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1. An Equal Music: A Novel
2. A Suitable Boy: A Novel (Modern
3. Two Lives: A Memoir
4. Beastly Tales: from Here and There
5. The Golden Gate
6. From Heaven Lake: Travels Through
7. Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy:
8. A Suitable Boy
9. A Suitable Boy: Volume I
10. All You Who Sleep Tonight
11. Riot at Misri Mandi (Phoenix 60p
12. Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy'
13. A Suitable Boy
14. Vikram Seth's a Suitable Boy ;
15. A Critical Analysis of Vikram
16. Vikram Seth: Multiple Locations,
17. Contemporary Indian Writers in
18. Vikram Seth's Arts: An Appraisal
19. The Humble Administrator's Garden
20. Mappings: Poems

1. An Equal Music: A Novel
by Vikram Seth
Paperback: 400 Pages (2000-05-02)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037570924X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The author of the international bestseller A Suitable Boy returns with a powerful and deeply romantic tale of two gifted musicians.  Michael Holme is a violinist, a member of the successful Maggiore Quartet.  He has long been haunted, though, by memories of the pianist he loved and left ten years earlier, Julia McNicholl.  Now Julia, married and the mother of a small child, unexpectedly reenters his life and the romance flares up once more.

Against the magical backdrop of Venice and Vienna, the two lovers confront the truth about themselves and their love, about the music that both unites and divides them, and about a devastating secret that Julia must finally reveal.  With poetic, evocative writing and a brilliant portrait of the international music scene, An Equal Music confirms Vikram Seth as one of the world's finest and most enticing writers.Amazon.com Review
The violinist hero of Vikram Seth's third novel would very much liketo be hearing secret harmonies. Instead, living in London 10 years after akey disaster, Michael Holme is easily irritated by his beautiful young (andeven French!) girlfriend and by his colleagues in the Maggiore Quartet. Inshort, he's fed up with playing second fiddle in life and art. Yet a chanceencounter with Julia, the pianist he had loved and lost in Vienna, brings Michaelsudden bliss. Her situation, however--and the secret that may end hercareer--threatens to undo the lovers.

An Equal Music is a fraction of the size of Seth's A SuitableBoy, but is still deliciously expansive. In under 400 pages, theauthor offers up exquisite complexities, personal and lyrical, while deftlyfielding any fears that he's composed a Harlequin for highbrows. During oneemotional crescendo, Michael tells Julia, "I don't know how I've livedwithout you all these years," only to realize, "how feeble and trite mywords sound to me, as if they have been plucked out of some housewifefantasy." In addition to the pitch of its love story, one of the book'sjoys lies in Seth's creation of musical extremes. As the Maggiorerehearses, moving from sniping and impatience to perfection, the authorexpertly notates the joys of collaboration, trust, and creation. "It's theweirdest thing, a quartet," one member remarks. "I don't know what tocompare it to. A marriage? a firm? a platoon under fire? a self-regarding,self-destructive priesthood? It has so many different tensions mixed inwith its pleasures."

An Equal Music is a novel in which the length of Schubert's TroutQuintet matters deeply, the discovery of a little-known Beethoven opusis a miracle, and each instrument has its own being. Just as Michael can'thope to possess Julia, he cannot even dream of owning his beloved Tononi,the violin he has long had only on loan. And it goes without saying thatVikram Seth knows how to tell a tale, keeping us guessing about everythingfrom what the Quartet's four-minute encore will be to what reallyoccasioned Julia's departure from Michael's life. (Or was it in factMichael who abandoned Julia?) As this love story ranges from London toMichael's birthplace in the north of England to Vienna to Venice, fewreaders will remain deaf to its appeals. --Kerry Fried ... Read more

Customer Reviews (187)

3-0 out of 5 stars Vikram Seth
I had really high hopes from this book as i loved "The Suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth but i must say i was dissappointed,but anyone who wants to learn about music this is a good pick.....like all of his books this one is too well researched.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read .
A gripping story .
Magically written .

4-0 out of 5 stars The fiddler gets the boot
"An Equal Music" is almost but not quite a great book.A love story on two dimensions (a violinist for a woman, a violinist for his violin), the story is interesting and well written.It tells the tale of Michael Holme, who walks away from the love of his life, the pianist Julia McNicholl, and then spends years regretting it.By chance, their paths cross in London, where the romance is rekindled at great personal cost to both Michael and Julia.

The book is a good read on the bus or the train -- a few chapters here and a few chapters there.But to be honest, I never found the story to be very engrossing.The characters are hard to relate to, and very hard to like.Michael makes maddeningly stupid decisions, and Julia leads a spineless and ineffectual life.Sure, the travails of a book's characters shouldn't hamper one's enjoyment of the story too much, but these two made it very difficult to look forward to what happens next.

