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The Perfect Man: A Novel by Naeem Murr

The Perfect Man: A Novel (edition 2007)

by Naeem Murr

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183664,645 (3.7)2
Title:The Perfect Man: A Novel
Authors:Naeem Murr
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2007), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Perfect Man: A Novel by Naeem Murr

  1. 00
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (kseniyat)
    kseniyat: Similarly, this book focuses on the characters and is less plot driven. The characters are powerfully described in both, and both draw the reader into the novel's carefully crafted world.

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I read all the amazing reviews of this book and thought the premise was very interesting: young unwanted boy from India winding up in small Missouri town. The writing is excellent, but I just could not really connect with the characters and found some of the lesser characters simply unbelievable. I tried very hard to "get into" this book, but it just didn't click.

Raj's transformation from a naive young boy to a professional man who seems to know exactly who he is and what he wants is interesting but I don't find it extraordinatry. I'm pretty familiar with small Missouri towns having grown up there, and I never felt that the town with its rather strange assortment of people was realistic; some of the events bordered on "soap-operaish." And the switching back and forth between time frames was confusing although I can see how it did add to the suspense of the story.

Still, the concept of the book is engaging and I'm glad I read it. I would recommend it just because I do think it is a book that can envoke a variety of responses. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 23, 2013 |
well-written, beautiful in parts, but there was some overarching depressing mood throughout... if it wasn't recommended to me via BookDragon I would not have picked it up...or stayed with it. ( )
  ming.l | Mar 31, 2013 |
thrilling, mysterious, disturbing, beautiful: I just read "The Perfect Man" on the recommendation of a friend from the UK (it came out there last year). I sat on the couch for hours and hours, unable to put it down. You're introduced to this forlorn, unwanted child who is dragged from India to Britain to the small-town U.S., and as he gets to know the complexities of this little Missouri backwater (its crimes and sexual secrets and interrelationships and rumors and histories), you get to know them, too. You end up longing for the happiness of some characters and the downfall of others, and wanting desperately to know WHAT HAPPENED to a little boy who died years before. There are many twining stories over the course of many years, but you never get lost or bored. The people all have such vividness, with so much at stake--especially the survival of vulnerable children through pain, neglect, confusion and love. And there's such a rich sense of the cycle of life. I was tearful a number times while reading. I highly recommend it.
  lonepalm | Dec 8, 2011 |
A wonderful coming of age novel that follows Rajiv, half-British half-Indian young man, who lives in Pisgah Missouri in the 1950's. It tackles racism, child abuse, mental illness, love, and redemption in a beautifully written story that never seems too heavy. That is probably because Rajiv is a truly likable character. The adult men come off often as one dimensional, but that is also part of the storytelling that involves murder and lies, but at its heart it is the story of childhood lost and maturity gained. ( )
  jenn_stringer | Jul 10, 2011 |
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Gerard Travers lifted the little dark boy off the train and onto the platform at Victoria.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812977017, Paperback)

Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Europe and South Asia.
Winner of the 2008 PEN Beyond Margins Award.

Identity, friendship, and a long-hidden crime lie at the heart of Naeem Murr’s captivating novel about five friends growing up in a small 1950s Missouri river town. A contender for the Man Booker Prize, this exhilarating story beautifully evokes the extreme joys, as well as the dark and shameful desires, of childhood.

Young Rajiv Travers hasn’t had much luck fitting in anywhere. Born to an Indian mother who was sold to his English father for £20, Raj is abandoned by his relatives into the reluctant care of Ruth, an American romance writer living in Pisgah, Missouri. While his skin color unsettles most of the townsfolk, who are used to seeing things in black and white, the quick-witted Raj soon finds his place among a group of children his own age.

While the friends remain loyal to one another through the years, it becomes clear that their paths will veer in markedly different directions. But breaking free of the demands of their families and their community, as well as one another, comes at a devastating price: As the chilling secrets of Pisgah’s residents surface, the madness that erupts will cost Raj his closest friend even as it offers him the life he always dreamed of.

Taking us into the intimate life of small-town America, The Perfect Man explores both the power of the secrets that shape us and the capacity of love in all its guises to heal even the most damaged of souls.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:03 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The closeness of five friends growing up in 1950s Pisgah, Missouri--including Rajiv Travers, a boy born to a East Indian mother and English father, abandoned by his family, and adopted by the American romance writer his uncle left behind by suicide--is threatened when a love triangle develops within their group and the dark secrets of Pisgah's residents emerge.… (more)

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