The House of Blue Mangoes Lib/E



In , In The South Indian Village Of Chevathar, Renowned For Its Groves Of A Rare Variety Of Blue Mango, Solomon Dorai Is Contemplating The Imminent Destruction Of His World And Everything He Holds Dear As The Thalaivar, Or Headman, Of Chevathar, He Seeks To Preserve The Village From Both Catastrophe And Change, And The Decisions He Makes Will Mark His Family For Generations To ComeRichly Emotional And Abundant In Historical Detail, The House Of Blue Mangoes Is A Gripping Family Chronicle That Spans Nearly A Half Century And Three Generations Of The Dorai Family As They Search For Their Place In A Rapidly Changing Society Whether Recruited Into The Burgeoning Independence Movement, Apprenticed In Ancient Medical Arts, Or Managing A British Tea Plantation, The Dorai Men Nevertheless Find Themselves Drawn Back To Their Ancestral Land By Profound Emotional Ties That Transcend Even The Most Powerful Forces Of HistoryThe House of Blue Mangoes Lib/E

David Davidar is an author and publisher He was educated at Madras now Chennai and Harvard University where he obtained a diploma in publishing In 1985, while still in his mid twenties, he became one of the founding members of Penguin in India, where he edited or published authors like Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, Vikram Chandra, Rohinton Mistry, and Salman Rushdie.

[BOOKS] ✰ The House of Blue Mangoes Lib/E ✺ David Davidar – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Audio CD
  • 0 pages
  • The House of Blue Mangoes Lib/E
  • David Davidar
  • English
  • 08 January 2017
  • 0786195282

10 thoughts on “The House of Blue Mangoes Lib/E

  1. says:

    Minor spoilers ahead The House of Blue Mangoes is an attempt at writing an epic multi generational saga, but like most of these stories, it flounders at the end and the family becomes graduallyandboring Solomon Dorai is a non Brahmin Christian, belonging to a caste that appears to be somewhat high on the scale He is also rich and is the head of the village Succeeding him are his two sons, Daniel and Aaron, and succeeding them is Kannan The House of Blue Mangoes is the story of t Minor spoilers ahead The House of Blue Mangoes is an attempt at writing an epic multi generational saga, but like most of these stories, it flounders at the end and the family becomes graduallyandboring Solomon Dorai is a non Brahmin Christian, belonging to a caste that appears to be somewhat high on the scale He is also rich and is the head of the village Succeeding him are his two sons, Daniel and Aaron, and succeeding them is Kannan The House of Blue Mangoes is the story of these three generations of men Make no mistake, this is a book about men.The book is split into three parts, one for each generation The first one is set in Chevathar, where Solomon rules with an iron hand He, for me, was an unsympathetic character His wife, Charity, was theinteresting character, but her feelings were always subsumed into whatever her husband was doing at the moment In this part, Davidar tackles some of the caste and gender issues and it looked rather promising But after dying unnecessarily for male pride, the mantle passes on to Daniel Daniel was interested in education and was despised by his father and brother for not being a warmonger He and his mother lived with his maternal grandfather after Solomon s death and Daniel came into his own there He studies medicine and his fame soon spreads far and wide Then suddenly he decides to return to Chevathar because male name lineage blah blah The story drifts away at this point as Daniel sets out to bring his entire extended family together I really failed to see the motivation behind all this effort Daniel s child, Kannan, was doing fine until he fell in love with the wrong woman He enters the world of the British and tries to become a brown sahib There are pages and pages of hunting a tiger, and then HE returns to Chevathar Pointless The book might as well be called Dysfunctional Fathers and Submissive Mothers I did have a problem with the way there was no strong motivation for Daniel and Kannan to return to Chevathar I don t buy the male lineage love in DNA crap Daniel was pretty much brought up by his mother and his maternal grandfather, so why not show this loyalty to Nagerkoil, where his mother was from Wasn t he 50% from there too As for Kannan, there was no connection with Chevathar for him What I did enjoy about the book was the detail with which it was written Whether it was about caste conflict or mangoes or tea or tiger hunting, every single thing was researched in detail and expressed in a very interesting manner The independence struggle remained in the background, though I would have loved to have seenof it in the book The portrait of village life is amazing and is basically what sustained me through this book Who cares if the story doesn t make sense Just look at all these descriptions of village roads The first part is the best After that, the story just goes downhill The third part is pretty much pointless However, I think the book is worth a read because it is a pleasure to read about the daily life in its different facets a hundred years ago Tamil Nadu comes alive in this book, and not many authors can actually achieve that feat

