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The Death of Vishnu: A Novel Hardcover – January, 2001
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Then the absurdity of the situation strikes him. The preposterousness of his images, the foolishness of his feelings, the comicality of chasing currents that skim across Padmini's face. He thinks how absurd this whole trip has been, how absurd is the presence of the two of them in Lonavala, how absurd is the scenery itself that stretches before them. He thinks of poor, ridiculous Mr. Jalal, waiting back in Bombay for his Fiat, and of how Padmini will react when he asks her to buy them petrol so they can get back.Vishnu also recalls his secret passion for Kavita Asrani, the beautiful teenage daughter of one of the families for whom he works. Given the protagonist's focus on his hapless love life, the scope of Suri's dazzling debut may appear narrow. However, the apartment house upon whose floor Vishnu spends his final hours functions as a microcosm of Indian society. It helps to know even a smattering about Hindu mythology or India's religious conflicts. But even if you don't, there is plenty to relish in The Death of Vishnu, with its comical, richly drawn characters, loving attention to the details of everyday life, and provocative exploration of destiny and free will. --Regina Marler
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here we meet the Pathaks and the Asranis, two arch rival neighbours; what's worse is that they share the same kitchen and each claims to be taking care of Vishnu better.
Then on the other hand there are the Jalals - the husband who doesn't believe in any religion and just wants to gain spiritualism the easy way; the son Salim who is madly in love with the Asranis' daughter Kavita (here comes the Hindu-Muslim divide).
Not to forget the Tanejas - Vinod Taneja whose wife's death has left him with so much grief that he just doesn't get out of his apartment anymore...
And what's surprising is that all these characters are intertwined with one. And the connecting factor: Vishnu! The story binds itself based on what others perceive Vishnu to be - his mother, the Pathaks, the Jalals, the Asranis, Padmini, Kavita, and others like the scavenger and the sweeper working in the apartment. There is a holistic perspective to the point that it infringes on who Vishnu really is and what he embodies for all the bystanders.
There is a singular thread running through the book - that of isolation on various levels. The Pathaks and Asranis share a kitchen, almost to the point of invading each other's privacy and yet are so distant and cold. Vishnu is dead and yet no one wants to claim him and take him to the nearest morgue.Read more ›
Because of the incredible character details, Suri converts the the mundane into the sublime, the logic of his characters makes the impossible possible. Rarely have characters populated a world so foreign, yet so accessible. I am a filmmaker and realize the difficulty of the task that Suri succeeds at so effortlessly; his absoulute control of the visual images he invokes on every page. Radiowala's styrofoam, Mrs. Asrani's TruTone, the mango goddess and her sap-filled scars, and the glucose biscuits dipped in tea; fleeting images are immortalized in these pages.
I have already recommended this book to friends and am on this site to order some more copies as gifts.
Read this one, you can't go wrong.
And Mr. Suri, if you do read these reviews, I eagerly await your next book. I congratulate you on your act of creation and thank you for it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked it that was about it. Some books leave you in awe when you turn the last page, this wasn’t one of them. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dana Walker
I loved this book. It is unique in the way it explores and reveals its characters, little by little advancing their lives and motivations. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Melanie D. Typaldos
A surrealistic fable with interesting characters and a running commentary on the foibles of modern and traditional society. Read morePublished 7 months ago by william harris
I wasn't at all prepared for this book. It is amazing. A book that turns slowly around and around in a single day, with the centerpiece of the story being the beggar who sleeps in... Read morePublished 7 months ago by peji
Rhapsodic, intoxicating prose. Perhaps the best dystopian novel I have ever read.Published 8 months ago by Robert Blake
The opening of this novel is one of my all time favorites. The first three sentences read:
"Not wanting to arouse Vishnu in case he hadn't died yet, Mrs. Read more
This book is excellent. Buy it if you enjoy fiction that focuses on the Indian culture.Published 16 months ago by Skyy Sutton
Nice and well put together the English of vocabulary was so advance had to Google half of the words. But I want to no did kavita tell the officer the truth?Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer