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Red Earth and Pouring Rain (Faber Fiction…

Red Earth and Pouring Rain (Faber Fiction Classics) (original 1995; edition 2001)

by Vikram Chandra

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8071216,731 (3.9)52
Title:Red Earth and Pouring Rain (Faber Fiction Classics)
Authors:Vikram Chandra
Info:Faber & Faber Ltd (2001), Paperback, 617 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, pb

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Red Earth and Pouring Rain by Vikram Chandra (1995)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I found it at the Salvos and it looked interesting and had good reviews on Goodreads. A monkey in India is shot and nearly dies, which give him the ability to recall his past lives and communicate them on a typewriter. He makes a deal with the God of Death that he can live as long as he can entertain an audience with his tales, and so begins to tell stories.

I normally can't stand this kind of thing but I like it so far.

Nah, gave up for now. Too many characters to keep straight. This needs to be read in long chunks and I can't do it justice right now.
  piemouth | Feb 6, 2018 |
Fascinating! And dense with characters and events. I found it a bit hard to follow -- so many characters, some mythical, and the writing is rich with detail of all kinds. It's a story of stories, narrated mostly by a god-like monkey who used to be human. I'd like to read it again sometime, as I was less confused after reading half the book and I'd get more out of it the second time. This author has boundless imagination! I couldn't tell how much was historical, if any. It's a complex book and richly so, as I said. There are many long, run-on sentences, so the reader must pay close attention. There is much to admire in the book and writing. There are several comical scenes of the monkeys running off with clothing from the clothesline on the roof, and more. Most of the stories interlock, revealing a saga of the life of the monkey as a human and other key people and their adventures, trials, lives and loves, and foes. I'd recommend the book for more sophisticated readers and perhaps for those living in India or who have lived there or visited at length. Though I have heard of the Gods in the book, I know nothing about them. ( )
  Rascalstar | Aug 23, 2017 |
I could not bring myself to read this book. I rarely read fiction and when I do, it's hard for me to gulp concepts of yama, death, mythological characters springing up and down the sentences. This was the most disappointing read of 2015. Me and my girl pal were excited to read a book whose title drew such a beautiful imagery in our heads and so I gifted her a copy along with buying one for myself. By the time I went home I had read about 40 pages during the train journey. The entire plot of a monkey recollecting his previous birth seemed absurd to me even by an imaginative reading style. I just couldn't believe that I bought this book based solely on its title. The jacket explains part of the concept in luscious words and there I fell. I couldn't make myself read this book again. Now it lies on my shelf and I wonder if I should gift it to someone or will they curse me for giving them such a boring book? I understood something well- I am not cut for fiction and that never am I ever going to get fooled by a book title or its cover page. I am not rating it because I couldn't finish it.
  Sharayu_Gangurde | Jan 19, 2017 |
One story just flows into another in a rather dizzy way, but it's fun and filled with variety. A monkey narrator on a typewriter, an Indian attending college in America -- a wonderful contrast. Grandly epic and wonderously mythical, but lacks the full characterizations of his later novel _Sacred Games_. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
"I will tell you a story that will grow like a lotus vine, that will twist in on itself and expand ceaselessly, till all of you are a part of it, and the gods come to listen, till we are all talking in a musical hubbub that contains the past, every moment of the present, and all of the future."

The novel opens in modern India, with Abhay, a university student, shooting a monkey that has been stealing clothes from the family clothesline, including Abhay's new jeans. His scandalized parents, fearing repercussions from the nearby Hanuman temple, insist on bringing the monkey in to recover, and nine days later, when the monkey comes round, it crosses the room to type "i am parasher". As the family gathers round in fear and disbelief, the monkey explains, using the typewriter, that he is Sanjay, born of a good Brahmin family, who died in 1889, and for the bad karma he accumulated in that life has been reborn as a monkey; his wound has awakened him so that he remembers who he is. Yama, the Lord of Death, appears to Sanjay to reclaim him, but Hanuman comes to his defence. A deal is done whereby Sanjay, a poet, must keep a human audience entertained with his stories for two hours every night. If at any time more than half the audience show signs of boredom Yama will take him. Watched by Yama and Hanuman, Sanjay sets to work.

This is the beginning of a wonderful tale, or rather a number of wonderful tales, of magic, beautiful women, brave men, heroic deeds, and of India and Europe. Chandra's great skill is in playfully weaving the two traditions together. The characters are memorable and the language poetic.
  Oandthegang | May 26, 2014 |
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An Indian student, home from college in the U.S., shoots a monkey who turns out to be the reincarnation of a poet. Subsequently the two take turns telling their story, the poet recalling epic deeds of glory in fighting the British Raj, the student of materialism and boredom in America.… (more)

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