  2. says:

    I read this because I read comparisons to Vikram Seth s A Suitable Boy, which I loved, but Davidar s book is not in the same league The House of Blue Mangoes starts out strong and contains some beautiful passages, but overall it is a mess, disjointed, poorly edited, and a little bit pointless The characters are very one dimensional and never make any sense Points of view occasionally change mid paragraph new plots come out of nowhere even at the very end I could have forgiven some of the cl I read this because I read comparisons to Vikram Seth s A Suitable Boy, which I loved, but Davidar s book is not in the same league The House of Blue Mangoes starts out strong and contains some beautiful passages, but overall it is a mess, disjointed, poorly edited, and a little bit pointless The characters are very one dimensional and never make any sense Points of view occasionally change mid paragraph new plots come out of nowhere even at the very end I could have forgiven some of the clunky writing and wild leaps of plot if I had cared at all about any of the characters None of the three main characters is remotely likeable or interesting Unlikeable I could forgive, but I never had the sense that the author really understood his characters motivations, either Stuff happens to them, and they have big revelations, but none of it is tied into anything we ve been shown or understood about these characters The bad guys are bad, bad, bad particularly the Anglo Indian hussy in the final section of the novel , the good guys are pretty bad too although the author seems to think they are just well rounded, and overall, by the end I was just rooting for the tiger The tiger does not even show up until about 380 pages into a 400 page novel, and then is a major plot point as well as symbolic of uh, something And that probably tells you all you need to know about The House of Blue Mangoes

  3. says:

    I was taken in by the cover And guess who went out and bought planted a mango tree No, TWO mango trees Yeah I am a dangerous reader.This three generation look at the adventures of a family in India, interlinks with historical facts It s a purely fictional world, however, but written so skillfully that I searched for place names in vain In the village by the sea, Solomon sees life change and the rest of the story follows his sons and grandchildren The caste system, WWII, India s independen I was taken in by the cover And guess who went out and bought planted a mango tree No, TWO mango trees Yeah I am a dangerous reader.This three generation look at the adventures of a family in India, interlinks with historical facts It s a purely fictional world, however, but written so skillfully that I searched for place names in vain In the village by the sea, Solomon sees life change and the rest of the story follows his sons and grandchildren The caste system, WWII, India s independence are all weaved into this epic tale and, for the most part, kept me turning the pages When Daniel encountered it, he was overwhelmed by its qualities the pale green skin, the orange yellow flesh and above all the taste a distinctive sweetness balanced by a slight tartness Did I feel the heat, the humidity, the smell from the sea Could I taste the fictional Chevathar mango, feel the softness of the ripe fruit In a terrific telling, that s how I get involved in such a book Alas, I came close but couldn t quite get to the point I wanted to amid the swirling events The writing is good but I just had no empathy for the characters I think David Davidar does a much better job describing the physical environment, which kept me pegged to the page But that extra uplift was missing for me, sigh Still, a decent epic And now I will have my own mangoes.Book Season Summer golden light

  4. says:

    I suspect I might have felt as if I were skimming this book, even if I hadn t been skimming it in fact The pace seemed rushed at times, and overall the story felt superficial Maybe because it was I m not sure this was actually a story, to tell the truth Certainly the characters were not characters I think this was simply an excuse to depict colonial India from the late nineteenth century leading up to independence, and to have the characters serve as mouthpieces for various Indian and Briti I suspect I might have felt as if I were skimming this book, even if I hadn t been skimming it in fact The pace seemed rushed at times, and overall the story felt superficial Maybe because it was I m not sure this was actually a story, to tell the truth Certainly the characters were not characters I think this was simply an excuse to depict colonial India from the late nineteenth century leading up to independence, and to have the characters serve as mouthpieces for various Indian and British viewpoints on the colonial experience.The story begins with Solomon Dorai, the leader of his village, dealing with a tempest taking place It continues with Solomon s sons, Daniel, a doctor, and Aaron, a drifter turned revolutionary The final part of the book focuses on Daniel s son, Kannan, and his complicated relationship with the British These multi generational sagas have become a cliche of mediocre historical fiction, and this one was particularly poorly done in my opinion I never came to empathize with the stick figure characters or to care about the banal plotlines The whole colonial situation in India and the varying perspectives on it wasinteresting than anything else about the book, but I think I would have been better off reading a non fiction treatise about it If you like reading novels set in India, there are better ones out there