To me, the best part of the novel was its descriptions of the classical music that ties the characters together.The tension of rehearsals and performances, as well as the technical aspects of the measures and the movements that they play, made for fascinating reading.Seth's devotion to the subject, and careful research, came through loud and clear throughout the book.That, coupled with the author's lucid and lyrical writing style, were the highlights of this very good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Between music and silence
I don't read that many novels, yet at 380 pages, this story of classical music and obsessive love was over far too quickly.

It's been years since violinist Michael Holme broke up with pianist Julia McNicholl, but a chance encounter in a London traffic jam sparks their emotionally destructive relationship into life again. How long will it be before bliss veers into catastrophe, and will it take their musical careers and their relationships with their families with it?

"Family" takes on a flexible meaning in this story. Though Michael and Julia are still very much the children of their aging parents, Vikram Seth equates Julia's American husband and her young son with Michael's surrogate family, his bickering but devoted fellow members of the Maggiore String Quartet -- three wonderfully drawn characters whose company I began to miss whenever the action shifted to one of Michael and Julia's tainted erotic interludes. The story is told through Michael's voice, and while he's too selfish and oversensitive to be a likeable character, Seth's artistry lies in making him a sympathetic character, one who resembles many of us a little too closely for comfort. If you've ever acted against your own best interests while chasing your heart's desire, if you've ever done anything to screw up the lives of the people you love, you'll understand why Michael makes the mess of his life that he does. As a child, Michael escapes having his life's dream crushed only by grasping the slimmest lifeline of hope; the novel's ambiguous ending leaves us wondering if he can, or will, do so again.

Seth's descriptions of the process of music making are the glory of this book; if you're a player, they'll seem drawn from life, and if you're not, they'll make you wish you were.

3-0 out of 5 stars Unequal Love Affairs
To me the love affair in this book of a man with his violin felt more compelling than the love affair with his pianist.The novel portrays prima donas incapable of satifying relationships whose lives only seem worthwhile when they make music.The descriptions and dialogue of the characters in social situations seemed overwrought and tedious. The description of the quartet's warm-up scale, the auction of a coveted violin, the search for a stringed instrument that could manage special tuning -- these were the more affecting parts of the novel to me.

I never got an understanding the title of the book.Can anyone help me out? ... Read more

2. A Suitable Boy: A Novel (Modern Classics)
by Vikram Seth
Paperback: 1488 Pages (2005-10-01)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$11.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060786523
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Vikram Seth's novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find -- through love or through exacting maternal appraisal -- a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (215)

5-0 out of 5 stars Immersive
India in 1951 has a great deal of energy.There is tension between the political parties, some of whom are stirring up trouble with a deal to give poor sharecroppers more equality with the rich landowners.There is religious tension, between the Muslims and Hindus who live in tentative peace most of the time.There is tension between the older generations, who are more traditional, and the younger generations, who want more flexibility in their lives.

Living in upper-middle-class circumstances are several families who are the focus of this novel.Within these families all of the various tensions are played out and examined on a small scale, as they are simultaneously affecting the country as a whole.

I thought this book was a fascinating view of life in India.I found it completely immersive and felt as though I had a fairly clear idea of what life was like in India at this time from reading it.I liked that the author didn't go to special pains to explain things.When he used an Indian word, he trusted that the meaning would come out in context or the reader would investigate to find out what the word was, rather than interrupting the story with definitions.

The characters were varied enough to give me a good idea of what it would be like to live out several different roles in India, rather than just following around one specific character and getting a more one-sided view.

At the beginning of the story, I liked some of the characters and plotlines more than others, but by the end I was eager to check in with each of the characters and see how his or her life was progressing.This was a truly excellent novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Suitable Boy Needs the Kindle
I love this book.It combines history, perspective and yes, family drama.But why can't they make this electronic so I don't have to carry around 1500 pages.For all of you who agree, please post a message to Amazon, that you would like this for the Kindle.Then, this would be the perfect format for the perfect book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent vendor
Book arrived a little more slowly than expected, but realized upon arrival that it came from Canada. The book listed in "Good" condition, but I found it to be in excellent condition and was quite pleased when it arrived.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I received this book as a gift during a long convalescence, and enjoyed it so much that I have re-read it twice and am perfectly capable of reading it again with the same undiminished pleasure. Seth's characters are immensely likeable and quirky, and his description of India at a turningpoint in its history is a thought-provoking, rich tapestry weaving the fortunes of several families over a period of a single tummultuous year. Several reviews have pointed out the length of the book (it is indeed quite long), but that is hardly noticeable given the flowing narrative. Through the daily lives and thoughts of the characters, we learn a great deal about India, it's past and the different religious communities within it, their complex caste system and cultural differences in a sympathetic and unbiased manner. Highly recommended.

