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The Inheritance of Loss | [Kiran Desai]

The Inheritance of Loss

In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga lives an embittered old judge. He only wants to retire in peace, but then his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge's chatty cook watches over her, but his thoughts are mostly with his son, Biju, who is hop-scotching from one New York restaurant job to another. A novel of depth and emotion, Desai's second, long-awaited novel fulfills the grand promise established by her first.
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Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2007

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2007

At the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered old judge who wants nothing more than to retire in peace. But this is far from easy with the arrival of his orphaned granddaughter Sai, come to live with him and his chatty cook. Biju, the cook's son, is trying to make his way in the US, flitting between a succession of grubby kitchen jobs to stay one step ahead of the immigration services.

Unbeknown to any of them, a Nepalese insurgency threatens Kalimpong, impacting Sai's blossoming romance, and causing the judge to revisit his past and his role in this grasping world of conflicting desires.

©2006 Kiran Desai; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"Briskly paced and sumptuously written." (The New Yorker)
"Desai imaginatively dramatizes the wonders and tragedies of Himalayan life and, by extension, the fragility of peace and elusiveness of justice, albeit with her own powerful blend of tenderness and wit." (Booklist)
"In this alternately comical and contemplative novel, Desai deftly shuttles between first and third worlds, illuminating the pain of exile, the ambiguities of post-colonialism and the blinding desire for a 'better life', when one person's wealth means another's poverty." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (346 )
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3.6 (107 )
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Story
3.9 (106 )
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    Carol Coppell, TX, United States 08-13-07
    Carol Coppell, TX, United States 08-13-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    Overall
    "too much loss"

    What a sad, depressing tale. I am sorry that I spent money on this one and sorrier still that I spent 12 hours listening to it

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 08-14-07
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 08-14-07 Member Since 2002

    Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    203
    ratings
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    102
    49
    FOLLOWERS
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    Overall
    "Lost from the Start"

    I couldn't keep the characters straight nor remember their relationships. I stopped listening early.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mikhail Warners, NY, USA 11-01-07
    Mikhail Warners, NY, USA 11-01-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    Overall
    "terrible book"

    This book seemed to jump around, didn't have a good plot, and overall was very boring.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
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