A "beautifully written, richly textured, and haunting story" (Chaim Potok), BAUMGARTNER'S BOMBAY is Anita Desai's classic novel of the Holocaust era, a story of profound emotional wounds of war and its exiles. The novel follows Hugo Baumgartner as he flees Nazi Germanyand his Jewish heritagefor India, only to be imprisoned as a hostile alien and then released to Bombay at war's end. In this tale of a man who, "like a figure in a Greek tragedy . . . seems to elude his destiny" (NEW LEADER), Desai's "capacious intelligence, her unsentimental compassion" (NEW REPUBLIC) reach their full height.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.68(d)|
About the Author
ANITA DESAI is the author of Fasting, Feasting, Baumgartner’s Bombay, Clear Light of Day, and Diamond Dust, among other works. Three of her books have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Desai was born and educated in India and now lives in the New York City area.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I almost gave up on this book somewhere in the first 25 pages. I'm glad I didn't because halfway through, it just became unputdownable. Yes I know that's not a word. Anita Desai somehow manages to make us like this character who is almost character-less. He is grumpy, unambitious, dull, and lacks a zest for life. And yet, by the end of the book, you feel for him. He reminded me of the grumpy old man in the movie 'Up'. The book is littered with German poems and phrases which I had no clue about but to someone who does, these might add even more to the book.
The problem with this book, and other books by Anita Desai, is that she cannot create characters who belong to any certain place or period. The characters in this book grow old, drink too much are poor and die, but we learn little about what that has to to do with European Jews escaping the horrors of the Nazi's. They could be in any poor country and have the same problems and not be any more or less interesting. There did not seem to be anything in the book that was specific to the problems they would encounter in Indian. Anita Desai can write very well but lacks imagination and the ability create characters worth reading about.
I started reading this book once before and after the first 20 pages, I was so bored with it. I decided three weeks later, to try it again. The same thing happened. If you want a book that will put you to sleep after a page, read this book.