- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 5 hours and 45 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: April 7, 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00IXX0BG4
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Family Life: A Novel Audiobook – Unabridged
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Ajay is a child when the tragedy occurs. In wry twists he admits his occasional resentment of the tragedy. Other times he reveals an unsavory hunger to be the celebrity brother of fate. Yet overall he cares deeply for his family. Sometimes he speaks with a God dressed in contemporary clothing. He finds no answers there, "Even if I told you something, I might change my mind." Cast adrift, Ajay discovers that a life devoted writing is possible, and the world changes for him.
Ajay takes the reader with him, and the reader cannot but help feeling great affection for this young boy. His speech is darkly humorous at times. He can be selfish and he can be be grandiose. But all of his thoughts carry the authenticity of a person being strictly honest with himself. The author achieves this without stooping to preciousness or drama. Somehow even in the everyday, the story holds us enmeshed with the reality of life after a fatal three minutes changes everything.
Having lived in the US for decades, one would expect Akhil Sharma to write an American novel, more so because it all happened in that country, but once you are past few pages you know it`s essentially an Indian story told by a boy as if he was schooled in vernacular medium. The naivety, I think is intentional and this is why it punches straight.
Sharma took more than 7000 pages and 12 years to write the story but finally when it was published it had some 250 pages. He said in one interview that it was a catharsis for him to write the book. When one considers what would be like living with an elder brother who had turned neurologically vegetable following an head injury since early childhood, it`s not surprising to understand his plight. His elder brother lived for thirty years in this state and died only a couple of years before the book was published in 2014.
In a sense it`s a memoir, but Sharma declined to label it so. He admitted though the story indeed was his and his brain damaged elder brother, he preferred to write a fiction to take the liberty of laughing at himself.
I yawned few times when the every mundane details of daily life was described, but apart from that the story was engaging though most of it was sad and dark with parents quarrelling, father turning alcoholic and miracle healers failing to cure the incurable brain- crippled boy one by one. Only the Meenakshi episode, though the author didn't give it the anticipated due, was like a breath of fresh air. I won`t say it`s one novel I will like to read again, but will definitely want people to read it once, not for the story but for the ease of reading and become aware of that stories could be written without pretensions and showing people that you are so well read.
Most recent customer reviews
This book was depressing and the writing felt stilted.Read more