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The Way Things Look to Me Paperback – 4 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (4 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330463152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330463157
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Lila and Asif care for their young sister Yasmin, but when LIla breaks under the pressure and runs away, Asif has to deal with things along. Unaware of the trouble surrounding her, Yasmin hatches a plan in this beautifullly written book.' --Grazia

'Bittersweet novel of a family in crisis.'
--Woman and Home

' Brilliant!Brilliant!Brilliant!That's all I need to say about this novel,really because I really loved it... Reading this book was like immersing myself in this family's lives - the resentment, the duty, the guilt and the hope for something different.It made me laugh, and pulled at my heartstrings - but ultimately left me with a feeling of understanding and hope long after I turned the last page'
--Bookseller review

`Forced to rely on each other, Asif and Lila can't help by t resent youngest child Yasmin. Can they all ever be happy?' --Woman

`Beautifully written book'
--Grazia

'There are times when you chance upon a book that combines characters so nuanced, flawed and engaging, they virtually jump off the page. And this novel is one such treat... The narratives of three [main characters] swirl around each other in this warm, wonderful portrait of a charmingly atypical family'
--Easy Living

'Yasmin Murphy has Asperger's syndrome and this frank, down-to-earth portrayal of her world is both humorous and poignant' --Waterstone's Books Quarterly

`A tender hearted novel that examines how siblings club together to keep one another afloat. A writer with few pretensions, Farooki is happy to tell it how it is' --Independent

`I absolutely loved the book, as I have both of her previous novels...such great characters painted here, with all sorts of incredible stories, everyone can relate to them...And a wonderful study of Asperger's.'
--BBC Asian Network

About the Author

Roopa Farooki was born in Lahore in Pakistan and brought up in London. She graduated from New Colleage, Oxford in 1995 and worked in advertising before turning to write fiction. Roopa now divides her time between south-west France and Kent with her husband and sons. Bitter Sweets, her first novel, was shortlisted for the Orange New Writers Award 2007, and her second novel Corner Shop was published in 2008.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J Philips on 3 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a fan of Roopa Farooki's work, and was delighted to find The Way Things Look To Me, her latest novel, in Waterstones before the official release date listed on Amazon; I devoured it in a couple of sittings!

This third novel is her best so far - funny, wise, brave and astonishingly emotionally intense - the action follows three damaged siblings, a brother and his two sisters, across a dramatic London summer, as they cope with the loss of their parents and the youngest sister's Asperger's syndrome. It is full of insights about Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, and the agonies of family relationships and sibling rivalries, as the characters struggle with their feelings of resentment, duty, and love. You really feel their pain, and ultimately their hope.

One of Roopa Farooki's reviews (printed prominently inside the book) describes her as the "new Zadie Smith", but I don't think she needs the comparison - this novel shows her work to be more raw, honest and sincere than Smith's.

I think that The Way Things Look To Me might be the book that finally makes Roopa Farooki as commercially popular as she is critically acclaimed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 April 2010
Format: Paperback
There seems to have been a glut of novels recently that have a main character with Aspergers Syndrome and/or synesthesia, Roopa Farooki's lead character in The Way Things Look To Me is Yasmin, a nineteen year old girl who has AS and sees emotions and sounds as colours, or to use the correct term, is synesthetic.

Although Yasmin is the lead character and the plot of the novel centres around her, she actually does not play a big part in the story. It is the effect of Yasmin's AS and her need for structure in her life and how that has affected her siblings that is the central point of the novel.

Asif is Yasmin's brother, and since the death of their parents, her carer. Asif is described by everyone as a 'nice boy', he has given up his Cambridge studies, his love-life and his future to do his duty and care for Yasmin. Lila is Yasmin's sister, a self-confessed bitch who lives in chaos, spends hours scrubbing at her eczema blighted skin so as to appear beautiful and treats men as throw-away commodities.

Yasmin is totally self-absorbed, she doesnt have any comprehension of what effect her behaviours have had on her family, as long as her breakfast is yellow and the order of her day is uninterrupted then she is fine.

When a TV production company start to film a documentary about Yasmin and her gifts, Asif and Lila start to unfold. We see how damaged they are underneath their coping exterior.

This is a well-written and well-researched novel, with some very flawed but very understandable and likeable characters. Asif and Lila are the stars of the novel, even is Yasmin is the central pin.

A very emotional story, but also witty and uplifting and compassionately written. Long-listed for the 2010 Orange Prize but sadly did not make the short list.
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Format: Paperback
The Way Things Look To Me is a simple story about how a brother and sister cope when the death of their mother forces them to care for their little sister, Yasmin, who has Asperger's syndrome.

The book switched between the viewpoints of the three siblings, showing us their thoughts and frustrations as they tried to adapt to their new lives. I was impressed by the distinct differences in their voices and found Yasmin's narration to be a realistic example of how a person with Asperger's speaks.

"My name is Yasmin Murphy, and sometimes I am so full of things to say that I'll feel that I'll burst if I can't get them out, and will talk, and talk, and talk until I can see people fidget and move uncomfortably...."

Yasmin is also supposed to have synesthesia, a condition which means that you see words and numbers as distinct colours. I didn't understand why this was introduced to the book as it was never investigated properly and seemed an unnecessary addition to the plot.

The book was easy to read and contained a few emotional sections, but I felt it lacked something. I think that reading this book so soon after reading Born on a Blue Day was a big disadvantage for it. The two books both mention Asperger's and synesthesia, but Born on a Blue Day made me feel as though I understood what it was like to have the conditions. The Way Things Look to Me was mildly entertaining, but didn't have that same deep insight.

Recommended if you are looking for a quick, entertaining read with a bit of emotion, but if you are after any real insight into Asperger's then I'd look elsewhere.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Smith on 25 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is Farooki's best book to date and calls for an immediate sequel. It explores complex family relationships and how each of them comes to terms with themselves. It cleverly challenges the external appearance of Lila an ezcema sufferer as well as the inward issues faced by Yasmin an Aspergers sufferer and the burden of responsibility felt by their brother Asif.
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By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
A novel that focuses on Asperger's Syndrome faces obvious comparison with "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon. In "The Way Things Look to Me", Roopa Farooki focuses on 3 young members of an Irish/Indian family who were orphaned by their mother's unexpected death. All were affected by this event and all have developed strategies to cope with its aftermath. 23-year old Asif is an accountant who, since he dropped out of university, acts as a carer for his youngest sister, Yasmin, whilst Lila, Kalila, who has not resolved her jealousy about her sister, whom she blames for taking her mother away from her, has let fate dictate her future with the result that she has had a string of failed relationships and no steady employment. She suffers from a severe skin disorder and, secretly, self-harms. Yasmin has learned to cope by planning and keeping to a strict routine, by avoiding situations in which her inability to express emotion embarrasses others, and by humming to break up her constant thinking that tires her out.

The story is told by all three siblings in turn with both contemporary stories and flashbacks to past histories being presented so that we are able to follow them through school, on the day when their mother died unexpectedly and as they try to remain a family before and Lila moves away to pursue her own interests. The author presents Yasmin's perspective through a very repetitive and unemotional voice that captures the isolation and frustration of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.

As they were growing up, Asif and Lila dealt very differently with their sister's condition, and the constraints this placed on their everyday lives.
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