BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Interpreter of Maladies

Average Rating 4.5
( 179 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(92)

4 Star

(58)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

A guaranteed source of joy, even for thos of us who aren't fans of short stories!

I picked up Interpreter of Maladies after having fallen in love with Lahiri's writing style in The Namesake . I normally am not a fan of the short story, as it usually lacks the depth that comes with getting to know characters over the course of a longer novel. However,...
I picked up Interpreter of Maladies after having fallen in love with Lahiri's writing style in The Namesake . I normally am not a fan of the short story, as it usually lacks the depth that comes with getting to know characters over the course of a longer novel. However, I must say Lahiri manages to capture her readers' feelings and captivates their senses through her short stories in very much the same way she does in The Namesake. Her short stories may give those of us who aren't fans of this style of writing a new appreciation of the art that of luring & engaging readers over the course of only a few pages. This marvelous collection of short stories makes you forget this is Lahiri's very first work!

posted by Anonymous on February 27, 2006

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Want an interesting book to read, then dont read this!

Do you get fustrated when trying to figure something out, and just feel like giving up? Then this book isn't for you!Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies is an extremely confusing, complicated, and contemptible series of stories, as it contains unfamiliar settings, m...
Do you get fustrated when trying to figure something out, and just feel like giving up? Then this book isn't for you!Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies is an extremely confusing, complicated, and contemptible series of stories, as it contains unfamiliar settings, miscellaneous characters, a displeasing plot, and because the novel was so poorly written it was impossible to make connections throughout the book. Interpreter of Maladies is not a fun book to read.

posted by Anonymous on February 16, 2007

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3
  • Posted September 12, 2009

    theme:search for identity.

    One of the themes Lahiri deals in most prolifically is the search for identity, as defined by the self, by others, by location and by circumstance. In Lahiri's stories, everything -- including gender, homeland, geography, occupation, and role within the community -- can act in determining and qualifying identity. Lahiri brings up interesting questions as to what can and cannot act as agents in the determination of identity, and many of her characters struggle against or conform to outside influences that have effects on self-definition and outside definition. The following questions delve into Lahiri's study of what affects identity in Interpreter of Maladies.she reveals characters inner world by a fascinating yet deceptively in simple style.i enjoyed this book thouroulyand i am greatly fascinated by her writing.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    This book was great!!!

    After reading the Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, I have noticed that the novel expresses its character, plot, and setting in an ingenious and creative way. Lahiri has created a novel that expresses different feelings and plots, making the book informative and visionary in people¿s head. The book, Interpreter of Maladies, has gotten raving reviews and won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. The novel consists of nine short stories and tumultuous relationships making the plot grow in thickness and contemplation.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    Indian Culture Throughout the World

    Jhumpa Lahari's Interpreter of Maladies is a very well writen book, filled with extrememly interesting characters and plot settings, and text connections for any reader. Throughout this book, I have enjoyed becoming deeply interested in the Indian Culture. In each chpter a new set of characters is set off on a different adventure in one of he four following places: United States, Pakistan, India, and London. Each character brings forth a part of their own culture and through chapters, ou can see it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2005

    A Lot to Learn

    Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a very fascinating book by the many different relationships that we get to be involved. Each relationship is different and not only between a man and woman, but also the relationships that are built by complete strangers. It is remarkable to see how all of these characters seek love beyond the barriers of nationality and cultures. I think this book is a great read based on the short stories and your chance to get a feel of how other cultures live on their quest to find love. I thought this book had some useful information for engaged or newly married couples on how love can change over time. I think that Lahiri wrote this book, not for the reader to be happy, but for us to learn a sense of compassion and understanding for the Indian Culture. Our lives as Americans are so fully of one view, that this book helps us open our eyes more to the less talked about issues that face not only the Indian culture, but ours as well such as marital infidelity, search of an identity in a place where we feel we dont belong, and the out comes of social pressure to be something that we are not. Interpreter of Maladies is a book where we are Lahiri wants us to be involved as much as possible. Her writing style is so easy to follow and her stories are so beautifully written that you can¿t help but to laugh, cry, or even yell and parts of the story as you feel so connected to each character that she presents. I think Lahri achieved her purpose in writing this book, by showing us the reader how racial problems and marital strife can be a challenge, yet a blessing when coming to America. Lahiri¿s writing is so beautiful, that we can¿t help but get lost in this book. We see how each relationship is different and how each relationship can over come the trials that are presented in two different cultures. There are many barriers that are set about, but we can see how the Indian culture will fight to make things work, instead of running and giving up. The quest for love is a hard one, but with work, struggle and over powering it, love can last a lifetime. This book is a great read and if you are looking for something to change your mind on a variety of issues, this book will do it. Your emotions will run with you the whole way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2005

    Honest, Quiet, and Beautiful

    Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri is a quiet collection of short stories that are connected by a common ethnicity. Each story takes a small glance into the lives of the various and well developed characters. It is apparent early on that Lahiri¿s intention for the book was not for it to be a cultural lesson on India. Instead, Lahiri succeeds, in using Indian culture as a border for her stories, and an outline for the universality of the trials and burdens everyone faces. All of this is accomplished without making much noise; there is a subtlety to Lahiri¿s writing, and the book benefits greatly to this style. One of the Lahiri¿s greatest strengths as shown through this book is the way she conveys difficult emotions with her writing. The tone and mood of the short stories are generally of a more melancholy and complex feeling. Feelings like indifference in the short story ¿The Third and Final Continent,¿ or the regret seen in the title story are just a couple examples. The overall depressing feeling can at times be a bit monotonous, but this isn¿t enough to hinder the book at all. The honesty of the writing makes these melancholy feelings seem legitimate and not artificial. Because this book is a collection of short stories it is inevitable that there will be favorites and least favorites. When I came across a short story that I didn¿t like as well it was usually because I couldn¿t figure out the direction of the story or what its purpose was. This didn¿t happen often, and much of the reason is probably due to my inability to relate to the story¿s character. Most of the time the stories were very engaging. Of all eight of the short stories my favorite would probably be ¿This Blessed House.¿ It¿s entirely possible that I would have a different favorite story if a read through the book a second time, but during my first read this story stuck out. The story revolves around a young Indian couple who upon moving into a new home discover the house to be full of old Christian trinkets. The husband is upset by the ridiculous religious artifacts, but his wife is intrigued and humored by them. The result is a battle of wills over these little items. I loved this story so much because of the way Lahiri portrayed the wife ¿ it was this character that added the humor and really drove the story. Having not read any of Lahiri¿s other works, it is hard to compare Interpreter of Maladies to others books. It is easier to compare this book to specific feeling or experience than anything else ¿ like watching a candle slowly burn itself out. As strange as that might sound, it really is how the book feels, and I think that is what Lahiri intended. In a very calm and subtle way these eight stories portray quiet feelings of sadness and joy that are both complex and familiar to everyone. Thoughtful book ¿ highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2005

    Gaining An Understanding

    Although many of the marriages are shown in relation to Indian culture, universal hardships and situations arise and allow for better relation to the stories. Lahiri develops an aura of commonality throughout the book whether dealing with marriage, family, work, or life in general. Characters are seen adapting to American culture with difficulty yet retain poise and dedication. Many of the stories are built with intention of depressing the reader in order for one to reach a true realization of the human experience in different parts of the world. Lahiri does not write to create happiness, but to create understanding and compassion. The book was beautifully written, with strings of sentences put together like priceless artwork. The result was complete involvement of my emotions and personal thoughts into the stories. I winced, laughed and nearly cried at many points during the book. Lahiri excels at creating a setting that 'outsiders' such as I can easily relate to and mentally become a part of. The result is a better understanding of the mores, values and norms existing within Indian culture. Her stories are analogies to events and subjects in life that any individual could experience yet have a balanced infusion of her own culture. Lahiri also dares to explore less openely discussed subjects such as marital infidelity, development of identity, corruption of tradition and societal pressure. In 'The Interpreter of Maladies' marital infidelity is the highlighted topic as the two main characters, Mr.Kapasi and the wonderful Mrs.Das represent the unspoken problem that arises in many relationships, but remains quieted due to the societal pressures each of us face to project an image of flawlessness in love and marriage. The story shows Lahiri's view of repression as disgusting and selfish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2004

    Eloquently written

    I'm not a fan of short stories, so when I come across a selection which is actually good, it comes as a pleasant surprise. Ms. Lahiri's beautiful writing draws you in immediately. A great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2002

    Beautiful and Unique

    I read it because it won a Pulitzer. I loved it because the award was deserved. I was drawn into the beauty and hardship of Indian people far from home. Each character's life was very interesting. The novel portrayed elements of life that are common to people regardless of culture - and serves to bind all of humanity together. Plus, the writing was phenomenal. The book offers a glimpse of a different culture from nine different perspectives. Great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2001

    A talented writer

    I bought and read this book while travelling around India. I was delightled when I reached Calcutta ; after one and half month on the road, I could at least see this city she had so much written about. The prose is brilliant and Jhumpa Lahiri possess a huge vocabulary. Once again, a Bengali writer assert herself as master of the English literature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2000

    Beautiful

    A wonderful book of beautifully written short stories by an unknown writer. These stories will stay with you a long time. Some moved me to tears, some I completely I identified with,some I had to search for the meaning of. I'm so glad it won the Pulitzer Prize, I might not have discovered it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2000

    Refreshing reading!

    I enjoyed reading the book mainly because of the clear, simple style of writing employed by Ms. Lahiri. 'A temporary matter' has a beautiful theme which every married couple around the world will be able to relate to. I also sent the story (available on this site) to a friend, by e-mail. My next favourite is 'The Third and Final Continent' which makes the reader also reminisce on the narrator's past. On the whole, a refreshing book, handling sensitive themes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2000

    Experience the New World

    'Interpreter of Maladies' has its unique way of unfolding a fascinating Indian culture and weaving the two worlds--east and west--together. The settings and the cultures might seem foreign to a large number of readers, yet the principal ideas captured in each story are familiar and universal. An extraordinary book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2014

    School required book

    A required school summer reading book that for the life of me i didnt think was an anthology of short stories. The stories are good, but the last half were amazing. Yasss.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2014

    Strongly Recommend

    A fine collection of short-stories. J. Lahiri blends Indian culture, history, and the human condition in well-balanced, compelling short-stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Stories were good, but I would have preferred one long story.

    This was my least favorite of Lahiri's books. That being said, it was because to the length of the individual stories, not the context.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Overall, I thought the book "interpreter of Maladies"

    Overall, I thought the book "interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri was a very good book. Firstly, while reading, I noticed how well written and fluent the book was. The word choice of Interpreter of Maladies was very descriptive and I was always able to get a picture in my mind of what was happening. This book was very fluent because the sentences varied in length and structure. Next, the book was very good because of all things I learned from it. Not only did I learn about the indian culture, but also about human nature. Some of the topics it concentrated on were lonliness and isolation. Many of the characters in this book were not probably connected to society in the way a person wants to be. I learned how people suffering from this problem find ways to solve it. So in conclusion, the book was very good because of the way it was written and because of the things that can be learned from it. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    Good Writing

    Lots of nice short stories.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    I am still thinking about this book!

    Wasn't sure about this book - not really into short stories. But I did finish reading it about a month ago. And you know, I am still thinking about Twinkle, the professor's wife, and the other characters in the stories! I am wondering what happened to them. That doesn't happen often. I think this book is a real treasure. I have seen the movie, the "Namesake," and it was also very good. Will surely read more of this author's books!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    i really like this book and i am reading it right now

    i love the themes of all of the stories. i liked howw in eeach storyy the plot was differentt but it was alwwayyyys abbout iindians in ammerca and shariing tthee, cultturreu

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interpreter of Maladies Review

    It seems like a stretch of the imagination, but the Pulitzer Prize winning collection of stories Interpreter of Maladies is Jhumpa Lahiri's first ever book. As a whole, all of the stories are very to the point and somewhat subtle. The events that take place are bold, but at the same time they are presented in a very simple fashion. This was the first book I have read by an Indian author, and I loved it. The short stories ranged from the extremely personal, in "A Temporary Matter" which talks about the separation of a couple who is newly married, to very political with "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine," which talks about the Pakistani civil war from the perspective of a young girl who lives in the United States and only sees the war through her television set.
    Jhumpa Lahiri uses irony in most of her stories, and she uses it beautifully well. In "A Real Durwan," the residents in an apartment complex become envious of a man named Boori, who sleeps under the stairs in their apartment building. But the aspect that Lahiri brings out most is the expectations of a person's culture and what it does to that person. Lahiri uses this especially with the female characters in her book. She does this by talking about many things, including anything from the fear of driving to the fears and threats of a husband. My very favorite story was "The Third and Final Continent," which is a story about a man from Bengal who is constantly shocked by the actions of his American landlady. The story provoked a lot of thought, and the character of the landlady was just awesome.
    After some research, I found out that the title story, "Interpreter of Maladies," was chosen as a nominee for The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Award Stories, which represents really how great this story was. In this story, a man and a woman meet as the man is a tour guide, and shares with the group that he is also a doctor's assistant in his other job, diagnosing patients who come to the doctor with minor injuries or sicknesses. Mrs. Das, the woman, shows interest inhis job as an assistant, and it gives the occupation new light to Mr. Kapasi, as he thought it was simply another dead end. Mrs. Das keeps in touch with Mr. Kapasi, and they both eventually express to each other the discomfort they have with their own marriages. With each story, Lahiri makes believable characters in both ordinary and not so ordinary situations, making it seem effortless in the process.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3