Sunday, 10 April 2011

Arundhati Roy's second novel... and other Atlas stories

The first US reviews of An Atlas of Impossible Longing are just coming in from the blogs. In a review to return to for comfort on the bad days, Brenda Youngerman writes:
"...without a doubt the best book I have read in the past six months! It is the kind of book that stays with you throughout the day. The kind of book that resonates within your mind as you think, feel, breathe, do your daily chores. The kind of book that makes you stop and take notice of things around you that you would not otherwise stop and take notice of." Read the complete review here.
The Scarlet Letter, in a perceptive review, says: "The novel is filled with plots and subplots and points of view, all intertwining and forming, like the lines of Mukunda's palm, an atlas of impossible longing.  Desire is the driving force in the novel: desire for love, for escape, for money and success and for all sorts of unfulfilled dreams. At the center of the atlas is the family house in Songarh, crumbling and aging along with the family."
Booksandbrands said: "Anuradha Roy’s prose was absolutely beautiful. The descriptive passages were perfection-not too little as to be overly concise, nor so flowery that I felt I had to skim over sentences. In fact, I devoured every single word of this lovely story. Her characters were well-developed but in such a subtle way you didn’t even feel it happening. Roy was able to perfectly balance character and story to produce what was to me a near-perfect novel."
Better Read than Dead loved it too: "The best novel I have read this year  -- actually in a couple years.  Each section is great with just enough action and pacing to keep the story moving."
Release notes says: "This makes a wonderful rainy day read.  Curl up with a cup of tea, a blanket and get lost in India for the afternoon"

Cynthia, on Goodreads loves it, only she thinks it is Arundhati Roy's second novel:
"I read Arundhati’s first book, The God of Small Things, about 12 years ago, after I had heard her interviewed on the radio. It still remains as one of my favorite books. Now I am excited to read her again. She has a beautiful way with words. I recently found out that she was trained as an architect, which explains one of the reasons that I enjoyed An Atlas of Impossible Longing". 
I hope Arundhati Roy feels as complimented by that as I do.

Nothing is everyone's cup of tea of course. So although Susie Bookworm likes most of the book, she finds that "Mukunda is a hard character to sympathize with... I want to smack Mukunda upside the head to wake him up." There are others who wanted some particular strands of the story tied up to neater conclusions, or thought that it was too tragic.

You can sample more American blog reviews of the book here, and here, here, here, and here


  1. I was just along, browsing the blog after reading your lovely novel, and it was great to see a quote of my own here.

  2. It's wonderful for anyone who writes a book, to find a reader who really "gets" it (and likes what she gets!). So I was delighted to find your review, thank you for it.

  3. "Arundhati Roy's second novel... and other Atlas stories" The title is FALSE. The author is NOT Arundhati Roy. Are you using her name to give yourself publicity?

  4. Anonymous, deniz - the author anuradha is pointing to the confusion among western reviewers who got her mixed with arundhati roy in their reviews. was it that difficult for you to grasp.. why do u guys even bother to be here?