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The Windfall

A Novel
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (142 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Charming...What Kevin Kwan did for rich people problems, Diksha Basu does for trying-to-be-rich-people problems.” (People)

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Esquire • A People Pick • A Time PICK

The Jhas are moving up. 

For the past 30 years, their lives have been defined by cramped spaces and gossipy neighbors. But when Mr. Jha comes into an enormous sum of money - the result of an unexpectedly successful internet venture - he moves his reluctant wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, ultimately forcing them, and their son, to reckon with who they are and what really matters to them.

Hilarious and wise, The Windfall illuminates with warmth and heart the precariousness of social status, the fragility of pride, and, above all, the human drive to build and share a home. Even the rich, it turns out, need to belong somewhere.

Praise for The Windfall:

“A delightful comedy of errors.” (NPR, Weekend Edition)

“Ultra-charming.” (Vogue)

“I almost fell out of bed laughing.” (Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians)

“A fun and heartfelt comedy of manners.” (Rolling Stone)

"Though money doesn’t necessarily buy the Jhas happiness, it delivers readers plenty of laughs and more.” (Esquire)

“Endearing, astute.” (Christian Science Monitor)

©2017 Diksha Basu (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Basu's debut novel is a funny, deceptively light treatment of money and manners in modern-day Delhi." (Kirkus)

"In her debut novel, Basu sprinkles her send-up of social mobility in modern India with gentle indulgence for her characters, presenting the foibles of the Jhas with humanity and humor." (Booklist)

"This is a delightful comedy of manners with a lot of heart...the novel's universal theme and very entertaining story should appeal to a wide variety of readers." (Library Journal)

"Soneela Nankani's quick, sardonic narration lovingly channels the outlandish and often comedic mishaps that befall the newly wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Jha.... Between the humor, Nankani provides a thoughtful voice to characters who are struggling, such as the Jhas' son, who is failing college, and their widowed neighbor, who may be ready for a second chance at love." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Struggle

I've struggled through 4 hours of listening so far and find that I can't continue. I'm throwing in the towel on this book. I guess I am not the target audience as I just don't find the story funny. To me, the characters are presented from a distance--at arms length--so that it is difficult to feel connected to them. Without that important link the story seems shallow and becomes boring. I also wonder if a different narrator could have changed the tone and saved the book for me? Really it could have been set anywhere in the world--place doesn't seem to matter. It's mostly about wealth--money, money, money. Ugh.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Great Read

If you actually listen to the story being told. You will hear how a family struggled to remain true to themselves when they were given a "windfall". It was not actually a windfall, but a blessing due to years of hard work. This story showed us how competitive we can become. It shows two sons, one who cared what his family thought and one who could care less. Two mothers, one caught up in non-reality and the other trying to hold on to her reality. And to Fathers/husbands, competing to show how successful they are while ultimately note realizing how they are affecting their families. It was an amazing read. And this is coming from an African American woman. I was quirky and funny and I really enjoyed it.

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What was the story?

The reader was great but that’s about it. I kept waiting for punch or twist in the story but there wasn’t any. A waste of credit for this book. Annoying characters too.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ~A
  • 07-25-17

really sweet and unexpected

I really enjoyed all of the characters. It's interesting to see how the nouveau-riche choose what is important and what isn't. Especially when a family is bridging many aspects of their life. It's nice to have nice things but it's better to have people you love around you. I'm glad that this story could be told from multiple viewpoints in the family. Especially the grad student. Men have feelings too you know.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

This was a very entertaining book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the narration was excellent.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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So Delhi!

A very amusing listen bringing about a lot of nostalgia - from apsara pencils to interactions between friends and relatives that I've heard.

The accents were done quite well, accurate and not over dramatic.

However, a lot of the pronunciation of the Indian words wasn't on point - yet it doesn't take away from the overall story and performance.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book, sprinkled woth humor

This is a delightful book of a famuly in Delhi, India, who ju9upon sudden richea. The family moves from a lower middle class section of town to the rich upper class neighborhood of Gurgpan. Ms. Basu highlights the emotional struggle in this move, highlighting the human elements with poise and grace.

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Masterful narration by Ms Nankani.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fun and easy listen

This is a domestic comedy taking place in India and the U.S. The book explores themes such as what community really means, high parental hopes for the next generation to be successful and the pressure that brings, and how money and status can change us. There are many laugh out loud moments, and the characters are all likable in their own ways. The father, Anil, is my favorite. In some ways he seems overly naive, yet his positive and curious outlook on life make him lovable if not a little maddening at times.

Parts of the story are weak, and the ending a little too pat, however the author had me rooting for her characters happiness.

The narrator is great, giving each character a distinct voice and personality, and she switches effortlessly between them. I recommend this for people who enjoy family dramas and those who like to immerse themselves into a different culture.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful