed a lot less satirical, and rather more painful read, but still very funny. And it made me change jobs!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful novel 25 Nov 2003
By HORAK
Format:Paperback
Touching and wonderfully funny. "In Custody" is woven around the yearnings and calamities of Deven, a small-town scholar from Mirpore in the north of India. An improvised college lecturer, Deven sees a way to escape from the meanness of his daily life when he is asked to interview India's greatest Urdu poet, Nur. But every attempt will only end up in desaster.
A beautiful book, mingling melancholy, disappointment and lots of humour. I recommend it most warmly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well written but miserable 11 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
I was travelling in a country where nobody spoke English so I took a few books out of the college library. This was one if them. Good points, mercifully brief and very well written. It paints a "true" image of India with all its decay and poverty. Bad points, it is thououghly depressing and makes you feel sorry for the writer. I was reading the last chapter, page, paragraph and even sentence looking for a happy ending and it did not come in the way I thought it would. I guess this is what life is all about though
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as exciting as I thought 29 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not one of the most exciting books I have read and although poverty and decline are aptly described, I was waiting for a happy ending but it was not to be. I got the feeling that this would not be going anywhere else and found it a little depressing, I wanted the central character to find his way out of his difficult situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thought it would never end 24 Jun 2010
By LalaB
Format:Paperback
I hated this book. I thought it would never end. I have never disliked a main character as much as I did Deven, the selfish, weak, pathetic dullard that he is. I don't understand other reviewers' comments that the book was humourous. I found the entire thing extremely frustrating and unfulfilling.
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