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This is excellent storytelling (beautifully read) with glimpses of life in a random Indian city. Kind of nice and unusual that there isn't really a story as such, but that is also the reason for me not giving this book 5 stars.
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If ever a book was meant for Audio, this is it. The guidebook music and explanations at the beginning of the chapters is perfect for it. You are about to have a short guided tour of small areas, and people in a completely different culture and environment from our own. It is amusing, in places distressing. but clearly insightful, and I would love to see a sequel where the lives of the very wealthy are equally covered. I found myself wanting to know so much more about each character and sad to move on to the next. I really disagree with the previous reviewer, keep the guidebook theme and music it adds to the quirkiness of the whole book, and it is really quirky.
This collection has grown on me - once I'd got over the irritating music which is played to indicate that excerpts of a guidebook are being read before each story i found the stories increasingly compelling, although the book does make India seem like a pretty terrible and hopeless place, as with a couple of exceptions the people in the stories almost always fall into the categories of either the thanklessly exploited poor, or the spoilt, cruel and thoughtless rich. and, thankfully, the annoying postman pat sounding music is entirely absent from the stories themselves, and seeing as the 'guidebook' excerpts are only there to provide a mildly amusing contrast with 'real life'and in no way essential to the plot or substance of the stories really, you can always forward through the music to the stories themselves.