2-0 out of 5 stars Brevity is the soul of wit, said the Bard, Alas this book is not brief
There are many things about life in India that make it both charming and disconcerting to the average Western (or Westernized) Indian observer.The significant burden on the Indian writer is to explain and inform about a culture, which although fast evolving, will always remain mysterious, even exasperating,to someone not living there. It may be that, as Kipling noted, that 'never the twain shall meet'
I admire Vikram Seth - his 1986 'Golden Gate' was truly groundbreaking - but here he falls into the familiar trap of the Indian writer, addressing a Western audience,of trying to romanticize India too much, with some sordid parts thrown in to achieve 'unmagical' realism.
I am still waiting for the Indian novel that offers true comment on Indian ethos and society , or the search for meaning or purpose in an average Indian's life - not some varnished fairy tale, with too much phony glamour and romance.
And there is the length. Tolstoy's War & Peace may befor the Victorian age and sitting through a long Russian winter without sex or TV, but this book is about 10 times too long, saying too little,for an age when there are plenty of good dramas on TV and certainly plenty of other 'distractions' - and not just on the Internet:-) ... Read more

3. Two Lives: A Memoir
by Vikram Seth
Paperback: 544 Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$5.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060599677
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Widely acclaimed as one of the world's greatest living writers, Vikram Seth -- author of the international bestseller A Suitable Boy -- tells the heartrending true story of a friendship, a marriage, and a century. Weaving together the strands of two extraordinary lives -- Shanti Behari Seth, an immigrant from India who came to Berlin to study in the 1930s, and Helga Gerda Caro, the young German Jewish woman he befriended and later married -- Two Lives is both a history of a violent era seen through the eyes of two survivors and an intimate, unforgettable portrait of a complex, abiding love.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

2-0 out of 5 stars I give up
I read A Suitable Boy and thought it was fantastic. I also read An Equal Music and thought that it was so bad that I couldn't believe it was by the same author. This book is a little less bad. First of all it is way too long. The letters go onand on and many are not particularly interesting. Where was the editor? Second he lunges off into several tangents about Germany, the middle east conflict and other topics which are approximately on the level of a high school student assigned to write an essay. There was a lot of editorializing that could have been put in, such as the fact that many of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust died because no one was willing to accept them and had no way to defend themsleves, instead he goes into a tirade about the Israeli oppression of the Palestinans that contains many factual errors. Third, after reading all these letters and hearing all these stories I still am left with a very unclear picture of his aunt, who seems to have led a very unintersting life. Fourth, I still don't understand why these two not very interesting people deserve a book. In short I give upon Seth.

3-0 out of 5 stars Unrealized Potential
I found Vikram Seth's Two Lives a great disappointment, a rather mediocre book by someone whom I had expected more of after the success of his novel A Suitable Boy.I frankly cannot understand why so many readers have awarded Two Lives a five-star rating.Granted, the potential is there.The dual stories of a one-armed Indian dentist and his German Jewish refugee wife, spanning most of the twentieth century, this book is set mostly in London but with a very substantial story line occurring in Germany and lesser ones in India and America.This dual biography is told by the author, the couple's grand-nephew, who had a deep familial relationship with them from the age of seventeen when he was sent to England to attend school.V. Seth subsequently showed substantial academic promise and creativity while attending first Oxford and then Stanford Universities.Despite his achievements in several disciplines, however, in this book the author never manages to raise his true account to a level of credible literature.He depends heavily on correspondence and reproduces much verbatim in the book but seems unaware of the principle of selection.V. Seth's own political remarks, while not wrong, demonstrate no particular sophistication or analytical expertise.Basically, it is self indulgence for the author to take his readers on his ownvoyage of historical discovery--a voyage that wemight understand oreven find interesting in atwenty-five year old but seems rather naïve in an accomplished writer of twice that age. With good editing, this book might have made an excellent read, especially the copious portions dealing with the Holocaust, which are mostly based on primary sources (principally letters).Without such editing, however, this book is too often banal and sometimes even banal when it should be dramatic. Near the end of Two Lives (p. 442), V. Seth, while recounting the last and increasingly infirm years of his elderly uncle, writes, "He once slipped (on a banana peel, as he told me) at a bus-stop near Piccadilly Circus and injured his shoulder...." And I thought to myself, "Couldn't he at least have spared us this banana peel passage?"

2-0 out of 5 stars When superficial politics replace story telling
I will start with trivialities. I bought this book as I was delighted with the author`s other literary work. This positive opinion induced me to buy this book in spite of not so favorable reports I have read about it. The factual, slow pace was compensated by the extensive research done by the author, and the incredible material he had to work on, actual letters form actual people in and after the second WW in and out of Germany. But suddenly, the editorial work becomes sloppy, almost to the point of becoming unreadable. Then some strange remarks pursue, in which he states, for example, that the Nazis should not have killed their Jews as they, as an accomplished people, could have helped them win the war. I have heard experts mentioning the subject, but the way it was presented in the book was awkward. He then goes on to say that the threat to the world by terrorism is caused by the Israeli occupation of the west bank. As if the whole of Europe was not divided after the war, some districts changing hands, just like the west bank changed hands following a war. Perhaps this was the cause of him not mentioning in the chronology of things the independence of Israel,which took place the same year as his beloved India, and had crucial meaning to the Jews around the world. As a part of the European left wing he sees things very subjectively and superficially, with the usual double standard, and though India is forgiven for the transfer of Muslims to Pakistan, Israel would not be forgiven for fighting for its independence. To reproach Israel for international terrorism such as September 11th requires a very narrow minded approach indeed.

