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The Amazing Absorbing Boy Hardcover – International Edition, January 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; First Edition edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307397270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307397270
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER 2011 - Toronto Book Award
WINNER 2010 - Trillium Book Award
CBC Canada Reads - Ontario Top Ten Nominee

“Maharaj is a sensitive observer who renders the familiar new and strange in this bittersweet tale of an everyday hero navigating a new land.”
— Camilla Gibb
 
“An immigrant’s tale unlike any we've been told, The Amazing Absorbing Boy walks our streets with fresh eyes, taking us to places we’ve been many times and show us what we’ve missed. This is a book Canadians have been waiting a long time to read.”
— Steven Galloway
 
The Amazing Absorbing Boy is an amazing, absorbing read, one that opens a door on a strange new world called Canada. In prose that is filled with wonder and gentle humour, Maharaj ushers us through this culture from the perspective of one who has just landed in this cold, liberating, frightening and heavenly country, which is made of many countries, this place we all call home. To read Maharaj’s novel is to laugh at ourselves, to wonder at ourselves, and most importantly, to understand ourselves. If you haven’t yet discovered Rabindranath Maharaj, discover him with this novel.”
— Gail Anderson-Dargatz
 
“Robin Maharaj’s novel, The Amazing Absorbing Boy, is a funny/tender book, to my knowledge an entirely new way of surveying the urban landscape and finding not just the unguessed at, unvisited parts of Toronto but of the Modern City. Highly original in its premise, it is in part an homage and in part a spoof of the sub-genre of super hero comic books — a highly intelligent, roaringly funny homage.  Put aside the sombre ‘I must read this book because it might be a form-of self-betterment’ notion that’s been drilled into you about CanLit. Be amazed. Be absorbed. Have fun. It won’t hurt a bit.”
— Wayne Johnston

“Maharaj . . . offers an exhilarating interpretation of immigrant experience. . . . Maharaj superbly articulates the longing for home, on the one hand, and the dream of success in Canada on the other.”
— The Globe and Mail
 
“Think you know Toronto? Then try getting another perspective. You won’t find a fresher one than in The Amazing Absorbing Boy. . . . Highly recommended.”
— NOW (Toronto)
 
“Maharaj’s comic-tinged fantasy serves as a particularly apt metaphor for aspects of the modern immigrant experience. . . . Maharaj expertly captures the varied carols of [Toronto’s] urban multiculture.”
The Walrus
 
“The language has a charming, natural ease. . . . But it is also a novel with deeper layers. At heart it is a rich exploration of the immigrant psychodrama of attraction and repulsion, welcome and paranoia, perception and misunderstanding.”
Toronto Star
 
“Line for line, Maharaj is a superb stylist.”
— Quill & Quire


Praise for Rabindranath Maharaj:
“For the record, [Maharaj] is a more accomplished writer than Vassanji and a livelier novelist than Mistry.”
— Philip Marchand, Toronto Star

About the Author

Rabindranath Maharaj is the author of three previous novels: A Perfect Pledge, nominated for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and for the Regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book; The Lagahoo’s Apprentice, a Globe and Mail and Toronto Star Notable Book of the Year; and Homer in Flight, nominated for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Robin Maharaj lives in Ajax, Ontario.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Amazing Absorbing Boy, by Rabindranath Maharaj, is an amazing, absorbing novel about a teenaged boy who leaves his home in Trinidad after the death of his mother to join his estranged father in the Regent Park area of Toronto. His love of comic book heroes gives him a set of unusual survival skills that both sets him apart and smooths his way as an immigrant to Canada. At the end there's a glossary of Trinidadian words like "nowhereian" that is a real treat.
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Maharaj is a wonderful writer, great imagination, creates memorable characters, like Uncle Boysie and the boy's father. In a few places i thought the comic book analogies were too much, but overall the novel creates a fascinating sense of the immigrant's place, both in Trinidad and Canada. I enjoyed this book as much I enjoyed Homer in Flight. This writer takes chances, leaps of faith, and is rewarded with an unusual, quirky literature that will last.
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By Sumati on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Very compelling, I am not a fiction reader, but I eagerly wanted to continue reading. The characters are very interesting. The main character is innocent, searching, and troubled and offers an novel view of the city. Very funny, especially aunty umbrella. I highly recommend!
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Format: Paperback
There have been some wonderful books written from the perspective of a child with a limited and specific point of view that reveals a very adult world to the reader. Some that come to mind are Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English, and Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This book fits neatly into that sub-genre. The main character is a young man from Trinidad who tries to make sense of his new life in Toronto by imagining comic book heroes (and villains) everywhere he goes. In places I felt the author could have taken this premise even further, but fans of superhero comics will certainly appreciate the subtle references.

For more reviews, please visit my blog, CozyLittleBookJournal.
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