Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Half Life Paperback – July 19, 2011
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A lovely, graceful, and utterly compelling love story.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“Compelling... Farooki's hypnotic narrative is driven by a delicate, probing intensity, full of grace and poignancy.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Lovers of literary fiction will not want to miss this vibrant, moving novel from the gifted Farooki.” ―Booklist
“Utterly compelling...Moments of utter emotional bleakness are rendered bearable by the fragile beauty of the images Farooki uses to describe them. This is proper storytelling - we are provided with a character we find ourselves caring about, and want to discover what becomes of her. One thing will always stand out when it matters: the author's voice. And Farooki has one to be proud of.” ―The Independent (UK)
“A heartfelt tale that skips seamlessly from continent to continent and reveals how the ghosts of our pasts have to be laid to rest before we can come back home.” ―Farahad Zama, author of The Marriage Bureau for Rich People series
“Aspirations and family ties play out across three generations of the Khalil family in Farooki's fine new novel.... [A] flawed yet likable cast... question what, exactly, leads to a more fulfilled life. This character- and culture-rich novel will appeal to Jhumpa Lahiri and Zadie Smith fans.” ―Publishers Weekly on Corner Shop
“Farooki's characters are convincingly complex... While her first novel, Bitter Sweets, was called "enjoyably breezy" (New York Times), this work has a depth to it that requires more substantial adjectives. Highly recommended.” ―Library Journal on Corner Shop
“A complex exploration of the ever-changing nature of wants and desires and the consequences of achieving one's dreams, Farooki's tale eschews easy answers for the complex, appealing characters that people its pages.” ―Booklist on Corner Shop
“[An] enjoyably breezy book... Despite its emphasis on deception, dislocation and the loss of love, [Bitter Sweets] retains a cheery consistency: It has managed to be sunnily devious from the start. And it delivers a refreshing message. Only by means of all their elaborate deceptions do these characters figure out who they really are.” ―Janet Maslin, The New York Times with praise for Roopa Farooki
“Fast-paced and populated with characters as colorful as a closetful of saris, Farooki's debut follows three generations of an Indian family....While there are enough surprise plot twists to keep the tale entertaining, it's the characters' emotional musings that make it memorable.” ―People (3 stars) on Bitter Sweets
“Roopa Farooki's delicious debut novel...is a candy apple of a book, an alluring confection that is substantial and healthful at its heart....This book...is simply, shrewdly sweet.” ―More magazine on Bitter Sweets
“This sparkling, fresh debut follows three generations of a family caught up in the web of their own deceit.... Farooki's vibrant characters leap off the page and straight into the imagination in this clever and intricate novel.” ―Booklist (starred review) on Bitter Sweets
Top Customer Reviews
Aruna Ahmed Jones just picks up and leaves her London apartment, her job, her material possessions, and her husband. Because it is time to face what she ran away from: the man she loved, Jazz Ahsan, and the secret of her past.
I read mostly science fiction, fantasy and mystery. But I couldn't help but be intrigued by the premise of this book (especially after watching the fantastic Slumdog Millionaire). And this isn't one of those books that promises the world and leaves us with pebbles and salt. Roopa Farooki delivers.
The cast is small, but each character plays a unique, varied role. We focus on three primary characters: Aruna, Jazz, and a former poet, Hari Hassan. All three are unique, rich, and well-developed. Aruna is our primary protagonist, the woman who leaves her life in London (and her husband, Patrick) to return to Singapore and the life she ran away from. It is easy to sympathize with her plight, to feel her emotions (which she relays with stunning clarity and unashamed candor), and to journey with her on this emotional roller coaster ride. Jazz is our secondary protagonist, the former lover of Aruna. I enjoyed learning how he lived his life in Aruna's absence, how caring he was to her, how he wastes his time in a loveless relationship to a shallow woman. Lastly is Hari Hassan. I was dumbstruck at how different he was, yet he was interesting and complicated as well. It was a unique move of Farooki to make him hospitalized (at least, I've not read many books with this development), so I was impressed and torn at his helplessness, at his lack of privacy, and at his slowly deteriorating condition.Read more ›
The chapters are broken up by the names of the three main characters with a subtitle of the location. I didn't feel that the location was necessary and I honestly didn't read them because I'm not familiar with those parts of the world. I did like that the chapters were the characters' names though, because the perspective changed with each chapter and the reader was not left guessing whose perspective was being read.
Within each chapter there were 2-3 breaks. It took me the better part of the book to realize that the pattern seemed to go as such; first section: present time, second section: past, third section: present. This was very confusing.
Also, the information on the back of the book says, "With shades of Slumdog Millionaire..." which is a movie I enjoyed. However, I saw no shades of that movie/plot within this book; other than the characters were from a similar part of the world.
The cover of the book also does not give any idea to the story of the book. If anything, the cover is deceiving as to what the book might be about.
With all that said, the story was rather, meh. I did not feel all that connected to the characters and did not find the plot in general to be that intriguing. I made it through, did not like the ending, and was glad to be finished. The only reason I gave it two stars was that there were sections of the book where I found the writing to be very well written. I'm no writer, but felt that I saw glimpses into the writer's potential.
While she returns to Singapore, her inspiration lies dying in Kuala Lumpur General Hospital in Malaysia. Aruna knows she must confront Jazz and their past if she is to move forward with him or with Patrick who she expects will not welcome her back.
This terrific character study contains two discerning subplots as readers follow Aruna's efforts to cleanse her mind from her self-imposed demons that force her into a Half Life and Haris' death count vigil. Both are well written and nicely converge as the audience obtains insight into the Bengali culture living in Southeast Asia and London through this pair and others. Roopa Farooki provides a strong drama as Aruna learns that though Thomas Wolff is right that "you can't go home", Hari is also correct as sometimes you have no choice but to go home.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Shipper shipped it real fast - thank you. Book is not what I expected it to be - I expected some historical novel opr at least some background of the country.Published on May 4, 2013 by Vonny
I loved the book the first few pages but then it just kept repeating itself. Aruna's addictions, her trauma, her distress it was all looping incessantly. Read morePublished on April 4, 2012 by arbitary
this was a gift for my Daughter but she loved it and is reading all the books this author has written...Published on December 5, 2011 by Sherry L. Chavez
was a little hard to keep
places and people together
I got this book since I enjoyed the author's previous novel. This one was very disappointing. The story jumps all over the place and never develops any meaningful depth. Read morePublished on July 20, 2010 by ardnam
The main character of Half Life is very flawed and aware of her flaws, but that's what makes her lovable. Read morePublished on June 27, 2010 by Christine
Half Life follows Rooney, a thirty something Pakistani woman who was raised in Singapore but now lives in London. Read morePublished on June 1, 2010 by B. A. Chaney