He mentions the fact that Britain offered the Jews Palestine, as it was inhabited by mere Arabs. The fact that it was inhabited by a Jewish population, a small part of which hundreds of years old, others arriving from the 19th century, was not mentioned, nor is the fact that British authorities prevented Jews from entering Palestine, and thus condemning them to death by the Germans. He also disregards the connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, causing him the paradoxical statement that the Zionists were offered Palestine, which is like wondering why a hungry man is offered food. The terrible war would have shown him the necessity ofemancipation of the Jewish people, and where else but in the land of Israel.

He states that the Jewish melitia won the 1948 war over the Arab melitia because it was better armed and staffed. This is claimed only by what is termed the "new historians", and is by no means recieved as an undeniable truth, since it coincides too well with these historians` extreme left-winged ideas.I expected, after such thorough research, that such claims would be at list reffered to as contraversial. The more logical explanation, is that the Jewish soldiers had in mind the recent proof that this was the last chance of survival for the Jewish people, as the ancient quote brought in the book from "ESTHER" was reinforced, that as a people spread among the nations it could not be safe.

After rethinking the subject, I find that many of my comments can be related to yet another one. The author does not, nor does he want to, understand Judaism. he has many leads and opertunities which he does not follow. He mentions time and again that his Aunt was not interested in religion. What he does not mention, for example, but which arises from the text, is that she probably was a reform Jew. He does not talk much of the Jewish famiy next door, thogh the children`s names indicate that they are probably coming from Israel. In adition, He did not ask, but would have been told, that many secular Jews living in Europe, simply felt Jewish, as something they just knew about themselves, like being tall or short, thin or fat. I think that, since he gives in great detail the destiniy of this people, a little better understanding of who this people is was required. Perhaps his current dislike of the Israeli state causes his to withdraw from this subject, and it is the book that suffers.

My last remark is, that though German friends were severely judged for their actions during the war, sadly enough the only one who actually helped the Nazis was his aunt`s sister. This fact is mentioned, but then overlooked in the following chapters. The documentary movie "Capo" raises the terrible question of - if the Jews would have been less cooperative with authorities, would the murderous system run so smoothly. This is by no means throwing guilt, or making her end less terrible and sad, but should nonetheless not be overlooked.

5-0 out of 5 stars dramatic & fascinating historical overview; great cast of characters
I am about 80% of the way through this huge book. I should start by saying I have rarely read books in the 4 years since I left university; and I didn't intend to read this one. I was just carrying it on the tube (metro) after someone insisted on lending it to me, and started flipping through the first few pages. Next thing I knew, and I was on page 300 a few days later. True, I must agree with some of the other reviews, it is quite long in an absolute sense. But there's a tremendous amount to tell, and the fact that it's a biography more than a novel means that the way it is told takes time - since Seth's aunt is dead, for example, he can't interview her but must trawl through her letters and the replies to get a sense of who she was before he knew her, and who her friends were when he's never met them either. It doesn't sound like a thriller but there were times when my heart was beating at great pace - reading some of the letters that Seth's German aunt wrote and received in the years following the war, having fled to London and left her Jewish mother and sister behind - livened by Seth's eye for detail and the research he's done to bring them alive. The letters that he takes us through are often accompanied by photos of the real-life versions, strengthening the sense of drama.

2-0 out of 5 stars Two Lives -really such a good read?
The book was recommended to me and after reading a review about it, I was really keen to finally read it. The first two parts of the book were coming up to my expectations, but I found it difficult to follow the events and persons of part III. Reading all those letters is exhausting and finally boring. All those introductions and ends of letters carry so much unnecessary information, it fills the pages of this book, but in fact interrupts the flow of the story. Even if the rest of the book makes up for some of the draw-backs of the letter-dominated part, all in all I was rather disappointed. ... Read more

