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The Inheritance of Loss
The Inheritance of Loss
Author: Kiran Desai
Jemubhai Popatlal, a retired Cambridge-educated judge, lives in Kalimpong, at the foot of the Himalayas, with his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, and his cook....[When] a surge of unrest disturbs the region. Jemubhai, with his hunting rifles and English biscuits, becomes an obvious target. Besides threatening their very lives, the revolution also s...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780802142818
ISBN-10: 0802142818
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 357
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.

3.1 stars, based on 325 ratings
Publisher: Grove Press
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 378 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
There is no doubt this was a well-written book - Desai packs each sentence with deep thought and an elevated vocabulary. The characters are fleshed out and really come alive as you read. However, she covers the text with Indian words, some of which I've never seen; and given her sentence structure, it is impossible to pick up their contextual meaning. I lost a lot of delight in the book because of that.

A theme Desai touched on well here was injustice - is it right to hurt and steal from those whom you consider "too good" or "too bad" in the name of enforcing justice? One of the examples of this, near the end of the book, made me so angry I had to stop reading and come back to it. I was so worked up that my husband made me take a Clonazepam. I dare you to read the book and *not* feel that way.

If a book can evoke an emotional reaction from its reader, then it's worth the read. Stick through the first 50 pages, it gets better. Recommended for a patient reader who doesn't mind getting worked up.
reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I found this a very difficult read with many foriegn words, but it is also a winner of the Man Booker prize 2006. Not for light summmer reading.
jenpayne avatar reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Four stories of the lives of very different characters. I was saddened by the conditions they found themselves in, but hopeful that each would find happiness.
Cattriona avatar reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 200 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Desai uses language beautifully to give the reader a vivid image of life for these characters in India. You can feel the dampness from rain, smell the mountain air, taste Cook's odd concoctions from her words. The beginning is slow and I, personally, was saddened by the ending, but it was still worth reading. If you have lived or traveled abroad, this may give you an opportunity to see your culture through the eyes of another. 2006 Booker Prize Winner. Recommended.
reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Lyrically written but I felt like I needed a degree in Indian history to really understand the dynamics of the characters.
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reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 25 more book reviews
Compelling characters and plot. Beautifully written.
reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 412 more book reviews
I just love this author! This novel is not funny like "Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard", but it's wonderful.
reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 69 more book reviews
I had never heard of this book or author, but I saw an open book ring on and decided to join. It was an interesting book, but not one I could say I actually enjoyed. The story took place in India which I know very little about. The book named all these places and political parties in India. I can't even keep up with American politics let alone Indian politics.

I did find this book educational. I learned about the way of life in India and a bit about the politics. This is the third book in row that used so many words in another language. When the topic is confusing enough having "foreign-to-me" words mixed in really throws me off.

The story is about an old retired judge who lives in a remote area in India. After his estranged daughter dies, he is left to take in his granddaughter who he has never met. They get along pretty well. There's a cook in the house who has worked for the judge for years. The cook's son was "lucky" enough to make it to America, but the son really struggles in America to keep a job and since he's now illegal, his employers treat him like crap because they know he has no other choice but try to live in America or go back to "horrible" India.

The granddaugther ends up falling in love with her tutor, but he's involved in some weird political thing and can't commit to her.

The son in America ends up coming home to India to be with his dad, because after much political upheaval in India, the son hasn't been able to stay in contact with his dad. The son is worried so goes back to India where father and son are reunited.

To be honest...I have no idea what the point of the book was. Maybe it was just to show ignorant American's like me how awful India can if I didn't know that already. If it wasn't for the book ring I would have never read this book or even cared to read it. I didn't really get much from it. It was the winner of the Man Booker Award, which I had never even heard of. I thought that might mean it would be somewhat good, but I was wrong.
tracey13 avatar reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 310 more book reviews
Hearing the Indian accents on the audio book made this story come alive. Very atmospheric. I highly recommend the audio version. It seemed so authentic, I felt I was right there in the room with the people being described. Remarkable insights into a fascinating series of culture overlaps and clashes.
reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 6 more book reviews
Beautifully written. I like reading books that incorporate different cultures, especially those I know little about (in this case India), and juxtapositions with America/Western thought. This fills the bill.
reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on
Excellent writing and a very interesting and at times entertaining book.
reviewed The Inheritance of Loss on + 366 more book reviews
An array of characters are focused on in this novel set in postcolonial India, Himalayan villages and the illegal immigrant quarters of NYC. Sorrows and joys, love and loss, hope and disillusionment.

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