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The Vikram Seth fan club!

 
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Sep, 2006 09:09 am
Sparky, it's a pretty serious book actually -- the meat of it is stuff about the Holocaust that's extremely depressing. (Henny escaped but her family and many of her friends didn't, and Seth does some detailed research that really brings it home -- I'd say it's the strongest part of the book, but definitely Serious with a cap S.)
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Tino
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Sep, 2006 10:44 pm
sozobe wrote:
(I remain deeply annoyed at him for "Fury," not least because it was the book that was chosen to inaugurate the A2K book club, after much agitation from me, and then it SUCKED. Grr.)


I was wondering if the A2K book club still exists as I havn't been able to find the thread. Question
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 08:34 am
Here's the "Fury" discussion, Tino:

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3773

I just read, in addition to "Two Lives," "Brick Lane" by Monica Ali, "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by (forget her name right now), "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon. Would enjoy discussing any of those if anyone's interested.
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Tino
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 07:03 pm
Out of those I've only read the Mark Haddon one - which was my holiday read a couple of years ago - and it was the best new book that I've read for awhile, but there is already a thread about that one. I've been meaning to contribute but still havn't summoned the mental energy to get round to doing it!

I've seen the Lolita in Tehran one on the shelves but I distrusted the title because I've been disappointed by promisingly spectacular titles before, was I wrong..?

I'm still reading the "Fury" thread, Sozobe, it may take me awhile...
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the prince
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Nov, 2006 08:48 am
Ok, I have started it and am about 3/4 of the way through. No offense to the people whose lives have been detailed in the book, or to others who went through the tough times, I am almost at a point where I am going to abandon the book (only the 3rd or 4th book which would meet this fate in my years of reading)

The writing style is shoddy and never invites the reader to become part of the day to day lives of Henny and Seth - the way it is presented makes the reader very detached from the proceedings, and no empathy is generated with the characters of the book.

The way he flips between letters from various friends of Henny has left me totally confused, and the number of "relationship" strings he details, is so confusing that you cannot understand the ethos behind any one of them.

Boring with a capital B.

For someone who has been to Auschwitz - Birkenau and spent a whole day there, any text aby the holocost brings tears in my eyes - instantly. This one failed.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Nov, 2006 08:52 am
Yep. I agree wholeheartedly.

As someone who kept slogging through hoping it would get better -- it doesn't. Go ahead and abandon it if you'd like, you won't be missing much.

Deeply disappointing. There hangs over the whole thing this sense of duty, a sort of term-paper or thesis vibe -- gotta finish, gotta finish, sick to death of the subject but gotta finish.

OK the one thing that makes finishing it somewhat worth it is finally getting a clue about Seth's deep ambivalence; he had some sort of (honestly hard to follow) spat with Shanti near the end, something that changed his opinion of him (I wrote about it more in my long post last page). So that gives a little insight as to what the heck went wrong with the book.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Nov, 2006 08:54 am
Oh, I just re-read last page and I held back on that part, and now I'm not sure I remember. It was something that Shanti did that Vikram thought was shoddy, somehow -- something about money -- but I never did get the high dudgeon Vikram worked himself into over it.
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sakhi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Nov, 2006 10:29 pm
Sozobe and Prince...Are you discussing "Two lives"? I bought the book only yesterday....
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the prince
 
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Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2006 02:05 am
Sakhi, yes we are...

Soz, I abandoned it - just could not go anymore. Started the Booker price winner this year "The Inheritence of loss" - Kiran Desai
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2006 09:04 am
Now THAT I really want to read.

I liked "Hullaboo" and this sounds much better.
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the prince
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2006 10:27 am
sozobe wrote:
Now THAT I really want to read.

I liked "Hullaboo" and this sounds much better.


Can I have the honor of buying it for you?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2006 11:11 am
the prince wrote:
sozobe wrote:
Now THAT I really want to read.

I liked "Hullaboo" and this sounds much better.


Can I have the honor of buying it for you?


You're too sweet for words but my interest in modern Indian novels is well known in my family and I usually get the most interesting one of the year from both my husband and my mother (they gotta start coordinating), so I bet that's the one I'll be getting in a month or so.

