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Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard Paperback – 3 May 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New Ed edition (3 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571195717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571195718
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 528,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Born during a torrential rainstorm, in Shahkot, India, to a mother whom the neighbours find distinctly odd, Sampath Chawla is a disappointment to his family. Nothing but trouble from the start, he disgraces himself at a wedding party, loses his job at the local post office and runs away from home to take refuge in the guava orchard, at the top of a guava tree. There he is mistaken for a holy man and seer when he reveals intimate secrets about the local inhabitants (gleaned from reading their mail in idle moments at the post office). His father can see there is money, at last, to be made from his idle son and sets about doing so with determination. A local journalist, however, is equally determined to unmask him. Although Desai writes with considerable flair, employing an inventive style of English reminiscent of a line of Indian authors from Salman Rushdie to Arundhati Roy, there is something tiresome about this relentlessly perky comedy, and one has a slight suspicion that the European reader is being hoodwinked with fashionable pastiche. Midnight's Children has a lot to answer for. --Lisa Jardine

Book Description

Kiran Desai's Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard is the charming and acclaimed debut novel from the author of The Inheritance of Loss, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2006. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the story of Sampath "Good Fortune" Chawla, an idle young man who spends many hours dreaming in the tea stalls and singing to himself in public gardens of Shahkot. At the post office he spends time reading the mail instead of working and soon loses his job. Then he decides to take permanent residence in the fork of a guava tree in a marvellous orchard upon a hillside and become a hermit. Unfortunately his family quickly realise that Sampath could make their fortune and so a stream of worshipers start visiting Sampath's tree, asking for blessing while his parents, in a nearby tea stall, sell flower garlands, fruit, incense and souvenirs.
In a witty and sharp prose Ms Desai mocks pious devotion, official incompetence, domestic tiffs, young love, marriage customs, sacred monkeys and the novel is a delightfully funny satire of the customs of India.
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Format: Paperback
One of the nicest books I have read in years. Beautifully written and utterly compelling. I was genuinely upset when I reached the end - I just wanted to have more; to spend more time with the delightful characters that Kiran Desai has created. I'm buying it as presents for loads of folk this Christmas - it's a real treat.
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Format: Paperback
Bought this because I'm too stingy to buy her Booker winner till it comes out as a paperback. She's a very talented writer - natural comic writing, very gentle humour. I fear this book paints a picture of a lagely imaginary India, or an India long since passed, but I greatly enjoyed the characterisations and the situations. The first 50 pages in particular are first class. Thereafter her focus slips a little and we get into first-novel-it is. I suspect The Inheritance of Loss is a fine book - she's taken 7 years to write it, and all the signs of an exceptionally talented natural writer are there to be seen in Hullaballoo
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Format: Hardcover
I aven't read a book I have liked so much since Annie Proulx's Shipping News. This is a very funny story about a family in India, whose son goes slightly off the rails. The results are hilarious. This story makes for a wonderful debut by the dughter of the famous autor, Anita Desai.
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By pg on 11 Aug. 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this after reading 'The Inheritance of Loss' which I thought was a brilliant piece of writing. It is a funny and satirical story which I enjpyed. It doesn't have the weight of her later book but is a great read nevertheless. Why hasn't she written more? I love her writing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kiran Desai is a superb author with her masterpiece Inheritance of loss! She comes from a literary family with her mother being a writer as well.
The story certainly reflects the life of an average Indian postal clerk who chooses to go and sit on a tree....when his father decides to cash in on the public treating him as a holy man. This is a not unusual scenario in India where a clever person,cunningness and an ochre robe (Hindu symbol of detachment/holiness/sadhu) grants them the license to develop a huge following; somtimes these are highly educated people from India and abroad adding to the "authenticity" of the godman. Add to it a western flavour with white devotees....boy you just made it! Donations pour in, disciples add on, and millions in the bank: Unfortunately it does not run as smoothly as it does for a number of so-called Bhagavans in India....its a humorous book and certainly a nice read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like Indian literature you will love this.
Really humourous, but it has a bite!
Really so different from Kiran Desai's other book, The Inheritance of Loss, which is one of the best books I have ever read.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I have read in the last year. Kiran Desai's beautiful style of writing captures each moment and describes every setting with such vividness that you can't stop yourself from becoming completeley engaged from the beginning of this story through to the very last word. There was nothing in this book that dissapointed me or made me want to put it down to start again when I was in the right mood (like so many others). I have purchased copies of this book as presents for friends and family who have all been enchanted by it. If you haven't read it yet, do not hesitate to buy a copy.
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