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Karma Gone Bad: How I Learned to Love Mangos, Bollywood and Water Buffalo [Kindle Edition]

Jenny Feldon
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

In the tradition of Holy Cow and Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, a fascinating travel memoir of finding yourself in the India of rickshaws and rainy seasons.


Jenny was miserable, and it was all India's fault...until she realized it wasn't.


When Jenny's husband gets transferred to India for work, she looks forward to a new life filled with glamorous expat friends and exciting adventures. What she doesn't expect is endless bouts of food poisoning, buffalo in the streets, and crippling loneliness in one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Ten thousand miles away from home, Jenny struggles to fight off depression and anger as her sense of self and her marriage begin to unravel. But after months of bitterness and takeout pizza, Jenny realizes what the universe has been trying to tell her all along: India doesn't need to change. She does. Equal parts frustration, absurdity, and revelation, this is the true story of a Starbucks-loving city girl finding beauty in the chaos and making her way in the land of karma.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"I LOVED it. I would never, ever have the courage (or stomach) to live in India for two years, and now I don't have to because I lived vicariously through Jenny in the pages of her book. I couldn't put it down for days, completely addicted to the experience of her lifetime. Plus? No malaria pills for me!" - Jill Smokler, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Scary Mommy

"A wonderful adventure of self-discovery. I could not put this book down. It is a delight and awakens your senses while sweeping you away. I could almost taste the chai and smell the spices of India." - Soleil Moon Frye, author of Happy Chaos and Let's Get This Party Started

"Warm, funny, evocative, endowed with a winning voice and a moving conclusion." - Vivian Gornick, critic, essayist and author of The End of the Novel of Love, Fierce Attachments: A Memoir and The Men in My Life

"I'm incredibly tempted to put Jenny on a plane to another exotic locale just so I can read another compelling, hilarious take on the city gal gone native. Karma Gone Bad is just that good." - April Peveteaux, author of Gluten is My Bitch: Rants, Recipes and Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free

"Jenny Feldon's generously told and absolutely addictive memoir is about learning to embrace the unexpected, not just in our environment, but within ourselves. This well-crafted story is a perfect reminder that we often emerge from life's biggest challenges with gratitude that they arose in the first place." - Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance

"Heartfelt, frequently very funny and always extremely well written ... a great read for anyone who loves India, a good adventure or simply a well-crafted story" - Travelati Magazine

"A joy ... Once I began reading Feldon's book, I couldn't put it down" - Babyzone.com

About the Author

Author of the popular blog Karma (continued...), Jenny Feldon was named one of BlogHer's Voices of the Year in 2012. Her writing has appeared on Parenting.com, The Huffington Post, and Mom.me. A Massachusetts native, she lives in Los Angeles where she balances writing, motherhood, and giant cups of coffee...mostly all at once.

Product Details

  • File Size: 663 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402284225
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (November 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F2JXSX0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,358 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Seemed like a good read. Her husband was sent to India to start a branch of the company - a two year commitment. She was excited to go and since they were fairly newly wed, wanted to support her husband in this adventure. Once arrived in India, the majority of the book was her whining, complaining, holding firm to HER needs and what she was used to in NYC - her eternal Starbucks addiction in search of some form of coffee in India, not wanting to understand the differences in the country and with the help of a few expats and locals, try to make it work. She was so miserable during the majority of this book, she was not at all likeable. Of course, this is the author's ploy to turn it all around at the end and become Mother Earth of India.....but too little too late. 75% of the book was one big whine. The end 25% was more of getting ready to return to NYC after the 2 years were up. Narcissistic and immature. Too bad.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit offensive and too much complaining for me November 30, 2013
Format:Paperback
This was a tough review to write. I finished the book a couple weeks ago but had a hard time writing the less than positive review. I enjoy travel memoirs and books where people learn how to appreciate what they have.

Karma Gone Bad tells Jenny’s story of going from a twenty-something Upper West Sider who does yoga, buys designer clothes and drinks Starbucks to an American housewife in a third world country. Jenny doesn’t choose to live in India but follows her husband there when he feels he doesn’t have a choice in order to keep his job.

It’s an understatement to say that Jenny doesn’t adapt well initially. The crowded streets, the cows and buffalo walking amongst the people, the crazy driving and the poor kids, women and children begging for food and money is understandably a culture shock to someone raised in America. I remember being shocked when I went to India but it also deeply moved me and made me appreciative for the life we have.

The story drags on too long about just how miserable and stressed out Jenny is living in India. It felt like a spoiled little rich girl whining about every little thing she missed in America. The tone goes from her being shocked and empathetic to the poverty to being superior to those “little brown faces” that stare at her for being blond haired and blue eyed that they have never seen before.