4. Beastly Tales: from Here and There
by Vikram Seth
Paperback: 144 Pages (1999-04-01)
list price: US$12.40 -- used & new: US$5.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0753807742
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
'Because it was very hot in my house one day and I could not concentrate on my work, I decided to write a summer story involving mangoes and a river.By the time I had finished writing 'The Crocodile and the Monkey' (in a cool room lent to me by a friend), another story and other animals had begun stirring in my mind.And so it went on until all ten of these beastly tales were born - or re-born. Of the ten tales told here, the first two come from India, the next two from China, the next two from Greece, and the next two from the Ukraine.The final two came directly from the Land of Gup.I hope you enjoy them and have a beastly time.'Vikram Seth. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beastly Tales From Here And There
The first time I read this book was about 10 years ago and then sort of lost track of it.Upon coming across it recently,I marvelled at it anew--this is the stuff of childhood memories and warm fuzzy reading sessions to be shared with your kids.The amazingly witty rhymes are indeed a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful!
Traditional stories from all over the world told in rhyming couplets.I am amazed at the rhymes that Vikram Seth came up with to tell these tales....and that he says he wrote the first poem becuase it was too hot to concentrate on his (real?) work!
I have this is hardcover.It's a keeper!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Beastly Tales" out of Print, AN INTERNATIONAL DISGRACE
Everything is great about these poems. The rhymes are clever, beautiful and very often funny. In the tales the good wins from the bad, but after trial and tribulations, and always in unexpected ways. One of my favourite lines is about a goat and a ram: "They ate with pride as if to balance, their total lack of other talents". But quoting excellent lines would take about as long as the book itself.

These are not children's rhymes, but I read them to my sons of 10 and 13 years old and we all three have a great time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feastly Tales for Everyone!
In short, this is a feast for the mind and for the ears. Try reading the poems out loud and u'll know what i mean. Ten beautiful fairy tales taken and woven into pages of beautiful humourous poetry, what else would you want?I could not resist reading them 4 times... do buy them u'll REEEELY enjoy them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Yes, Yes, Yes! Please get the publishers to publish the book. I want togift this book to a dozen people I know. Delightful verses, charmingillustrations too. ... Read more

5. The Golden Gate
by Vikram Seth
Paperback: 320 Pages (1991-06-18)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679734570
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This novel in verse about a group of California yuppies was one of the most highly praised books of 1986 and a bestseller on both coasts.Amazon.com Review
Can 690 sonnets, rhyming a-b-a-b-c-c-d-d-e-f-f-e-g-g, be anovel? Definitely! First published in 1986 and still fresh (the solesign of its publication date being the frequent use of the wordyuppie), Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate will turn theverse-fearing into admiring acolytes. Janet Hayakawa, ayet-to-be-discovered sculptor and drummer in the Liquid Sheep,secretly places a personal ad for her friend John, even though she toois single. "Only her cats provide distraction,/Twin paradigms of lazyaction." The seventh letter does the trick. Lawyer Liz Donati'ssubmission is two sonnets in toto and disarms John into meetingher. Soon they fall into brief bliss, as do her brother, Ed, andJohn's old college roommate, Phil. Unfortunately, the first couple'slove is too soon destroyed, partly by a pet, partly by politics; andthe second is rent by religion. Ed pulls away thanks to the Bible: "Ihave to trust my faith's decisions, / Not batten on my own volitions."

The rest of the novel leads less to the traditional comicending--rapprochement and marriage all around--than to surprisingsadness. But in between there is wit, wordplay, abounding allusion,and some marvelous animals, among them the iguana Schwarzenegger. Theauthor even steps onto the stage on occasion: at a frou-froupublishing party a powerful editor accosts him, curious to hear abouthis new novel. When Seth tells him it's in verse, the temperatureplummets. "'How marvelously quaint,' he said, / And subsequently cut medead." Luckily, Seth's real editor did anything but. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not good poetry, but entertaining nevertheless
The Golden Gate was a lot of fun. Vikram Seth has a great sense of humor, which thankfully makes up for his dreadful rhymes. Read this book for the piquant insights into San Francisco culture. I read this in preparation for a trip to the city and found it absolutely illuminating.

I would definitely recommend this novel for logophiles; Seth's vocabulary is quite rich and I got a kick out of looking up the words he uses.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and funny
This is a witty, whimsical and, now, somewhat dated story of the CA Bay Area.It's a clever, light-hearted read, and all the more amazing being written in verse.It's one of my all-time favorite books.

3-0 out of 5 stars Yuppies in Rhyme, All of the Time
This book is written in poems and rhymes
Supposedly about the times.
It's all about yuppies in love
Being happy under stars above.
It's camp, it's kitsch, it's full of fads
There's straights, and gays and bi's and dads,
Pet iguanas, cats against nukes
All kinds of things we think are flukes.
To tell the truth about all of it
It gets quite boring after a bit.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seth is a Genius
This novel in verse came highly reccommended to me. At first I was apprehensive about reading it (I have never considered myself to appreciate poetry) and found it hard to get through. I picked it up for a second time after reading 2 of Seth's other novels (An Equal Music and then A Suitable Boy, which are now two of my favorite books) and this time found it hard to resist. The verse was charming and really enhanced the story. It made the novel fun to read and the characters and plot exciting.

Seth is now my favorite author and I'm always trying to get people to give his novels a chance. I feel that Seth is an underdiscovered author and nothing would make me happier than sharing the discovery of his amazing talent with others.

