Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard Paperback – 3 May 1999
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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
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an easy to read, relatively short comic novel set in India. The main character, Sampath, is a callow youth in his early twenties who decides that the combination of family... Read morePublished 4 months ago by John M
One of my absolute all time favourite books. Happy memories of India where there is always a Hulabaloo.....Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not very gripping, fey, whimsical, boringly follows the path of every other humorous writer who has addressed India.Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
Alright in places but neither particularly amusing or cerebral.Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not my usual type of book but very entertaining and a cultural insight into the quirky lives of an Indian family and the quite amusing events that take place in the story. Read morePublished on 29 April 2014 by JENNY THOMAS