Dasgupta spins a self-consciously modern tapestry of freewheeling fantasies and subverted fairy tales with his ambitious first book. When a severe blizzard in Tokyo diverts a 747 to a remote airport, the stranded passengers gather around the baggage carousel to trade the sort of stories that strangers don't typically swap, unless one's fellow travelers are Beckett and Borges. Refracting the contemporary world's metropolises through a dystopian once-upon-a-time sensibility, Dasgupta tackles themes of transit, dislocation and uprootedness. His critique of consumerism and the global economy can be humorous: in "The Store on Madison Avenue," Robert de Niro's half-Chinese illegitimate son, Pavel, unites with Martin Scorsese and Isabella Rossellini's love child, who eats a magic box of Oreo cookies that transforms her into an upscale New York boutique. Dasgupta takes a more didactic tone in "The Memory Editor," about the prodigal son of an investment banker who goes to work for a corporate enterprise called "MyPastâ¢," which gathers and markets ejected memories when a London of the near future literally loses its sense of history. Other tales discover poignant moments of connection, as when a wingless bird hobbles across Europe to reunite two lost lovers. Though Dasgupta's postmodern stories can be too pat, his sprawling, experimental project achieves an exotic luster. Agent, Jennifer Joel. (May)
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In the spirit of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dasgupta's first novel assembles fanciful tales--a baker's dozen of them--told by a random assortment of travelers. In the midst of a blinding snowstorm that shuts down Tokyo's main airport, 13 stranded tourists pass the hours by spinning stories that reflect their diverse and colorful backgrounds. A rural tailor is commissioned by a prince to create a unique silk robe, but his life collapses in ruins when ignorant guards refuse to let him deliver the goods. The disowned son of a wealthy banker lands a job cataloging memories for an increasingly amnesiac population of modern-day London, only to discover his father among the company's customers. In perhaps the most outlandish and risque tale, Robert DeNiro's illegitimate son stumbles on the secret of transforming matter via a magical box of Oreo cookies. Dasgupta's themes run the gamut from loss and betrayal to uprootedness and alienation in a magical realist manner that echoes the best of Garcia Marquez and makes for irresistibly absorbing entertainment. Carl Hays
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As a kid I grew up on Brothers Grimm and Aesop's fables, and never quite got over them. But as an adult I do want something more modern. Read morePublished on November 10, 2011 by Mr Night
It's probably too easy to just say Canterbury Tales setup (travelers telling their tales to each other, very different voices) with absurdist tales (Eugene Ionesco would be proud). Read morePublished on April 8, 2011 by Michael A. Duvernois
I read this book over 2 years ago and it is still under my skin. It reminds me of the Arabian Nights (1001 Tales) in terms of form. Read morePublished on September 5, 2010 by ANB
I was spellbound by the energy, the simplicity and the mesmerising power of the stories contained in this book. Read morePublished on June 7, 2009 by Milko Calla
This book could have been great, in my opinion, but it wasn't.
The book is meant to echo The Canterbury Tales, but doesn't. Read more
"Look sir you're not going to tell me that! Everyone knows stories! I just told you I slept in the same bed as my wife every night for the last fifteen years in the same bedroom of... Read morePublished on September 13, 2007 by Cromely
This book was recommended in a book review column i always read and usually agree with. However the stories are very disturbing, strange, gross, sick and upsetting. Read morePublished on April 19, 2007 by Jennifer A. Flett
A modern-day "Arabian Nights" for the next generation. Some of the stories in here are downright odd, but they're all enjoyable and perfect for late-night reading.Published on October 4, 2006 by Vahnee