I Am an Executioner: Love Stories

I Am an Executioner: Love Stories

by Rajesh Parameswaran
3.2 12

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Overview

I Am an Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran

An explosive, funny, wildly original fiction debut: nine stories about the power of love and the love of power, two urgent human desires that inevitably, and sometimes calamitously, intertwine.
In I Am an Executioner, Rajesh Parameswaran introduces us to a cast of heroes—and antiheroes—who spring from his riotous, singular imagination. From the lovesick tiger who narrates the unforgettable opener, “The Infamous Bengal Ming” (he mauls his zookeeper out of affection), to the ex-CompUSA employee who masquerades as a doctor; from a railroad manager in a turn-of-the-century Indian village, to an elephant writing her autobiography; from a woman whose Thanksgiving preparations put her husband to eternal rest, to the newlywed executioner of the title, these characters inhabit a marvelous region between desire and death, playfulness and violence. At once glittering and savage, daring and elegant, here are wholly unforgettable tales where reality loops in Borgesian twists and shines with cinematic exuberance, by an author who promises to dazzle the universe of American fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307595928
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/10/2012
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.74(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

RAJESH PARAMESWARAN is a graduate of Yale Law School. His stories have appeared in McSweeney's, Granta, Zoetrope: All-Story, Fiction, and Book. "The Strange Career of Doctor Raju Gopalarajan" earned McSweeney's a National Magazine Award and was anthologized in Best American Magazine Writing 2007. He has had residencies at Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony.

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I Am an Executioner: Love Stories 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quirky, unexpected, amusing, distubing. I would definitely recommend this book but these stories are not for everyone. Parameswaran has a wonderful way of bringing his characters to life through their voices, and while some may be unsavory they are nontheless complicated and entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ming was my favorite story of them all. It was brutal but very heartbreaking from the tigers point of view. The elephant story was fabulous had it not been for the horrendous footnotes. It was so annoying. I might recommend this book to only some of my friends but not all of them. I also don't think I would ever buy one his books again.
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
I don't usually pick up books of short stories, but since I like to be a somewhat well-rounded reader, this Barnes and Nobles Discover New Writers summer 2012 pick appealed to me.  "I am an Executioner: Love Stories" by Rajesh Parameswaran (say that name 3 times fast!) had a title that was intriguing, considering executioners kill people. I started to summarize each short story, and then got a little bored of that tactic, but here are a few below: The Infamous Bengal Ming: Told from the point of view of a tiger, Ming is so in love with his trainer that he accidentally mauls and kills him.  He proceeds on his journey with all good intentions, only to continue to cause chaos.  This is my FAVORITE story because of Ming's struggle between domestication and natural wild instincts. The Strange Career of Dr. Raju Gopalarajan: This one confused me, although the author won an award for it.  A man is fired from CompUSA, and decides to impersonate a doctor, only to, of course, not to so well.  That part I understood, but the ending left me a little stumped. Four Rajeshes: This is a story about a homosexual man who gives love in harsh ways (love accompanied by painful swats for whatever he feels like).  One day, a man enters his life, bothers him immensely with his strange-looking writing, and disappears from his life, only to permeate his mind. On the Banks of the Table River:  What a cool story!  Told from the alien's perspective from the planet Lucina, these "insects" try to adapt to living on a planet where humans enjoy visiting.  At the same time, it seems that a native child, Nippima, might have gotten herself into a little bit of trouble.  Loved this story! I also really enjoyed the title story, I am an Executioner.  It was such an interesting take on a love story, and not what I was expecting! Elephants in Captivity (Part One) was really painful for me to read.  It's super short but has ridiculously long footnotes that made it really confusing and unappealing.  I didn't even want to be not-confused with that story.  If you pick up this book, I'd say that chapter is a skip! All in all, the book was half enjoyable.  I really did like some of the stories, especially the ones I could understand!  However, some were confusing and made me feel like I wasn't smart enough to "get" the message. Barnes and Nobles Discover New Writers loved it, and the author has won awards for some of his short stories.  I'm mixed on this.  If you're in for a challenge, and to enjoy some of the stories and maybe not others, go ahead and pick it up. Have you read any AMAZING short stories? Thanks for reading, Rebecca @ Love at First Book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Obtuse and oddly imaginative consideration of "Love Stories"...the entries, I Am An Executioner and The Infamous Bengal Ming are especially complex and challenging, yet with a certain tenderness and gentle understanding of the human condition. You'll stay alert while in their company!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What makes this book brilliant are the extreme creativity of the plots; the very highly varied voices in which the tales are told; and the author's elegant and sometimes unusual language (e..g. the stories about the elephant and executioner are examples respectively). While several of his stories invoke other great writers including Kafka, R.K. Narayan, Poe, Borges, and even Stephen King, Parameswaran really does redefine the notion of the short story, as Gary Shteyngart says on the back cover. Who else has produced a collection as creative, varied, and well written as this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not sure of the point this book is trying to make. Not only was it boring, but it was extremely disturbing and gruesome. The reviews say witty and funny, but I had to stop reading after a few chapters. I am not one to give up on a book and tend to painfully wait it out to the end, but it honestly unsettled me enough to stop after chapter 3. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS TO ANYONE!