En route, during an unscheduled stop by the train on a bridge, the narrator ventures outside to take photographs, when he accidentally slips and falls into the river below. The house is full of period furniture and antique windows. A glance at the newspaper reveals outdated headlines and an archaic masthead. It is, the narrator discovers, 4 August,
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Looking Through Glass by Mukul Kesavan. Set amid the turbulence of Indian partition and independence, the hero of this tale is a young photographer who has a mysterious accident while testing out his new telescopic lens. He is propelled back to the year , and there begins his own comic odyssey through the crumbling Raj. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages.
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Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Looking Through Glass. Sep 03, Lester rated it liked it. I read this book for the second time, as I recall it blowing me away the first time. I was not disappointed. An unexplained phenomenon results in the protagonist being sent into the past, a few years before the Partition of British India.
The curse of Cassandra prevents him from talking too much about the future, but he settles into life in anyway. Although there were some rather tedious chapters where nothing much happens, the book is a great way of getting a feel from a first-person perspe I read this book for the second time, as I recall it blowing me away the first time.
Although there were some rather tedious chapters where nothing much happens, the book is a great way of getting a feel from a first-person perspective of the times of mutiny in India, up until the partition.
National politics, and especially the treatment of Muslims by both Hindus and by the Congress Party, are given a thorough inspection - but from a personal perspective.
This made partition and a few of the events leading up to it more real and plastic than a general essay on the topic. Jun 30, Laurie rated it really liked it. A good story Aug 28, Radhika rated it did not like it Recommends it for: No one really. I was really looking forward to reading this book because I came across it in a round about way while browsing the internet and read about the author and an interview with him. Was it the Guardian? I don't remember anymore.
I read the book cover to cover in order to be sure that I was giving it a fair shake though about a quarter through, the author was already beginning to bore me. I'll tell you why. It is not that the idea of time-hopping wasn't good. The problem was in the execution. The he I was really looking forward to reading this book because I came across it in a round about way while browsing the internet and read about the author and an interview with him.
The hero is unconvincing and can't make up his mind about anything really and this seems to be a malady that he might have caught from the author. By waffling around as much as he does and concentrating at the oddest moments on his flatulence and excretions, he just paints a figure whom you really don't want to follow around in his next noxious adventure.
The story begins with promise and one feels that perhaps a coherent thread will emerge with a particular Dadi at the center of the struggle for the independence of India and the preceding and succeeding HIndu-Muslim tensions. By the end the protagonist will either have realized why Dadi was so critical of her own involvement in or in some other ways have come to grips with what transpired.
He, the protagonist, clearly wants to serve in the role of a witness when the book begins. But he is constantly running away from events and people. And even as he runs and stays away, he somehow only focuses only on those he can't see or feel.
By the end you are left with a strange mish-mash of a pregnant-anglo-Indian-orphan-eventual mother of twins-"fallen"-woman, a completely undeveloped female-muslim-sister-peripheral character who turns lesbian with love for the former a love that has no meaning or significance in the story it seems other than to say oh lesbian love not only existed in "those days" it even crossed religious boundaries , a mother who is forward-thinking and completely rooted in an identity defined by men and society, a son who is a recruitment poster and just about as interesting , a dadi who gets 2 pages somewhere- all the while the hero, is developing pussy boils on his face, farting, shitting, and getting erections which he can't control the reference to floating turds are many and all equally gratuitous and making one wonder if the author was trying to be Khushwant-esque in his directness.
He only succeeds with regard to stools. There is no coherence or heart to this story. And it ends as miserably as it lurches to that end. With no insight into anything. Jan 14, Alexandra rated it liked it. Lent from Autumn. I enjoyed time traveling in India with this book. Read it ages ago. Stays in my head still. Apr 01, Nikhilesh Sinha rated it really liked it. Talented indian writer capable of unpretentious prose.
Doesn't hurt that his politics are sound. Yasser Ansari rated it it was amazing May 20, Kyle rated it it was ok Jul 16, Peter Abelsen rated it really liked it Mar 10, Tanya rated it really liked it Jan 04, Paul Hoehn rated it did not like it Aug 26, Corinna Byer rated it it was amazing May 06, Kalpana rated it it was amazing Dec 29, Saad rated it liked it Apr 03, Rudre Malik rated it it was amazing Jan 28, Sangeetha rated it it was ok Jan 28, Ayushi rated it liked it Jan 16, Jo rated it really liked it Dec 31, Lenin rated it really liked it Jun 30, Abu Khalidsen rated it it was amazing Sep 28, Lizz rated it it was ok May 03, Vimala Ramachandran rated it liked it May 03, Hannah rated it liked it Aug 26, Katherine rated it really liked it Apr 04, Santhosh rated it liked it Nov 19, Anah rated it really liked it Apr 25, Sue rated it really liked it Feb 02, Snata Nayak rated it liked it May 12, Leslie rated it it was amazing Jan 19, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Readers also enjoyed. About Mukul Kesavan. Mukul Kesavan. Mukul Kesavan is an Indian writer and essayist.
Book review: Mukul Kesavan Ravi Dayal's 'Looking through glass'
Jump to navigation. Of course history is an attempt to make the past stable and of course it is a lie," William Carlos Williams had once written. Fiction, on the other hand, can merrily destabilise the past, bringing to life the infinite possibilities that exist at any given moment before subsequent events sift them out of collective memory. Mukul Kesavan's first novel is an attempt to do precisely that. It is a fabulist's recreation of the years between and in north India in a narrative that revels in its own fecundity. And as the title indicates, the camera is meant to be an organising device of storytelling "watching through the view-finder didn't really mean involvement". We are intermittently reminded of its presence through references to films, frames and windows, as well as through metaphors of black-and-white vision, sepia prints and fading images.
Looking Through Glass
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Mukul Kesavan’s time-travelling photographer tells an unorthodox story of the Partition
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