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The City of Devi
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The City of Devi [Formato Kindle]

Manil Suri

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Descrizione prodotto


Armed only with a pomegranate, Sarita ventures into the empty streets of Mumbai, on the eve of its threatened nuclear annihilation. She is looking for her physicist husband Karun, who has been missing for over a fortnight. She is soon joined on her quest by Jaz - cocky, handsome, Muslim, gay, and in search of his own lover. Together they traverse the surreal landscape of a dystopia rife with absurdity, and are inexorably drawn to the patron goddess Devi ma, the supposed saviour of the city. Groundbreaking and multilayered, The City of Devi is a fearlessly provocative tale of three individuals balancing on the sharp edge of fate.

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 1696 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 400
  • Editore: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edizione (14 marzo 2013)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • Da testo a voce: Abilitato
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Non abilitato
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #239.703 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)

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Amazon.com: 3.5 su 5 stelle  40 recensioni
24 di 29 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle A Breathtaking Book about Love and Loss in Mumbai 20 gennaio 2013
Di Vivek Tejuja - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina rigida
I started reviewing books when I first read, "The Death of Vishnu" by Manil Suri. In fact, that review is also one of the first on this blog. From there on I have read everything that he has written, not because of the fact stated above, but because I admire his writing and his thought process. Suri has the uncanny ability to make so much sense of ordinary situations. His characters aren't larger than life, however the circumstances are and with good reason - to move the plot ahead, to make the reader see and above all, to make them feel.

It is no wonder that I absolutely loved reading his new book, "The City of Devi" (the last in the not so connected series). "The City of Devi" has been touted as a dystopian novel; however I did not think it had anything to do with it. The story as his other two books has been set in Mumbai. It is about Sarita, a thirty-three year old statistician (the math angle did not surprise me considering Manil is a mathematician) who can throughout only think of one thing: To be reunited with her physicist husband Karun, who has disappeared. The times are tough: Mumbai is emptying itself under the threat of a nuclear annihilation. There are not many people left. This has almost led to anarchy. The past can but only be remembered.

Amidst all this Sarita sets out to search for her husband, in-between the gang wars of Hindus and Muslims (this angle makes you also choke a little). With her is Jaz, a Muslim whose religion is only to have sex with other men. That is what he enjoys the most - sex and nothing else and at the same time he is looking for his own lover in the city. The third angle to the book is the Goddess Devi herself who has materialized on the beach to save her city. Sarita, Jaz and Devi play their roles in the book from there on. That in short, is the summary of the book.

The book is quite unusual. Something that probably has never been tried by an Indian writer. The book is easy to read and yet there were times, I had to stop and think more about the scene I had just read or turn back the pages and read some parts all over again. Devi and her role in the book is humongous (but of course), and yet it is so calming at times, that I almost wished that she would materialize in this time and age to save her city. On the other hand, I could most relate to Jaz and his dilemma - the way he is searching for answers and not finding any.

Manil's writing is direct in most parts and yet the web he weaves of storytelling almost leaves the reader breathless. His descriptions of a dying city are breathtaking. You can relate and yet at times, you choose not to. The city comes alive with his words and that is the power of some great writing. The situations he creates aren't easy, the answers provided are not black or white, and yet as you turn the pages of "The City of Devi" all you want is to feel the city and hope that the characters' lives are sorted. A must read this season.
4 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
2.0 su 5 stelle Caricature Assassination On The Beach - or - "This is India, after all" 6 settembre 2013
Di S. L. Smith - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina rigida|Recensione cliente vite del prodotto gratuito (Cos'è?)
The City of Devi has an anime feel to it with its fantasy approach to a very big problem: the end of the world. It contains the genre's requisite sexual themes (and positions), invisible danger, magical objects, superpowers, heroes and villains, and graphic anti-humor.

Our heroine Sarita is on a mission to find her husband, who has disappeared during a curious conference and may be in danger. She's a bit of a prima donna, yet fiercely focused on her journey as she is saved from one catastrophe by a different catastrophe. Sarita is nonplussed by the panoply of pandemonia she encounters: gangs, ground warfare, imminent nuclear annihilation, a literal crazy train, elephants, circus cults, never enough Marmite, a Wizard, particle physics, an absurd aquarium, train derailments (both literal and figurative), a levitating mascot, glow-in-the-dark saris, floods and a tourist version of Noah's Ark, all tied to the rising price of pomegranates.

I enjoyed the book's "normal" first section, especially the scenes of Sarita and Karun attempting to consummate their marriage of two years. (Ominously, their wedding coincided with the beginning of the war.) These scenes are not carnal; instead, they are imaginative and full of inventive uses of yoga and gaming. These moments impart a quiet beauty in the midst of a nascent chaos. But then Sarita boards that crazy train, and the real fantasy train wreck begins.

The City of Devi got particularly arduous for me in the last quarter. I forced myself to finish the book just to see who lives and who dies. So perhaps Manil Suri was successful in creating an anxiety in me about the characters, that I should care even that much. Or perhaps I was just anxious that ANY of the characters would survive.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Best read so far this year 29 settembre 2013
Di Jeffrey R.Brosbe - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Formato Kindle|Acquisto verificato
The many levels of symbolism make the good story that much better. The dual narrators add to the depth of perception of human motivation.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle A realistic treatise of a surrealistic story 1 aprile 2014
Di Jayant Swamy - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
The backdrop and locales are real. So are the characters. The premise is surreal. So are the scenes and the ensuing complications.

Where Manil scores is in effectively exploring the emotions and motivations of Sarita and Jaz, neither of whom is interestingly, the Protagonist! The novel unfolds in the first person, alternating between the points of view of Sarita and Jaz, as Manil takes us on a whirlwind tour of Bombay/ Mumbai which is on the verge of complete collapse in a 'the world is coming to an end' way. Their voices are distinct and while they are seemingly united in the pursuit of a shared goal, the reader is kept on the edge to find out how the inter-woven conflict will tear them apart! Whether the sensitive undertones of a same-sex relationship or the brutal realities of growing up within the shrouds of homosexuality in India, Manil brings a certain non-judgmental maturity to his narration without falling prey to stereotypes.

The denouement and ending, however, was disappointing, as are some of the sex scenes, which are not written with any great finesse. As a reader, neither was I fully vested in the interests of the Protagonist (Karun) nor did I fully comprehend why he held such a strong sway over both Sarita and Jaz. Had there been snippets from the point of view of Karun that may have helped?
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle Not up to the standard of his first two titles 26 novembre 2013
Di Akash - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina rigida|Recensione cliente vite del prodotto gratuito (Cos'è?)
I read the other two books in this "trilogy" and really enjoyed them. It's mostly a thematic trilogy that shares some ideas and motifs but not any sort of plot continuity at all. The product description here covers the plot quite aptly so I won't rehash that. I will say that this book didn't grab me quite in the same way that the past ones have, I didn't develop quite the same affinity for the characters. Overall it felt much more clinical. This title felt like a mathematician wrote it where I surprised to learned that one wrote the previous two novels. But it's a nice little portrait of mumbai on the brink of nuclear holocaust, and I can't say there are many other titles that offer that.

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