5-0 out of 5 stars AS A S(O)ONNET, TELL
Seth can write, for better or verse,
A novel with a novel rhyme scheme.
His metaphors and tropes are terse,
It reads just like as in a dream.
From acknowledgments, dedication and contents
To punctuations, italics and indents,
From back to back, and cover to cover,
From estranged friends to hopeless lovers,
You can sing along. Seth does expose,
Six hundred ninety and three times
How well it reads, how much it rhymes,
Manifesting the very cons of prose.
As if the rhyme-scheme were a trifle,
It's spelled out in this review title.

How on earth can one man write
A story of San Francisco thus,
So credible in its setting, one might
Doubt (and why, really make a fuss),
That he also wrote with as much joy
The Indian story of A Suitable Boy.
The best things come in packages small,
These sonnets will please one and all
Despite the Friscan liberal bent,
Global warming, anti-war and peace,
Same-sex love and pets saving trees,
It's musical would compete with Rent.
So buy this book before you sleep
Because this one is one to keep.
... Read more

6. From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet
by Vikram Seth
Paperback: 192 Pages (1987-10-12)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 039475218X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
About the author's travels from Tibet to New Delhi, with nomadic Muslims, Chinese officials, Buddhists and others. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars A hitchhiking guide to the nomadic spirit
The amazing journey Vikram Seth undertook in hitchhiking from China through Tibet to India - over 3 major mountain ranges including the Himalayas, is no small feat. He writes about it without exaggerating, and makes you feel as though you were in all those places yourself: enjoying the magical moments as well as suffering through the hardships (from trivial flies and fleas, to altitude- and bureaucracy- induced sickness and headache).

The people he meets along the way, the friends he makes, the occasional bad interactions - one can totally relate with; it enriches your human experience and understanding of cultures. It is non-judgmental without being neutral or boring. I found myself enjoying his personal but lucid analysis of touchy subjects like a comparison of the Indian versus Chinese political system.

Vivid descriptions of places and scenery - from the desert sand dunes, to the bitterly cold high mountain passes, to the melting glaciers, raging rivers, mud and slush, lush green meadows and deciduous forests... I feel as though I have seen all of these in the last few days.

His language is simple, yet powerful - his prose always has that undefinable quality of poetry about it. Cannot be classified as just a travelogue, it is much more... takes your imagination on travels to far away lands, and lets you take solace in humanity and the connectedness of everything.

A book that will resonate with nomads the world over.. irrespective of the journeys you may personally take on.

4-0 out of 5 stars A traveler's delight
From one who has traveled a lot, and read a lot of history of this area, this book is very down-to-earth.One can smell and feel and taste the author's movements.And that's what I liked.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Small Gem of a Travel Book
I am a big fan of Seth's books and came across this in the library by chance while looking for something else.After attending university in China, he decides he'd like to travel overland back to India to visit his family in Delhi.Officials scoff and dismiss him."You'll never be able to do it.", they tell him sternly.He starts out anyway, and, along that way has many adventures, a lot of discomfort and near misses.He travels by broken-down truck carrying cargo to this or that town.

He meets characters all along the road and keeps getting closer while being told that this or that is impossible or impassable.

The copy I read DID have his black and white photos in it.It's a charming, thrilling and altogether marvelous book.Whadda guy this Vikram Seth is!

5-0 out of 5 stars What a travelogue!
Do you remember a picnic or a party in your past that was so delightful that it has always stayed with you? It might not have been profound or life changing or anything like that, but it must been something you look back with a 'wow, what fun that was!' and cherish the thought?.

This book is exactly like that.

Travelling through some of the remotest terrain in the world and facing some red-tape, Seth simply wrote down his experiences and the result is a short and engaging travelogue. He is the perfect companion for a trip like this; his humanity shines through and he tolerates discomforts with a smile on his face and his personality is what makes this book so endearing.

If you are a seasoned travel book reader, this will be another one of your favorites. If you are not into this genre, I promise you will be after reading this.

P.S.: Whoever designed the cover deserves a pat on his/her back. It perfectly captures the essence of what lies inside.

5-0 out of 5 stars Celebrating wanderlust
Much has been said about travel broadening vision, and the journal of a traveller who has a universal view of life makes a rich reading experience. From Heaven Lake is more than a travel book that traverses the length and breadth of a place with smatterings of history, geography and local culture - It is a verbal album of direct images that personify the soul of the areas.

The book contains relatively little on the culture, civilisation or customs of China or Tibet. Rather it is the personal account of an economics student's experiences while returning home to Delhi from Beijing, via Tibet and Nepal, the novelty of the journey being that it is almost entirely hitchhiked, relying on luck and optimism alone against all odds.

The idea of hitchhiking to Lhasa comes as a sudden inspiration to Mr.Seth while touring Turfan with fellow non-Chinese students. In serendipitous circumstances, he gets a travel-permit to Lhasa -The indirect repercussion of his singing 'Awara Hoon' (I'm a wanderer) at the students hostel. The song is symbolic of Mr.Seth's wanderlust impulses that make him embark on this fantastic journey. The rest of the book narrates his experiences that has many such co-incidences and fortuitous events that indicate life imitating art, as in an action-packed adventure story.