  5. says:

    There are two angles I d like to take when writing about this book The book as an experience As an experience this book satisfies the Tamil whim in me in every which way The descriptions, the names, the settings, the conflicts every single aspect of what I can only define as mann vaasanai the raw smell of the earth hits the marks effortlessly Considering just that, I d give five stars to this book anyday Kudos to Davidar for having retained the terms in Tamil, infusing them into the dial There are two angles I d like to take when writing about this book The book as an experience As an experience this book satisfies the Tamil whim in me in every which way The descriptions, the names, the settings, the conflicts every single aspect of what I can only define as mann vaasanai the raw smell of the earth hits the marks effortlessly Considering just that, I d give five stars to this book anyday Kudos to Davidar for having retained the terms in Tamil, infusing them into the dialogue, allowing you to make the book your own, revel in the atmosphere it creates What Kannan feels when he finally returns to Chevathar, I felt as an essence from cover to cover Its a rewarding experience and nothing short.That said,The book as a novel As a novel, the book has gaping holes It begins with brilliant flair, Davidar has a strong knack at painting pictures that automatically hook you right in The first part of the book, Chevathar reads like the formulaic plot of a Tamil naatamai village leader movie If you are a Tamilian you will know the elements by heart But, Davidar writes convincingly You understand and sympathise with Solomon Dorai for all the pain that goes into administering his motley village and even the violence you can take in stride if not condone Where the book fails, in my opinion, is taking off from where Chevathar ends While mapping Aaron and Daniel s lives, there are too many elements coming into play, so all the showing from the 1st part becomes outright telling Aaron and Daniel don t grow in front of your eyes, you are told they ve grown up like that, so you can t quite relate to them, especially not when there s an illogical making up happening between two brothers who loathed each other for life The weakest character development was that of the senior Daniel Perhaps, Ramadoss should ve been given a voice and Daniel s story told from his eyes Doraipuram as a section failed to impress.Which brings us to Pulimed, again a disappointment While Kannan as a character had strong potential there are obvious conflicts here, Daniel tries not to put pressure on Kannan like Solomon did with him, yet there are grey areas he is not used to his fullest capacity against his father, against his family The boy does not have a strong need to get away from his family the push , which logically he must do, go through the process so that he can come back home again the pull Kannan s story runs off swiftly, none of the underlying emotions exposed It was like watching a character s progression in fast forward motion, or within the space of a single song as happens in a typical Tamil movie And aside from all of this there s the Indian War of Independence as another layer, one we are told to ignore because Daniel does not like politics and hence Kannan doesn t either Yet, the British identity conflict forms the basis of Kannan finding his place This doesn t quite tie up Usually when your lead characters don t care about something, you tend to not care too, so Freddie and the laddies and that goddamn Mrs.Stevenson who ironically gets two chapters of character development when so many other characters could ve used some don t bother you too much except as a bunch to be tolerated And what s with the tiger I understand the need for an analogy to denote a character coming to a take off point to hunt for a deeper inner meaning Aaron had his well Daniel had his first leech patient but this was just not quite enough because Kannan just whined through the whole thing If there s one conflict freedom identity based movie that Tamilians love, it is Devar Magan The book follows a similar plot The movie with its honest plot and haunting performances left a mark for eternity on our hearts The only part in this book that comes close to achieving that is the 1st section But just so If only a few critical plot points and characters could ve been put to better use starting with that blasted Vakkeel Perumal The book loses its way after Chevathar But Chevathar was brilliant

  6. says:

    A brilliant read, exceptionally well imagined written, I m just surprised that this book isn t better known A brilliant read, exceptionally well imagined written, I m just surprised that this book isn t better known

  7. says:

