Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Scouring Books: In Hanuman's Hands

In Hanuman's Hands
by Cheeni Rao

originally published in 2009

The personal memoir has in recent years ballooned to such popular levels that anyone can find their lives infinitely fascinating to a public that otherwise would never have heard of them, and would never even have thought twice about caring, simply because people love reading about misery, whether or not redemption is involved. James Frey is perhaps an example of why this trend is not a good thing, and why I generally don't much care about it. Rao is probably not so different from any of the others, but he's got a twist worth my attention, his Indian (as in India) connection, a cultural context that's different from my everyday experiences, and so exploring his life is a way of exploring a different culture as much as following his particular problems. And that's pretty much all that can confidently be taken from a book like this, because otherwise it's clearly something that could easily have been extracted from a reality TV show, some poor unfortunate soul who makes good copy, is extraordinarily vivid and engaged in sensational events. So I basically read this one because it made a good story.

Bookshelf status: read

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