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The Brainfever Bird [Hardcover]

I.Allan Sealy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Feb 2003
A stunning new novel from a celebrated Indian writer Lev is a man who has come down in the world. Once a biological scientist, he is now a chauffeur in 'that new Russia where physicists wash windows and engineers drive trams'. So he decides to take his somewhat lethal knowledge abroad; to offer his services to a foreign government. But on the way from the airport his taxi is stopped, and he is robbed. It is in this helpless state, alone and adrift in Delhi, that Lev meets Maya. Beautiful, ferocious and utterly original, Maya has been waiting for a man like Lev to walk into her life. Briefly they come together, and Lev steps into the marvellous world that is Maya. But then something terrible happens - something for which the Russian scientist is blamed. The Brainfever Bird is an exquisite love story, a tale of international intrigue and biological weapons, a literary thriller of incredibly beauty, bursting with life, dreams and wonder.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (21 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330412051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330412056
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,012,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A fascinating study of human foibles for every reader, but a sensory treat for lovers of this fascinating country. -- Daily Telegraph on The Everest Hotel

No Indian writer can tilt his sentences at such curious angles to achieve such a fine calibration of wit. Rigorous virtuosity on such a scale is over-whelming. -- Times Literary Supplement

Rich and evocative...you can see the lush vegetation, smell the rice-fields and fruit, hear the birdsong. -- Independent

Sealy's melodic prose is alive to every nuance of teh lush landscape around him, one he populates with an intriguing tale about people's inability to connect. -- Sunday Times

Book Description

Lev is a man who has come down in the world. Once a biological scientist, he is now a chauffeur in 'that new Russia where physicists wash windows and engineers drive trams'. So he decides to take his somewhat lethal knowledge abroad; to offer his services to a foreign government. But on the way from the airport his taxi is stopped, and he is robbed. It is in this helpless state, alone and adrift in Delhi, that Lev meets Maya. Beautiful, ferocious and utterly original, Maya has been waiting for a man like Lev to walk into her life. Briefly they come together, and Lev steps into the marvellous world that is Maya. But then something terrible happens - something for which the Russian scientist is blamed. The Brainfever Bird is an exquisite love story, a tale of international intrigue and biological weapons, a literary thriller of incredibly beauty, bursting with life, dreams and wonder. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Verdict According to Barney. 24 Mar 2003
Format:Hardcover
This novel is like Dr Zhivago set in New Delhi, India, with plot that reads
like a fast-paced thriller. While the characters fall in love, shady people
slope around in the background. Maya makes beautiful, life-like puppets -
and you know that all the characters in the book are really puppets. As they
fall in love, or sleep, or eat, or decide to sell biological weapons to a
foreign government (!) they are being pulled along by something irresistibly
like fate. I loved the lingering descriptions of Delhi, and the strange
enclosed world the two main characters make for themselves, and Lev's
travelling from one extreme to another, from Delhi to Leningrad. It's a book
full of surprises which I loved!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where do I start? 21 Mar 2003
By digshot
Format:Hardcover
When I read this book I couldn't put it down. Why haven't I heard about this
author before? It's a topical book, dealing with weapons and biological
warfare. And it's about a man's mid-life crisis, and life in Russia
post-Communism. Lev, the hero, is super-qualified and intelligent, but he's
never been the same since he watched a colleague die slowly, painfully and
dreadfully, after infecting himself with one of the lethal viruses they were
creating. He gives up his job, or his job gives up on him, and becomes a
chauffeur. But then he decides to leave Leningrad and go to India, the idea
being that he'll turn his luck around by selling his knowledge to the Indian
government. He falls in love with a young woman in Delhi, and their affair
is beautifully described. But you realise it's a heady, intoxicating thing,
love; beyond our control, and prone to go horribly wrong. But there are too
many things going on in this beautiful, literary and gripping novel to list
them all. You should read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I've not read much Indian literature, and kind of thought it might be very serious or very confusing. But this is the best book I have read in a long time. The action shuttles between Russia and India; between the male and female protagonists; between the idea of love, and of weapons of mass destruction. From the very old - plague breaks out in Delhi - to the very new, this is one of the most ravishing and extraordinary books around.
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