The journey also has a more than fair share of obstacles, from dealing with a suspicious mosque doorkeeper or a slightly eccentric truck driver, to major ones like trying to get a lift on a truck to Lhasa, going on an impromptu chase of lost luggage or being stuck indefinitely on deserted, muddy roads. But these not-so-enticing situations are handled comfortably by Mr.Seth who simply refuses to give up. With remarkable candour and a liberal dash of his characteristic humour, he talks about his frustration, anger and minor irritations during the journey and how he got over them eventually.

Mr.Seth also focuses a great deal on the unexpected gestures of kindness that he encountered in course of the journey - Friendly policemen, amiable officials, store managers, tailors and citizens who helped him.

Mr.Seth seems to be at home in any part of the world - Climbing into lost caverns in Chinese temples or wading in underground canals, playing basketball with officials or frisbee with waiters, assimilating the quietude of a Chinese shrine and a mosque alike, enjoying a picnic with a Tibetan family he had just met and above all, conversing on all kinds of topics with an assortment of strangers. Not so surprisingly, the people he describes also begin to come alive, like many of the characters in his fiction.

Reflections and musings on various aspects of China, India and life in general are diffused throughout the book, along with an occasional verse. There is a great attention to detail like the descriptions of Heaven Lake, the Lhasa mosque with its amalgam of Chinese and Arabic styles, the interior of a common truck and even the unpalatable soup served on the way, that suggest Mr.Seth's potential as a superior writer, this being one of his early works.

To quote Tolkien, not all those that wander are lost, and "From Heaven Lake" conveys that there is indeed much to be found for potential wanderers, besides ideas and ways of thought, experiences, insights and interactions with peoples and cultures - a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them. ... Read more

7. Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy: A Reader's Guide (Continuum Contemporaries)
by Angela Atkins
Paperback: 88 Pages (2002-06-26)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.30
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Asin: 082645707X
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is part of a new series of guides to contemporary novels. The aim of the series is to give readers accessible and informative introductions to some of the most popular, most acclaimed and most influential novels of recent years – from ‘The Remains of the Day’ to ‘White Teeth’. A team of contemporary fiction scholars from both sides of the Atlantic has been assembled to provide a thorough and readable analysis of each of the novels in question. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a helpful work of criticism/commentary
I was disappointed by this commentary in many ways.I was looking for some literary criticism that would address some of the assertions posited by Seth himself in his text regarding the place of the novel in history, the state of the Anglo-Indian novel, and the abilities of the author himself.I recommend reading Seth's wiki page over the purchase of this volume. ... Read more

8. A Suitable Boy
 Paperback: 1368 Pages (1994-07-28)
-- used & new: US$16.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140230335
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9. A Suitable Boy: Volume I
by Vikram Seth
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1993)

Asin: B0041P4M40
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10. All You Who Sleep Tonight
by Vikram Seth
 Hardcover: Pages (1993)

Asin: B001CWLN88
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant ..
Voices in my head,
Chanting, "Kisses. Bread.
Prove yourself. Fight. Shove.
Learn. Earn. Look for love,"

Drown a lesser voice
Silent now of choice.
"Breathe in peace, and be
Still, for once, like me."

- Vikram Seth

This one sums up all of our lives. Simple yet beautiful .. one of the few books where poetry makes complete sense :). A must read for all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry and wit with Seth's brilliance!
All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above -

Know that you aren't alone
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.

-- Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth is a poet par excellence. For each one who has savored his Suitable boy or An equal music or From Heaven's Lake or The Golden Gate, this collection of poems offers another set of witty, candid, lyrical and highly artistic writing. The poet writes about love in all forms, and poems are short and beautiful, the one mentioned here my perennial favorite!

4-0 out of 5 stars Simple is beautiful.
I read this book without too many hopes and it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. The language is easy and the thoughts expressed arebeautiful. The title poem 'all you who sleep tonight' is one of the mosttouching poems i've read in quite some time. Hats off to Vikram Seth forcoming up with such a beautiful collection of poems. Definitely a must readfor those who enjoy simple and good poetry.

5-0 out of 5 stars elegant sad and wise to acceptance
His poems tell of places and moments of pain, but they are of the culture and cultures of life.Reading the title poem one can only nod their head, while Lithuania will make you shake,Mistaken you will blush and Telephone will make you laugh...and sigh.

Try it and see if you don't!

