Customer Review

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty of Prose and Setting, 1 Sept. 2007
This review is from: The Inheritance of Loss (Paperback)
If you have groaned at the précis of this Booker Prize winner-a tale of the clash between the cultures of the first and third world set in India-thinking it has all been done so many times before, please check yourself, and give this novel a chance. It is true if you are a devotee of novels which are plot driven with a strong narrative full of action on every page you are going to be disappointed: this is a work of more subtle pleasures: perceptive observation, the vivid pictures painted in words and some of the most beautiful writing I have come across in a very long time. One of Desai's greatest gifts is to evoke a truly vivid and convincing picture of the life, culture and attitudes of Indians living near the Nepal border across 3 generations but to do it through the vehicles of great human perception and empathy yet in prose not lacking in irony or humour unlike some similar novels in the same vein. Her descriptions of the Himalayan landscape are stunning but also take on an almost Hardyesque symbolic function whilst her account of the aspirations and broken dreams of its inhabitants are both immediate and timeless. This is not a work in the mould of Andrea Levy or Monica Ali: it has the weight of a Naipaul or Ishiguro but is more humorous than either. It has the poetry of a Vikram Seth but mercifully not the length. Ultimately what one remembers is the sheer beauty of the writing: the book would richly repay a second reading and some passages live in the mind long after the last page has been completed. Not to be missed.
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Review Details

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3.3 out of 5 stars (87 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (20)
4 star:
 (17)
3 star:
 (23)
2 star:
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£8.99 £7.19
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Reviewer

Eugene Onegin
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Lincoln England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 431