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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This collection has many ups and a few downs...
Several of the stories in Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies leave you with a feeling you ought to be left with when reading a short story- like you have been fed a very interesting snippet of a life which is not yours. It is a pleasant read, the stories starting off downbeat and eventually becoming very optimistic, displaying clear comparisons about the impact of the...
Published on 21 Feb. 2010 by Lee

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Early promise
Good stories, though not as good as the later novels. So would probably have enjoyed it more if I'd read it when it first came out.
Published 10 months ago by Helen Barnes


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This collection has many ups and a few downs..., 21 Feb. 2010
By 
Lee (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Several of the stories in Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies leave you with a feeling you ought to be left with when reading a short story- like you have been fed a very interesting snippet of a life which is not yours. It is a pleasant read, the stories starting off downbeat and eventually becoming very optimistic, displaying clear comparisons about the impact of the western world on people of Indian descent who experience it. Lahiri is quite good at making characters seem believable, although she seems to be obsessed with academics.

Out of the nine stories, four of them were really great (the first and last being personal favourites), another three were fine reads, and then there were a couple which left you feeling quite short-changed. Some people may be irked by Lahiri's determinedly literal writing style; she goes into detail but keeps the writing frank, which might be off-putting to people who prefer a bit more emotion injected into their writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hit the short-story Jackpot with this one!, 13 Dec. 2009
This is a lovely book of short stories. Even though each story is not long, I became quite engrossed in each one, something that other stories take longer in length to typically accomplish. This book presents the lives of people with origins in India, some stories take place in India, others where Indians emigrated (several times they are in Boston). The stories are reflective, and generally show people at turning points of their lives, or when they are vulnerable. I find it quite amazing that the young author was able to take the view points of people of different ages, male or female. Another message I particularly connected with is that what some may consider to be the everyday can in fact be extraordinary. It's so easy to make fun or scoff at anyone. But for many people, regardless of origin, making it through the day with satisfaction of some sort at day's end is a big deal, often in a very personal way that you don't share with others, except perhaps those closest to you. This book touches on that. Lahiri's prose is beautiful. I loved this book
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best collection of short stories I have ever read., 2 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
Jhumpa Lahiri makes writing seem so easy. The words just flow from the page, hugely descriptive yet not painfully so. The plots are intricately weaved and each story is a success. This book, which was published in paperback, is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the equivalent of a film going straight to video and winning an Oscar. While the stories all have an immigrant focus, they will appeal to anyone who enjoys quality writing. A must have. Tell all your friends.
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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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt put the book down, 11 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
There are many Indo-American books currently doing the rounds and I have probably read most of these. This book is one of the best. I stayed up many a night to read this book. The stories are beautifully told. Often, the stories would end quite abruptly and there was no happy ending or at least the hope of one - but then that is life. Excellent writing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read!, 20 Nov. 2012
If you are interested in literature about India, or Indian culture in its many forms, then this is a book to put on your reading list. I don't read a lot of short stories, because I usually like to really get into a good longer story; however in this collection, I felt like each story built upon the last. The reader is presented with a different facet of life relating to Indian culture. I definitely did not find the stories "samey", as I have read in other reviews. Yes, they are all connected by common threads, but there is a world of subtle differences between each tale.

In my opinion, the first story, A Temporary Matter really shone out amongst the collection, and although I couldn't book the book down, none of the other stories had me quite as enchanted as the first.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Diaspora stories, 10 Nov. 2014
By 
reader 451 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies is a collection of short stories given its coherence by a common subject: the Indian diaspora. The characters, Indian emigrants and their children, balance between American and Indian lifestyles and mores. They are neither completely at home in one nor in the other country, in one nor the other culture. The problem of the arranged marriage, and its lack of conformity with the American model, is particularly brought to the fore. My favourite story, incidentally, was not the Interpreter, but This Blessed House, where the US-born, MIT graduate and successful executive Sanjeev finds himself outclassed by his charismatic wife Tanima, the trigger being the discovery of leftover Christian paraphernalia in the Connecticut house they have just bought. Slick and quickly read, this is an enjoyable collection, holding lessons for anyone who has been uprooted from their home culture.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great potential, 30 May 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
These short stories, as fine ones should, allows the reader to enter alien lives quickly and succinctly. The people she describes as usually sad and lonely, locked in meaningless relationships and drifting in purpose. While I think that she is too pessimistic about reliationships - they all have their ups and downs and she assumes that we get stuck down - I was very moved by her tales and enjoyed the density of her very very fine prose. This is a writer to watch, and I will return to these stories and watch for longer fiction from her.

Warmly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magical flavours, 6 April 2013
I love Lahiri's work. I found this book after reading Unaccustomed Earth and instantly recalled why I love her writing so much. Within a few lines or a very simple tale she has conjured up real, intricate, sensitive people. Not special or remarkable in any way, just real people. Believable and very closely observed but also easy to warm towards. Every story left me with a tiny flavour of the lives just described and was both gentle and poignant. A delight to read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, 13 Aug. 2005
A wonderful collection of short stories about people and relationships. It is a hilarious mix of India and America, of traditional and modern, love, jealousy, grief, loneliness and dreams. Ms Lahiri successfully cut across cultural boundaries through characters that imprint themselves in the minds of readers of al backgrounds. It is understandable why Ms. Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the O. Henry Award and the Pen/Hemingway Award in her first published work. She possesses a huge vocabulary and unique writing style. I also recommend For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, The Usurper and Other stories, The Catcher in the Rye. Short stories like these are a rare gift to the reading world.
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Interpreter of Maladies
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
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