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Ishq And Mushq Paperback – 4 Feb 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (4 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552773840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552773843
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 439,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"With a verve for the colour of life, this book . . . surprises with its underlying wisdom" (6 Great Reads, Good Housekeeping)

"An enticing debut novel by a much-vaunted young novelist" (The Glasgow Herald)

"A brilliantly woven tale . . . clever and often funny" (Candis)

"A dark meditation on escapism and reinvention" (Irish Tatler)

"The product of a deft hand that mixes engrossing narrative with unexpected dashes of magical realism" (India Today)

Book Description

Sensuous generational novel about a Sikh mother whose secret past corrodes her life with tragic consequences for all - by a 29 year old first time author.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By SJSmith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
The cover (as someone else mentioned) caught my eye with this one. I have an interest in Indian novels and consequently devoured this one. Very easy reading, although after the first two chapters I was unsure about it. This is normally the point where I decide to continue or not and I'm pleased I did.

The characters are so well written and I loved how the plot became more complex as time went on. Simply, it is the story of one family, lies and deceit and how truth has a way of coming out (to a certain extent). More deeply, it is an analysis of society; how we try to be things we aren't and always try to make things better than the generation before us yet somehow making similar mistakes!

Politics, culture and history is weaved into this debut novel. You feel very involved with the characters; sometimes liking them and other times despising them. I always found reasons to feel sorry for Sarna the 'tormented' mother even when she was making life difficult for her family with her ways of dealing with things.

You appreciate the suffering Karam (Sarna's husband) went through in the early days of their relationship. Throughout the novel their struggle and dedication is evident and even though their's was not always a marriage filled with love it was clear they had a deepened sense of responsibilty and respect for their culture and each other. Although which one was the predominant feeling I couldn't say.

The style is very easy to read, you feel like you are being told a story and it was this that kept me going when I feel a little bored (which happened only a few times throughout the novel) because, as with real life, there is not always fast-paced action.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Zimmerman on 28 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I loved the cover, and it sounded interesting. I have just finished it, and absolutely loved it. It is very warm, funny, beautiful and moving - and extremely easy to read. Not in a beach-read kind of way, just the writer has a very accessible and fluid style. The characters are great - and the worlds are very vividly imagined. Some of the characters - the mother especially - are at times hilarious, and you really care about what happens to them. Thoroughly recommend it as a very intelligent, passionate, pleasurable read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert on 21 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an incredibly assured and ambitious first novel, which was recommended to me by a friend. It begins amidst the turmoil of India's partition. One of the main characters, Karam, is caught up in the troubles and ends up in a refugee camp where he succumbs to Typhoid, or `Taffoid' as his wife describes it, and falls unconscious. Saved by a heroic act of kindness, Karam regrets that he `missed' the drama of the historical moment. This sparks his lifelong search for an alternative history which is described through various hilarious trips around the world where he always, inevitably, `misses' the event he's trying to participate in. His wife, Sarna, is another strongly portrayed character. Melodramatic, manipulative and mad about cooking, she is the driving force behind the story. Her infuriating yet heart-breaking inability to face up to the past is very well described, although the depths to which stoops are sometimes rather shocking.

The book is full of colourful and memorable lesser characters, like Mina Masi the mid-wife who has formula guaranteed to produce boy babies (I'd love to know if it actually works!) and Chatta Choda, the Sikh who cuts off his hair in a wild scene at a wedding party. I especially liked Oskar who is a quiet, thoughtful voice amidst all the drama and humour. His reflections on storytelling itself give the book an interesting philosophical dimension.

Overall, I thought this was a great family story interestingly linked to different political events that give it a wide appeal and relevance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By miss_pinksssss on 17 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow!! A delicious book..It's a fantastic story as someone above described of trying to be something you're not and how secrets/lies have a tendency of coming out in the end. It also explores how different forms of Ishq (love) is expressed in life and how difficult it can sometimes be to hide and show love.
The book is very funny at times but has boring sections..I felt the author jumps around with events and characters, not really going into deep detail (with exception of the protagonist Sarna). But in the last part, Priya Basil brings it all together and in fact the details are not important but actually the essence of love, identity, family, society, religion and relationship is brought to the surface. The story shows that we should not discriminate our elders and think they are "old fashioned", because what they say and do does in fact have a great impact on the future..and at the same time they should not dismiss the younger generation.

Sometimes I hated Sarna, sometimes I felt so sorry for her. Sometimes her husband made me angry but most of the time I felt for him and didn't understand why he put up with his wife's antics. I also felt compassion for the children as they were punished for their parent's lack of communication.

Lovely book that will provoke all kinds of feelings within the reader :-)
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