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3.9 out of 5 stars
God On Every Wind
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2013
Philomena is a born rebel, disillusioned with her middle-class comfort and the expectations of her parents. Nestor is an impoverished African exile with the heart of a poet. When the two meet by chance on the streets of 1960s Bombay, their attraction will change their lives forever.
Spanning two continents and following a story of love, loss and politics set against a backdrop of turbulent societies, times and allegiances, God on Every Wind is a powerful debut novel exploring the possibilities and limitations of individual and political revolution.

This isn't a ground-breaking novel by any means, but it is a very fine one; a warm invitation into the lives of its characters, and an open-eyed introduction to the sweeping vistas of the Arabian Sea, the cluttered streets of Bombay (Mumbai), the oracular dusts of Goa, the sunny life of a small African village. This is by no means a conventional love story either, thank god. The realities of human relationships and the complexities of the heart, are explored with great honesty. The complex faculties of love, both in family and marital relations, are tested frequently, and one of the main themes of the novel seems to be that love isn't easy, that in many ways it inflicts incredible tension and resentment...but in the end, it's like it's trying to say that love is ultimately what you make of it.

This is compelling and colourful first novel, written by someone who, if nothing else, understands the importance of storytelling that delves, again and again into the murky realms of the human condition, and explores honestly, with poetical freedom, what can be found.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2012
A wonderful book from this new Mumbai writer. Bombay at the time of Indian independence is beautifully captured, with a Marquez like magical realism. The extraordinary character that is Philomena, the feisty beautiful girl who lives for new experiences. As the story moves to West Africa, the brutality of civil war powerfully captured, and then returns hauntingly to Mumbai. Sorabjee writes musically, and the recapitulation at the end is, as a good recapitulation should be, brilliantly modulated with a twist and change of harmony.
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on 17 January 2013
Totally fascinating I was sucked into a world of political controversy, revolution and turbulent society. Atmospheric and vividly redolent, Farhad Sorabjee captures the fever, intensity and tension within 1960's Bombay. The exotic, piquant and vibrancy of different cultures and foreign flavors is encapsulated perfectly, as too is the current conflict within modern-world civilization. Philomena and Nestor are such intriguing characters, who could not be more dissimilar and yet the potent connection between them is admirable. This is a book with a lot of depth and meaning within such powerful prose, as to make you contemplate and explore the possibilities and limitations of individual and political revolution. This acute character-study makes for an absorbing read, which takes you on a journey to the sweeping vistas of the Arabian Sea, the cluttered streets of Bombay (Mumbai), the oracular dusts of Goa, and the sunny life of a small African village.

Rebel Philomena is disillusioned with her middle-class comfort and the expectations of her parents, thus making her ignorant of life. Nestor is an impoverished African exile with the heart of a poet. When the two meet by chance on the streets of 1960s Bombay, their attraction will change their lives forever. Spanning two continents and following a story of love, loss and politics set against a backdrop of turbulent societies, times and allegiances, God on Every Wind is a powerful debut novel exploring the possibilities and limitations of individual and political revolution...

This colorful, compelling novel explores the power of political freedom, human rights and the brutality of civil war. It is what I would concider to be a `deep' book and so is not a light read, but something that you can `really stick your teeth into' and reflect upon the content. This astonishing literary masterpiece with light and shade, depth and substantial prose is quite outstanding and a distinctive piece of literature. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys literary fiction, thought-provoking reading and a profoundly consequential novel.
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on 19 February 2013
This book holds many promises but does not fill them all. The detail is missing. Too many unanswered questions. The beginning was good,but the jump between one character and another was difficult to follow. The middle section the sort of love story was great, but there were undeveloped characters,which was a shame. The sections on Africa were good especially the description of the landscapes. But the most annoying part was not knowing that time was passing,and then finding out years and years had gone by,this is particularly true during the end section. All in all an interesting read,but leaves you feeling it could have been so much more.
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on 30 July 2013
I was left feeling a bit robbed after reading this book. It got off to a good start but the second half went rapidly downhill. Without spoiling the story, I can't believe the characters would end up as they did but that's just my personal interpretation and another reader may have a totally different one indeed as plenty of readers have given glowing reviews.
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on 7 September 2013
This book was worthy of being shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize this year, which it was. Sorabjee has a great talent, and I cannot wait for his next offering. I would rate this as up there with Amitav Ghosh's "Sea of Poppies". Very glad I read it. Enjoy!
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on 9 March 2013
I really enjoyed this book, even though at times the storyline appeared to be vague.

The twist at the end is really good. Overall, the author deserves credit for tackling what could be a taboo subject in Indian society.
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on 30 January 2013
Brilliant book full of humour, love, joy, pace, loss and a beautiful weaving of three generations of lives led in differing ways but leading almost and interestingly to similar inner results yet varying outer ones. I recommend it.
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on 31 March 2013
Not a great Book, but I read it on a trip to India so I was able to place the scenes in Mumbai and relate to the story. The story line was believable. I enjoyed it overall.
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