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Book Title: The Death Of Vishnu|
The author of the book: Manil Suri
ISBN 13: 9780747593812
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 666 KB
Edition: Bloomsbury UK
Date of issue: March 3rd 2008
Read full description of the books:Vishnu Dies!
And nothing interesting happens. Familiarity breeds contempt or in my case, it bred indifference. The Death of Vishnu is a likable novel and a decent debut effort on part of Manil Suri but the story has nothing exceptional to offer to the readers especially if one has read at least one book (ok! Make that two) which mentions ‘Bombay’ in its blurb.
An apartment building with residents who share very little in common except one thing – they all are aware about a man who is dying on the staircase landing of their building while the petty issues of the living fosters around him without any respite. Karma comes and goes out of picture at regular intervals with two neighbors who’re always at loggerheads over gaining points to help the dying Vishnu by offering dirty sheets or stale chapatis but don’t have the heart to pay the ambulance to carry him to the hospital for a peaceful death. In between, Vishnu indulges in interior monologues that feature recollection about his mother, his lover, his crushes and his sexual episodes. This is where Suri’s prose shines but it’s not bright enough to engulf the whole book with its brilliance.
The story moves in a non-linear structure and its main purpose is to accommodate several characters, their respective storylines and all the topics upon which the author wants to make a commentary through this book but Suri stumbles here while juggling the various elements which gives a rather cluttered instead of a harmonious result. Questions about the relevance of faith against logical philosophies are raised by keeping religion as a yardstick. A blend of fiction with Hindu mythology is executed. Observations about day to day lives of a middle-class society are made. Wedding night experiences in a comical comparison with Bollywood movies are narrated. Here the intention of Manil Suri’s writing becomes clear i.e. he wants to present a story heavily marinated with Indian flavors where the life is mostly viewed in Technicolor with the background score of Hindi movies songs. It has its memorable moments but they are mostly eclipsed by the melodramatic and forgettable moments. Manil Suri definitely shows promise as a writer and has a lot of potential to further explore his talent which is probably already done in his other books and I’ll look forward to read the same but The Death of Vishnu didn’t quite work for me the way I expected from it because as soon as Vishnu died I was busy deciding about my next read.
Reluctant recommendation with 3/Five stars.
Read information about the authorManil Suri is an Indian-American mathematician and writer, most notable for his first novel, The Death of Vishnu.
He attended the University of Bombay before moving to the United States, where he attended Carnegie Mellon University. He received a PHD in mathematics in 1983, and became a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
He still continues to hold this job even though he is more notable as a writer, and has risen through the academic ranks of the university.
Suri began writing short stories in the 1980s during his spare time, but few were published. In 1995 he began writing The Death of Vishnu, a novel about social and religious tensions in India taking place in an apartment building in contemporary Mumbai.
The novel was published in 2001, and became an international bestseller. According to an interview on the audio book version of the novel, Suri is planning to write two more novels, The Birth of Brahma and The Life of Shiva. His work contains many allusions to Indian cinema and Hindu mythology.
Suri's mathematics research is in the numerical analysis of partial differential equations.
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