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Ayyan Ali (UK)

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Interpreter of Maladies
Interpreter of Maladies
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understated and gorgeous, 12 May 2010
There's a trend that runs through most modern fiction about India, and that is of overcooked literary constructs, wordy sentences and cardboard cut-out cliches of people, tastes and smells.

Luckily, Jhumpa Lahiri decided not to rely on any of that. Her writing is simple, understated but yet so powerful. The simplicity doesn't feel contrived at all. It's natural, light and unassuming, but still so satisfying.

My only complaint was the continuous references to food (mustard oil, curry, aubergines, etc) which strayed into the formulaic 'Indian fiction' I mentioned earlier but, to be honest, I only got round to reading this ten years after it was first published in the UK so it could be that all the cliched food stuff came after this was written.

Overall, I highly recommend this book.

Her Fearful Symmetry
Her Fearful Symmetry
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book but withers in the shadow of its elder sister, 2 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Her Fearful Symmetry (Hardcover)
On its own, Her Fearful Symmetry is an absorbing, well-written novel. But (inevitably) compared with The Time Traveler's Wife, it is like a young upstart that never quite made it out of an elder sibling's shadow. Niffenegger's sophomore effort was always set up to fall. After all, its predecessor was so beautiful and stunning, it would be impossible for anything to live up to it (yes, The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favourite books).

Having said that, I enjoyed Her Fearful Symmetry immensely. It is multi-layered, nuanced and intriguing, if a little rushed at the ending. If I didn't know that it was from the same author as The Time Traveler's Wife, I probably would have given it five stars - alas, it gets only four.

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