4-0 out of 5 stars Clever and quirky, more hits than misses
A tidy little collection of poems - some serious, some flippant. The title poem is especially powerful. There are a few other gems as well. For the most part, Seth doesn't wear his "Indian author" hat in this one. ... Read more

11. Riot at Misri Mandi (Phoenix 60p paperbacks)
by Vikram Seth
Paperback: 64 Pages (1995-12-22)
-- used & new: US$69.76
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Asin: 1857995996
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Editorial Review

Product Description
An extraordinary account of the political upheavals afflicting the newly independent India,taken from the bestselling A SUITABLE BOY. ... Read more

12. Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy' Search for Indian Identity
by Shyam S. Agarwalla
 Hardcover: 200 Pages (1997-07-01)
-- used & new: US$44.04
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Asin: 8185218978
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is the best book in the world
I think Vikram Seth is the best author in this whole of world. This novel is just terrific and i am tempted to read it again and again. I think everybody ought to read it atleast once. ... Read more

13. A Suitable Boy
by Vikram Seth
 Paperback: Pages (1999)
-- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000ZU9QXM
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14. Vikram Seth's a Suitable Boy ; An Anthology of Recent Criticism
 Hardcover: Pages (2005)
-- used & new: US$120.01
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Asin: 8185753725
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15. A Critical Analysis of Vikram Seth's Poetry and Fiction
by Seemita Mohanty
Hardcover: 288 Pages
list price: US$59.50 -- used & new: US$25.96
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Asin: 8126908319
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The book, through critical analysis and assessment, tries to establish Seth as a powerful and serious writer, who deserves to be taken seriously, both by the general reader and the discerning scholar and researcher. The analyses concentrate on his individual books and attempt to trace the continuity of Seths thought-process, motivation and attitudes, as well as the dimensions of his structural control over the medium. It is a comprehensive account of Seths poetry and fiction contained within a singular volume. An attempt has also been made to briefly place Seth as an Indian writer of English, in the context of the development of Indian English Literature, particularly in the post-Independence period.On the whole, Seth in his poetry and fiction, puts continuous emphasis on love and relationship, and explores their many dimensions in a shifting, changing and corroding background. At the same time he incorporates together the complementary segments of life as available in the modern world into a meaningful form. His creative insight and creative achievement could be considered as one of the finest in the post-1980 Indian English Literature. This book reflects all these and much more.It is hoped that students and teachers of Indian English Literature will find this book an extremely useful reference source while the general readers who are interested in literature in English will find it intellectually stimulating. ... Read more

16. Vikram Seth: Multiple Locations, Multiple Affiliations (Sri Garib Das Oriental Series)
by Mala Pandurang
 Hardcover: 192 Pages (2001-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$21.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8170336570
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17. Contemporary Indian Writers in English: Vikram Seth: An Introduction
by Rohini Mokashi-Punekar
Paperback: 232 Pages (2008-02-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$17.95
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Asin: 8175965894
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Contemporary Indian Writers in English (CIWE) is a series that presents critical commentaries on some of the best-known names in the genre. With the high visibility of Indian Writing in English in academic, critical, pedagogic and reader circles, there is a perceivable demand for lucid yet rigorous introductions to several of its authors and genres. The CIWE texts cater to a wide audience - from the student seeking information and critical material on particular works to the general, informed reader who might want to know a little more about an author he/she has just finished reading. Cast in a user-friendly format and written with a high degree of critical and theoretical rigour, the texts in the series will provide astute, accessible, informed entry-points into a wide range of works and writers. CIWE, we hope, will further strengthen the interest in and readership of one of the most significant components of world literatures in English. Vikram Seth is one of the most celebrated authors in Indian Writing in English today. With the complexity and depth of his work and his significant achievements in prose as well as verse, Seth has proved the master of the English language. Seth's many themes and concerns, from land ceiling in post-Independence India to Western classical music to relationships, all cast in formally perfect prose or poetry, have gained him a formidable reputation as a stylist and a perfectionist. Rohini Mokashi-Punekar's thorough study works its way through the many forms, themes and styles of Seth's verse and prose. It pays attention to both form and content, and presents a comprehensive study of Seth's oeuvre. Linking plot, characterization and theme in a densely textured analysis and close reading, Mokashi-Punekar opens to students and readers a gateway to Seth's world. ... Read more

18. Vikram Seth's Arts: An Appraisal
by GUPTA Roopali
 Hardcover: 144 Pages (2009-10-01)
-- used & new: US$22.13
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Asin: 8126905506
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19. The Humble Administrator's Garden
by Vikram Seth
 Paperback: Pages (2005-11-15)

Isbn: 0670058475
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lyrical imagery from China, India and California!
Research in Jiangsu Province

The Yangtse flows on like brown tape.
The research forms take final shape,
Each figure like a laden boat
With white or madder sails afloat.

Float on, float on, O facts and facts,
Distilled compendia of past acts,
Reveal the Grand Design to me,
Flotilla of my PhD.

In this collection, Vikram Seth has poetry and imagery from China, India and America. The poetry is heartfelt and marked by Vikram Seth's penchant for using simple words to recreate truth, beauty and magic! ... Read more

20. Mappings: Poems
by Vikram Seth
 Unknown Binding: 73 Pages (1994)

Isbn: 0670857998
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