Intriguing thoughts by an author of worldly range and depth. United Nations senior official Tharoor Nehru , , etc. The author doles out sterner treatment to fellow Indian fiction writer R. Nervily, he takes the U. This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Bookless in Baghdad by Shashi Tharoor.
Supermely personal, yet always probing and analytical, Shashi Tharoor, the acclaimed author of six books, all published by Arcade, is once again at his provocative best in this book that is part memoir, part essay and literary criticism. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published July 11th by Arcade Publishing first published January 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews.
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Sort order. Jan 29, Vismay rated it liked it. To Dr. Shashi Tharoor, 97 Lodhi Estate, New Delhi Tel: Fax: Subject:- A letter asking for apology Respected Sir, Like a scale firmly settled on a pipe, refusing to budge, the image that I have conjured up of your alleged persona from the various newspaper co-eds and news channels, preceded your merit. To tell you the truth, regardless of your impressive stint at the U.
The controversy surrounding I. It of course was my own failing, not being able to hear the other side of the story, but then you weren't as vociferous in your arguments as your critics were.
Politicians have time and again taken a dig at you, and have attempted to tar your image with snide remarks. And I have been gullible. That's why I ask for your apology.
I have for long fancied myself as an independent spirit, to me, my opinions seemed impregnable from the seepage of all possible color, but I discovered yet again that there exist a possibility of correction. I recently, on impulse picked up a copy of 'Bookless in Baghdad' from the library. Just a single little statement was the clincher. One year I kept a list of the volumes I'd finished comics didn't count , hoping to reach before the calendar did.
I made it before Christmas. To tell you the truth, I haven't imagined you to be much of a writer. What I actually believed was that you might have written some longish, scholarly prose on GDP or quality of life as you were from U. But I was delighted to discover that I wasn't entirely true in my judgement. This present book, was indeed an eclectic collection or what I would call 'a quanta of creatively and cogently argued confabulations with a mute reader'.
Though, I do not agree with your opinion on R. Narayan, I have indeed received the same joy, as you most certainly have, on reading P. Your spirited defense of Salman Rushdie, your description of the various literary fests which I have vicariously visited through this book and all the other motley bunch of writers mentioned here - I indeed have had a good time along with your book.
And why shouldn't I have fun? After all, it concerned all things literary. So as a parting note I would like to tell you, sir, that though I wouldn't most certainly drool over your every adjective, but if I do catch phrases like, 'That consensus is around the simple principle that in a democracy you don't really need to agree - except on the ground rules of how will you disagree.
I once again apologize. Yours Sincerely, Vismay Harani View 2 comments. Oct 03, Siddharth rated it liked it. A four-point guide to enjoying Bookless in Baghdad: 1. These are essentially endorsements for his own books. Worse, they are pompous, self-indulgent, and annoyingly serious in tone. It is likely to contain more self-indulgent tripe. Three decades earlier, Wodehouse had reacted to the passing of his stepdaughter, Leonora, with the numbed words: "I thought she was immortal.
He offers a measured, if trenchant, critique of R. Narayan: Like Austen, his fiction was restricted to the concerns of a small society portrayed with precision and empathy; unlike Austen, his prose could not elevate those concerns beyond the ordinariness of its subjects… At its worst, Narayan's prose was like the bullock- cart: a vehicle that can move only in one gear, is unable to turn, accelerate or reverse, and remains yoked to traditional creatures who have long since been overtaken but know no better.
This section of the book, titled Reconsiderations , makes the book. The rest of the book blows hot and cold. His felicity of language ensures that even the unremarkable among his essays make for breezy reading. I realize now that my review has unintentionally transformed halfway from a guide to a commentary.
For some reason, it makes me more sympathetic towards Tharoor. With my superior intelligence, I have out-generalled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy. View all 5 comments.
I was moved to the edge of kicking myself for not reading it before! Though only a collection of essays on reading and writing, this book is such an eye-opener!
Let me go to the background of how I picked up this book. I was with my mother for this huge prize-selection trip for her college students which required us to stay in a bookshop all day long. To pass my time, I picked up random books from various sheves without really noticing what titles I picked. Well, was I glad I picked this up! I w I was moved to the edge of kicking myself for not reading it before!
I was sure Tharoor was a great writer but had absolutely no idea that he was an Indian's retort to British hot-shots like Dickens, Austen and for that matter, even Rowling!
If you call Rowling hypnotic, this man is Buddha himself considering Buddha was a master of hypnosis! He kept me engrossed for hours together and by the end of the day, I was craddling it in my arms as I slept. Honestly, I hadn't been a reader before I read this. This book is not 'just another I-love-literature-because-I'm-a-writer' sort of bookit's more than that!
It is something which everyone who reads and has a wee-bit of talent to write would cherish! Tharoor's tongue-in-cheek humour, rich expression and extensive knowledge about the authors he has read, of places he has been to and the experiences he has had while romancing with his partly political, partly literary career clearly make him the best author to be born on the Indian soil and make us Indians proud to be living under the same skies as him! Jan 06, Aldrin rated it did not like it.
This book is a selection of the newspaper columns Shashi Tharoor has written over the years. Tharoor is a very well read man and at times one wonders if the point of this book is just to ensure that everyone is very well aware of that fact. He shares with us his eclectic taste in literature: his love for Wodehouse, why he thinks Rushdie is a hero, his sympathy towards Pushkin for his few Indian readers, why he finds R K Narayan's English bland, how he identifies with Neruda as a writer invol This book is a selection of the newspaper columns Shashi Tharoor has written over the years.
He shares with us his eclectic taste in literature: his love for Wodehouse, why he thinks Rushdie is a hero, his sympathy towards Pushkin for his few Indian readers, why he finds R K Narayan's English bland, how he identifies with Neruda as a writer involved in politics, and so on.
Some of all this is enjoyable but quite a lot is a tad boring, especially when he starts sprinkling anecdotes from his St. Stephen schooling and UN duty. Overall, the book left me, in the authors words, 'both amused and bemused' For colonialism gave us a literature that did not spring from our own environment, and whose characters, concerns, and situations bore no relation to our own lives.
This didn't bother us in the slightest: A Bombay child read Blyton the same way a Calcutta kindergartner sang "Jingle Bells" without having seen snow or sleigh. If the stories were alien, we weren't alienated; they were to be read and enjoyed, not mined for relevance.
View 1 comment. Oct 20, Raghu rated it it was amazing. But I am almost certain that he never visited Iraq in that capacity.
Bookless in Baghdad
For many years afterwards, he read a book a day. Bookless in Baghdad brings together pieces written by this compulsive reader and prolific writer on the subject closest to his heart: reading. Tharoor takes us on a delightful journey of discovery, as he wanders the book souk in a Baghdad under sanctions where the middle-class are selling their volumes so that they can afford to live, and drives around Huesca looking to pay an idiosyncratic tribute to George Orwell. Certified Buyer , New Delhi. Certified Buyer , Srinagar.
Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers
Bookless in Baghdad is a book by author Shashi Tharoor that consists of a collection of previously published articles, book reviews and columns on writers, books and literary musings. The book contains five parts: Inspirations, Reconsiderations, The literary life, Appropriations and Interrogations. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Book by Shashi Tharoor. This article has multiple issues.