This book came to me as a review copy. I really loved the cover and the title, and promptly signed up for it, thinking it was a dark noir-ish book. Well, it isn’t that, but I loved the book anyway.
Here’s a quote from the book about the protagonist’s thoughts after she’s roughed up in public by a bunch of religious thugs – something that is an unfortunately common occurrence in India,
when modern women clash with ultra-religious zealots.
I was really excited when I heard the news that Arundhati Roy after the longest break was back with a new fictional book. The very day the book was published I was in the bookstore asking to buy a copy.
And then I read some lukewarm reviews, and then I saw that it didn’t make it into the Man Booker shortlist. And then I put this book on the backburner.
I couldn’t stay away from it too long though, and once I started I simply fell in love with the beautiful writing. Sure, the book has its flaws, but despite (or maybe because) I have fallen headlong in love with it.
I read The Night Watch a couple of weeks back, and can’t say I loved it. It was very different from the usual Sarah Waters style – experimental in its writing and tone, and it took me some time to get into it.
That said, the writing is beautiful, simply sublime. In terms of writing and maturity, this book about three lesbians in World War 2 is probably the best book she’s written.
There are some books that draw you in from the very first sentence itself. Very powerful, and reflects the tone of the rest of the story beautifully. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it sets up for a very great book. I loved this opening sentence from Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.
I saw the movie version of this book – The Constant Gardener a few years ago, and I found it unbearably heartbreaking (in a very lovely way).
I find the book less so, but that is because Le Carré is not really a sentimental type of writer.
I do love though how righteously angry he gets (something I haven’t seen in previous books I read). This is an angry, angry book, and the main character Tessa really rips into the injustice she sees around her. Not without unfortunate consequences, of course.