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Leave it to Me Unknown Binding – January 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1ST edition (1997)
  • ASIN: B003L1ZE60
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

There are no redeeming qualities here.
Manola Sommerfeld
The undertones of this book was very angry, so if you really don't feel like wasting your time to just get pissed off, don't bother with this book.
Maria C. D. Martinez
The story doesn't hold one's interest much, the plot isn't good.
Jeehan H. Kashim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Manola Sommerfeld on November 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
How this book got published is a mystery to me. This has got to be without a doubt the worst novel I have ever read. There are no redeeming qualities here. The story line is ridiculous. The coincidences are too much to bear. Debby, who is adopted by an Italian couple as a toddler, never develops much love for them, even though they are decent, loving people. She saves her love and sick fascination for her birth parents, a Fresno woman who went to India in the 60's looking for a guru, and the guru himself, a serial killer currently in prison. She wants to meet them and then do some sort of damage to them, as payback (for what? She was better off growing up in Schenedctady). Debby graduates from college and manages to become the lover of a filthy rich ex-Jackie Chan of sorts. He doesn't give her the respect she "deserves" so she torches his apartment. Then she escapes to California, in search for bio-parents. While in the Haight-Ashbury, she manages to charm a film producer who happens to know her bio-mom. Debby is the luckiest person on earth!!! There are 30 million souls in CA and she happens to bang the guy who is banging her mom. Debby (now named Devi) will not know this until later in the story, when the private eye she has hired reveals the whole mystery, and soon disappears, and at this point I had had enough of this poor excuse for a novel and threw it across the room. The only thing that really piqued my interest is the reference to Ashrams in blue collar Napa. Wow. Other than that, this was a waste of pulp.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Bought it cheap from a bargain book table, read it fast and regretted almost every minute. If you like language for its own sake, you might like this novel because there are some awfully pretty and interesting turns of phrase. But if you actually read because you like reading an interesting, well-told story about characters that at some level seem human, skip this book. It's worse than a violent pulp novel, because at least those types of books make you work to reach the end of your bad story. Reading this felt like hard labor, and I'm not even sure how it ended after reading the ending twice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
I would give this a big old zero, if I could.
The writing is not even up to the level of supermarket pulp novels. The main character is an utterly unsympathetic self-described "waif" who isn't even particularly interesting. I can't make myself care how many men she slept with, much less why her tastes run from movie producers to shell-shocked Vietnam vets. No motivation is ever given for Devi's tendencies toward shoplifting, promiscuity, or murderousness (which in itself is apparently intended as pop-psychology shorthand for self-destructiveness) except that she is the abandoned daughter of an American hippie and an Asian pseudo-cult leader, and at one point she states that she believes in nature over nurture. Maybe she's just a horrifyingly immature brat. In chorus with Mukherjee, Devi drags us on her bad trip that promised an intriguing premise, but quickly turned into an exercise in unintelligent absurdity. If this book really was a work of pulp rather than a novel with pretensions to mythological allegory, it would probably be a lot more fun.
I didn't pay a dime for this book, just pulled it out of a box of throwaways from a friend who was moving, and I can see why it was destined for the garbage pile.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By San on March 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I think one of the main problems with this book might be Debbie/Devi herself. She is simply not likeable. She is smug, smarmy, ungrateful, self-absorbed, and luckier than she ever seems to comprehend. Aside from a few moments here and there, I had trouble feeling any real sympathy for her. I could not understand most of her motivations. Just like I could not understand this novel's plot. Mukherjee sets up all the players brilliantly...then lets them crash into each other haphazardly, leaving the reader confused and unsatisfied. The true climax of the book should be when Devi finally confronts her birth parents, but when that scene finally occurs everything just dissolves into a nonsensical bloodbath that doesn't particularly resolve anything. The only thing that keeps this book from being a waste of paper is the fascinating prose. I didn't like Devi, but I loved hearing her talk. Her voice is unique and distinctive, hip and dark and poetic. Even when she isn't making any sense, her strange little riffs on revenge and adoption and forces of nature are a pleasure to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Shaw on October 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
That probably isn't fair. I'm sure Mukherjee did indeed have a point to her novel. I consider her one of the greatest writers alive today, but, after the novel smacked me in the face, it kept sailing right on over my head. Something to do with genes, karma, gods of destruction and indirectly murderous young women who flank directly murderous men? unfortunately, motives which might have clued me in to meaning were missing from the story. It all began beautifully, but seemed to mutate into a pulp horror novel for hipsters. I was disappointed, yet occasionally enlightened and generally entertained.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book might not be for everyone (especially those who are close minded with no imagination or belief that anything is possible); however, I enjoyed reading it. Having read other books by Mukherjee (Jasmine and Holder of the World) this one continues to demonstrate Mukherjee's underlying theme, do what ever it takes to follow your dreams. The plot may seem unrealistic or the ending disappointing (to those who lack the belief in the power one has within them self to accomplish anything in life), but I found it inspiring.
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