Book Reviews Books

Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

I have heard about this book a lot and was excited to see this one on Storytel. Ghachar Ghochar is a book translated from Kannada and was the first book I read for the Asian Read a thon that I am not officially participating but trying my best to finish all the prompts for. 😛

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?


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A young man’s close-knit family is nearly destitute when his uncle founds a successful spice company, changing their fortunes overnight. As they move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house on the other side of Bangalore, and try to adjust to a new way of life, the family dynamic begins to shift. Allegiances realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. Things become “ghachar ghochar”—a nonsense phrase uttered by one meaning something tangled beyond repair, a knot that can’t be untied.

Elegantly written and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humor, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings—and consequences—of financial gain in contemporary India.

THOUGHTS


IF SOMEONE WANTED A BOOK TO EXPLAIN – ” MONEY CAN’T BUY HAPPINESS”. This book would be the one I would recommend. The narrator tells a story about him and his family going from rags to riches and how even though it was money that they lacked but money that ruined them as well.

“it’s not we who control money, it’s the money that controls us. When there’s only a little, it behaves meekly; when it grows, it becomes brash and has its way with us.”

Vivek Shanbhag, Ghachar Ghochar

WRITING
The way the story is narrated, the little detailed descriptions and the feelings that are poured into the narrator’s monologue while he reminisces the past and compares it to the present is done with utmost excellence.
Personally, I haven’t read a lot of Literary Fiction because I find them really slow paced and the language hard to comprehend. This one was so immersive and left me wanting more. A good pick for beginners in the genre too.

GHACHAR GHOCHAR
I love when you’re reading the book and you get to the part the title makes perfect sense. This book has that perfect recipe and timing when and how it makes it happen. I did not like the abrupt ending but it left me with such a mixed feeling. It has such a metaphorical effect. The kind of book that will randomly hit you with it’s intensity.

RATING: ★★★★

Overall, this book is worth all the hype it has and makes me want to grab all the translated fiction as it gives me a major FOMO on missing out on such amazing books due to language barriers. Translators are some kind of Angels.


DETAILS


Published: February 7th 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 118
Publisher: Penguin Books


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