    The beginning was rather slow, may be because it is set in the late 1800 s After that I got used to the writing style and the story picked up Solomon Dorai who tries to maintian peace among the various castes in Chevathar, his sons Aaron and Daniel both heading different priorities and Solomon s grandson Kannan are the main characters of a tri generational saga that involves the rule of the Raj, Daniel s money making scheme, Aaron s rebellion against the British, Kannan s work in the tea estat The beginning was rather slow, may be because it is set in the late 1800 s After that I got used to the writing style and the story picked up Solomon Dorai who tries to maintian peace among the various castes in Chevathar, his sons Aaron and Daniel both heading different priorities and Solomon s grandson Kannan are the main characters of a tri generational saga that involves the rule of the Raj, Daniel s money making scheme, Aaron s rebellion against the British, Kannan s work in the tea estate among the British and man eating tigers

  8. says:

    A truly exhilarating book because it has many layers of complexity It may be a little difficult for people not of Indian origin to fully comprehend some of the social issues relating to caste What makes the book all theexciting is that though there are references to caste, Davidar does not explicitly mention the actual names of the caste groups involved but drops certain historical and socio cultural clues that only an insider within the caste or a cultural and social historian may pick A truly exhilarating book because it has many layers of complexity It may be a little difficult for people not of Indian origin to fully comprehend some of the social issues relating to caste What makes the book all theexciting is that though there are references to caste, Davidar does not explicitly mention the actual names of the caste groups involved but drops certain historical and socio cultural clues that only an insider within the caste or a cultural and social historian may pick up on.Being a member of the community and caste mentioned in the book enabled me to appreciate the book at a totally different level and live vicariously through the experiences of many of the characters who I could relate to.At heart, Davidar uses the story creatively and passionately to explore several macro themes.Tradition vs change Conservatism vs liberalismThe past vs modernity Conformity vs non conformityArranged marriages vs romantic lovePerhaps what made the book all theendearing was that Davidar showed how many individuals are often out of place in both polarities but fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum As the offspring of immigrant parents who left India several decades ago and having been born and brought up outside the Indian sub continent, I could relate to all the issues in the book and that feeling of being trapped inbetween two very different worlds, both mutually opposed to each other and feeling ne er at home anywhere, East or West.A truly, brilliant book of remarkable cultural complexity, The House of Blue Mangoes is a must read for all people of the South Asian Diaspora

  9. says:

    A sweeping saga in a way reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez s One hundred years of solitude.It is the end of the 19th century and headman Solomon Dorai of the village of Chevathar in Southern India is desperately fighting against a world that is changing and to hold the remaining members of his family together and for them to uphold the traditional ways of their lifestyle but against the political and social unrest at this period this is nigh on impossible.Life changes and moves on and you se A sweeping saga in a way reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez s One hundred years of solitude.It is the end of the 19th century and headman Solomon Dorai of the village of Chevathar in Southern India is desperately fighting against a world that is changing and to hold the remaining members of his family together and for them to uphold the traditional ways of their lifestyle but against the political and social unrest at this period this is nigh on impossible.Life changes and moves on and you see the family members slowly but finally slip away and live their own lives in careers of their own choosing but no matter where they are the family are in one way or another always drawn back to Chevathar and the past.Can the final descendent Kanaan, really bring life back to Solomon s dream of a little family community in Chevathar for future generations for the Dorai family name to live on and perpetuate into the years ahead or has the social climate gone too far A wonderful epic that centres all around the Dorai family s adventures and lives and is finally brought full circle in an exciting climax involving Kanaan.Beautiful and poetic imagery evokes the mysticism and idyllic landscape.A must for any fans of literature set in India Well worth reading

  10. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here The only part of the book that inspired any emotion in me was the first section, specifically the treatment of women and interactions between castes All of that emotion was negative After Daniel decided to go back home, I lost interest and skimmed much of the rest of the book Even though Kannan was muchlikeable as a person, he seemed to have no real depth What did he learn through his experiences that will help him run Doraipuram I just can t see him sticking around once his mother an The only part of the book that inspired any emotion in me was the first section, specifically the treatment of women and interactions between castes All of that emotion was negative After Daniel decided to go back home, I lost interest and skimmed much of the rest of the book Even though Kannan was muchlikeable as a person, he seemed to have no real depth What did he learn through his experiences that will help him run Doraipuram I just can t see him sticking around once his mother and uncle are gone

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