©2009 Daniyal Mueenuddin; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
“A remarkable debut by a Punjabi writer who has gained plaudits from Mohsin Hamid and Salman Rushdie. A small book that reveals, in every detail, the extent to which life in Pakistan is dictated as much by whom you know as what you do.” (The Economist)
“In this labyrinth of power games and exploits, Mueenuddin inserts luminous glimmers of longing, loss and, most movingly, unfettered love.” (The New York Times)
“In Other Rooms, Other Wonders is a collection full of pleasures.” (The Washington Post)
I tend to like collections of stories that are interwoven, stories in which characters recur, so I enjoyed this book. However, it wasn't an easy or pleasant listening experience. Muyeenuddin is representing a different culture, a harsh one that can be hard for an American to understand or even care about. Some of his characters are downright unlikeable; others are pathetic to the point that they need a good shake--but that is all part of the world this book represents. I feel that I learned a lot about another culture, and about the common humanity that underlies our differences.
The series of stories were interesting and portrayed varies classes of Pakistan. Each story had a very unique character and station in life - from a mechanic, a companion, a man with his own hut who accounted for little to the police, a young charming wealthy gentleman educated in the US, a 2nd wife etc. All were individuals, how they fit in and their lives were a glimpse of a varied country. The story of the attorney bribing to save the favorite son accused of burning the brothers wife because they stole the father's money was unsettling. The story was told so matter of factly. No hope of justice.
Read this book for book club, couldn't wait for it to end. Characters very unsympathetic. Can't imagine why this was an award winning book
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