When Jenny sees her Indian home for the first time, she lets her little dog run through the puja room. The room is where Hindus have idols of their deities and conduct prayers and meditation. I found it offensive and disrespectful that Jenny, even after learning what the room is for, wanted to make the room her dog’s bedroom “once we got rid of all the clutter.” Since when are Gods clutter?
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beach book February 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A prolonged whine from someone who made no attempt to adjust to things not from "home".
For me, it was almost painful to read. No respect for the culture, people, and customs of India.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Karma Ran Over My Marriage November 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
In Jenny Feldon’s novel, Karma Gone Bad, she shares losing herself among the sights, sounds and overwhelming smells of India. Through her tumultuous stories of making life work overseas as a newlywed, she nearly channels Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex in the City” if she appeared in Eat Pray Love.

Feldon knows she is a New Yorker through and through; her essentials to carry-on the plane to Hyderabad are “four pairs of designer shoes, two hundred manuscript pages of my novel-in-progress, an assortment of cocktail dresses and a small white Maltese named Tucker.” Her husband, Jay, has a professional opportunity but what will Jenny do? As the twenty-seven year-old recounts, “My wanderlust was satisfied with a ride on the R train to Brooklyn. Ashrams weren’t really my style. I lived by Zagat, not Lonely Planet.” As a long-term traveler, I wondered how would Jenny and Jay adapt?

Their initial impressions were not surprising. As she said on arrival, “we stepped out of the airport and into absolute chaos. I felt like an exotic zoo animal on display, but with no cage to protect me from the tidal wave of aggressive curiosity.” For our three months in India, several people told me, “You will love it and you will hate it.” Feldon’s voyage definitely started with hate. As she wrote, “My clothes were wrong, my communication skills poor, my sense of direction unreliable. I hadn’t even so much as glanced in the direction of my computer.” Her early hopes of being the perfect housewife and writing every day are daunted by the drama of life in India.

The beginning is very challenging. She yearns to believe in herself as an expat, “What could be more exciting, more sophisticated than becoming a seasoned traveler, a citizen of the world?” but wallows:

“Here, I was no one.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best structure December 26, 2013
By Miacara
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book seemed incomplete with gaping holes in it. She skipped around a bit too much for my taste. So much was missing from this book--missing links--having just returned from India I found it hard to believe that she didn't know in advance about the water and the food, not to eat cheese pizza, etc. So many questions unanswered. Malaria preventative taken or not taken? No mention of cow shi t everywhere or even seeing human feces. Did she only notice how people lived that one time? Why did she seem to get food poisoning later in her stay rather than sooner? Did she not read anything about india in advance? The author can write, but certainly didn't structure the book effectively. Could have used a solid editor who noticed the gaping holes and questions they raised. The books just "eh" for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very honest betrayal
Ms. Feldon was very sincere in her spoiled life and her adaptation to a foreign country. I found myself at times wanting to scream at her for being so narrowminded. Read more
Published 15 days ago by R. Basley
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable!
I really loved this book! I can also relate since I spent 3 years in Saudi Arabia. Most people cannot even begin to understand the culture shock after living in the States then... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Tiffany A. Ballinger
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed it!
Anyone who has been an expat - especially one in a third world country - will relate to Jenny's progression of emotions: shock, frustration (and even disgust), despair, depression,... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Jennie Goutet
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing
I was looking forward to an in depth book and it was a little boring. The blurb of the book made it sound like it was one of those books you couldn't out down.
Published 1 month ago by Shell Belle
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved it!
I thought this book was incredible. I loved Jenny's style of writing, her outlook, and how she was able to capture my attention and keep it. Kudos!
Published 1 month ago by Jenny Isenamn
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
Really enjoyed this book and the journey that it takes you on. I definitely recommend buying this book and was happy I gave it a shot.
Published 1 month ago by anonymous
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read
I liked this book. It was so fascinating to learn about life in India, from the American perspective. I enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by Beth
4.0 out of 5 stars nice surprise
i was surprised by this book...she grabbed me right from the start and is an excellent writer....i am only half way through....do hope she gets to the point if there is one
Published 1 month ago by Victoria Ortiz
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story of adjustment to a new life.
I liked this book even if I was a little puzzled at the young woman's reaction to India...would you not study up and get an idea of the country before you arrive. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bookywooky
2.0 out of 5 stars book title change: The Harrowing Plight of the 1% in India
The author's initial honesty about herself get points, but I had the growing suspicion that she just wanted to write a "Eat, Pray, Love" type best seller (she's a writer,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Chiu
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More About the Author

Jenny Feldon was born in California and grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. She completed her bachelor's degree in English literature at Boston University and earned her MFA in creative writing from the New School University.

Her work has appeared in nonfiction anthologies as well as many online and print publications, including Parenting magazine, Parenting.com and the Huffington Post. She writes the popular blog Karma (continued...) and was named one of BlogHer's Voices of the Year in 2012.

Jenny lives in Los Angeles with her family, where she balances writing, motherhood, and giant cups of coffee...mostly all at once.

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