Smooches for the thought though...! :-)
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sakhi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2006 10:08 pm
I found "hulabuloo" pretty funny...and enjoyable.

I bought "the inheritance of..", but I'm yet to read it. I'm reading "Shalimar the clown" ...interesting
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2007 09:12 am
I just finished A Suitable Boy. As thick a book as it is, I did find it a vivid page turner. I had to laugh: towards the end of the book, Seth goes on about long books, and how heavy they can be. My paperback edition had 1471 pages - thud! thunk! oops! thud again!
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Feb, 2008 05:25 am
Posted a random quote from The Golden Gate to Green Witch's Seduce me with words thread, the other day ... which got me reading bits of it again. It is such a fantastic book! I've decided to read it right through again.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2008 01:39 am
Doubt sets in. A novel in verse? Shocked ....
The Golden Gate.

5:1

A week ago, when I had finished
Writing the chapter you've just read
And with avidity undiminished
Was charting out the course ahead,
An editor - at a plush party(well-wined, -provisioned, speechy, hearty)
Hosted by (long live!) Thomas Cook
Where my Tibetan travel book
Was honoured - seized my arm: "Dear fellow,
What's your next work?" "A novel ..." "Great!
We hope that you, dear Mr Seth -"
"... In verse," I added. He turned yellow.
"How marvellously quaint," he said,
And subsequently cut me dead.

5:2

Professor, publisher, and critic
Each voiced his doubts. I felt misplaced.
A writer is mere arthritic
Among these muscular Gods of Taste.
As for that sad blancmange, a poet-
The world is hard; he ought to know it.
Driveling in rhyme's all very well;
The question is, does spittle sell?
Since staggering home in deep depression,
My will's grown weak. My heart is sore.
My lyre is dumb. I have therefore
Convoked a morale-boosting session
With a few kind if doubtful friends
Who've asked me to explain my ends.

`
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 03:54 am
This is old news (over a year ago) , but I just found out about it recently. I'm pretty excited at the prospect.
Can't wait to read it! Very Happy

Anyone else know anything about how it?:


Quote:

Vikram Seth writes Suitable Boy sequel

A Suitable Girl brings the story into the present day and is due out in 2013
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Books/Pix/pictures/2009/7/3/1246612312490/Vikram-Seth-001.jpg
Vikram Seth 'Who knows when the book will actually get done?' ... Vikram Seth. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe

There's no word yet as to whether it will stretch to the arm-breaking length of A Suitable Boy, but Vikram Seth has announced that he is writing a sequel to his most popular novel.

A Suitable Girl will see Lata, the 19-year-old heroine of A Suitable Boy, who suffered the efforts of her mother attempting to find her a suitable husband during the first book, now a grandmother, searching for the right match for her grandson. To be published in the autumn of 2013, publisher Penguin promised that Seth would "bring the action of the narrative up to the present day, encompassing some of the enormous social and economic changes India has undergone in the last 60 years".

Seth described the time shift as a "jump sequel" in an interview with Reuters. "That allows me in a sense to bring a whole lot of post-independence history to bear on the novel. It allows me to live in the present," he said. "I'm doing something quite different to keep myself interested rather than just writing another historical book that I've written before. I hope it can be read by a person who hasn't read the other book as well as by people who have."

He hoped, he added, to meet the 2013 deadline (A Suitable Boy took almost a decade to write). "I have something to go on. I kind of know the characters … But I am quite a lazy person as well as obsessive, so who knows when the book will actually get done? I hope it'll get done by the target date." ...<cont>


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jul/03/vikram-seth-suitable-boy-sequel
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 04:31 am
@msolga,
Oops.

I meant (of course) to say: Anyone else know anything more about it?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 08:23 am
@msolga,
Oh wow! No, I didn't know anything about it. Due in 2013?? That's a long time, especially if the article is over a year old.

Looking forward to it though. Certainly hope he's coming back to it out with fresh ideas rather than just not having anything else to do. (His most recent book was disappointing and made me a bit worried about him.)
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 08:31 am
@sozobe,
Yes, I absolutely agree with you on the last book, soz. Never did finish it, though I wanted to.
But this new one sounds pretty exciting! Contemporary India.
A Suitable Boy took 10 years to write, so perhaps 2o13 is a reasonable time for its sequel?

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