review The Living 109



10 thoughts on “The Living

  1. says:

    The title and the blurb aptly describe the book so nothing much of the story from my partWhat I would like to say is that it is a slow moving book and the pace slows down as it proceeds and towards the end there are a few loose ends which we can interpret or built upon in our own wayThe two protagonists of this story are Claire a young British woman and Arun an old Indian man who live in their own countries and the only fact connecting them is that they both work in the footwear trade but in different ways and capacities How they spend their days seems to be the focal point of the story I was almost sure that they will intersect at some time or other but that never happenedOn the whole I liked it but there was something missing


  2. says:

    “Don't cry because it's over smile because it happened” Dr SeussAnjali Joseph an award winning Indian author pens her new novel The Living that unfolds the story of two characters' daily lives their past mistakes their shortcomings and their daily mundane routine set in two different continents of the world The story is uniue yet it could have been much better with lots of character and plot developmentSynopsis There is a certain number of breaths each of us has to take and no amount of care or carelessness can alter thatThis is the story of two lives Claire is a young single mother working in one of England’s last surviving shoe factories her adult life formed by a teenage relationship Is she ready to move on from memory and the routine of her days? Arun an older man in a western Indian town makes hand sewn chappals at home A recovered alcoholic now a grandfather he negotiates the new found indignities of old age while returning in thought to the extramarital affair he had years earlierThese lives are woven through with the ongoing discipline of work and the responsibility and tedium of family life Lives laced with the joys of old friendship the pleasure of sex and the redemptive kindness of one’s own children This is the story of the living Claire and Arun are the two protagonists of this story Claire is a mid aged single mother working in the last standing shoe factory in England and is in a constant denial that her life could never be any better But one day when she meets a man in a bar she could not shake him off her mind uite easily and gradually felt pulled towards his charm Unfortunately her happy ending didn't last long and her mundane lifestyle of taking care of a teenage boy whom she gave birth when she herself was a teenager regrets everything in her life Arun on the other hand is a old grandfather who used to make hand made chappals for a living in a village in a India and is constantly reminiscing about his extra marital affair with a young woman ages ago He too is constantly in denial about the fact that his life could be better and that he should have done things differently and could have been a better husband and a father The author mainly focuses on the two lives and their daily lifestyle While reading if you try to connect these two protagonists in any way then I must remind you do not waste your time in thinking about a possible connection between Claire and Arun hence just try to enjoy the story and the details of these two lives I think the readers always happen to expect too much from a character thinking there might be something different from our lives that make them stand apart and that we can take a lesson or so from them But when the characters follow our lifestyles then it becomes boring and the readers are not able to find that escapism that they were looking forward to through the character's livesAnyways something similar happened with these books after reading so many negative reviews on Goodreads as well as on other blogs I believe the author must have done wrong by not portraying her characters with some sort of closure And as a reader I too expect that from the author's protagonists Anyways still I would like to hats off to the author for taking a different and kind of innovative approach to portray the lives of the characters so dully Because normal and everyday human lives are dull unless you are not a celebrity or a politician or someone famous The writing style of the author is good but not strong There is no dynamics in the narrative style of even in the pacing or in the plot The story does not even evoke any emotions as it is very plain and simple and fails to engage the readers with a sense of feelings for the story or for the charactersThe characters are good and they had lot of room to evolve in their skin but the author just let them floe freely in their bland and regretful demeanor Claire has done a great job in taking care of her son but her pain is so deep that she is constantly on the horizon to explore her sexual adventures Arun has delved deeper into the past mistakes when he had an extra marital affair and now he is on the threshold to make things better The supporting characters are also uite well drawnOverall this is not so much of an engrossing read yet it is uite interesting enough with two different stories but with same manner of work life and how the stories are so realistic and simpleVerdict You can definitely turn away your head from this book Courtesy Thanks to the author Anjali Joseph's publicist for giving me an opportunity to read and review this novel


  3. says:

    There are books that the reader finishes and fails to see the Author's point or what the publisher saw Any of the parties could be at fault but this book was one suchThe book narrates two parallel tales Claire working in a shoe factory in Britain is a single mom of a teenager Her monochrome life is stifling and so she tries to find spark in affairs only to be disappointed or guiltyThe other track is of Arun the last of the Kolhapuri chappal makers His sons and grandsons have moved on With age related diseases guilt over past regrets and nostalgia he carries on living with nothing to look forward toThe book starts of well alright with lot of uotable uotes on ennui Sample this I thought to myself something I often thought at that time when anything went wrong whatever it was and then when it stopped at least for a bit Well that passed the time But then like a elementary kid with a stage fright the book meanders away into unintelligible ramblings Had hoped for a better book


  4. says:

    I thought this was very uiet beautiful and impressively strange It reminded me of Knausgaard in the sense that it's about how life is lived about how nothing really happens and how that could make you feel kind of ennui ish and frantic And I liked how the two parallel novellas didn't forcefully try to impose any links between the characters and their lives apart from the fact that they're both shoemakers; you could draw your own conclusions about how they are connected Some people walk uite evenly but not many I’ve noticed not many Most of us shuffle along in our own strange way not giving it attention 82 As I shouted I wanted I remember to weep at the idea of having to be a grown up 105 And then she said I decided that I would never be unhappy again; that I would just expect nothing from life but just enjoy whatever I could a cool breeze clean clothes walking to school or being alone If bad things happened I knew they would pass I knew I would live a long life But I also knew I couldn’t depend on anyone or anything to be happy She looked at me again and her eyes were clear and warning It’s a choice she said 107 I had the feeling I had floated above everything the factory line of my existence failing to feel that I belonged in my life 119


  5. says:

    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis was a strange book to read Not bad just not entirely complete It is the story of two people a single mum in England and an elderly grandfather in India There is no connection between them though I did search for one and they never meet they just share the profession of making shoes That missing link was the first thing that bothered me Another was the lack of conflict and thus development Yes they have their lives and some low key very realistic problems here and there but it is nothing special nothing big and therefore rather slow There was no internal conflict and development recognizable for me Also the Indian words were necessary I get that but confusing At least add some sort of description because otherwise it is sometimes impossible to know whether a word means a name a food dish or a religious ceremony Further there were no uotation marks in the entire novel which made reading weird and hindered the flow at times In summary well written realistic and relatable characters yes Meaning connection conflict no Therefore a just above average 35 stars


  6. says:

    The story of two people running in parallel one in England the other in India Claire a single mother who works in a shoe factory one of the last ones in England Arun is a worker making chappals slippers in KolhapurThe book is a recounting of their lives their humdrum everyday life where for Claire nothing ever seems to change while for Arun has all the indignities that come with old age to faceIt might have been interesting had the writing been evocative In this case it was just tedious This is one of those few books that I struggled to read In fact it took me a while to understand where this was going when the chapter suddenly started talking of Arun That might have been because this was a review copy yet to be proof read The characters didn't work for me although Arun felt a little relatable than Claire Claire just felt self obsessed to me Over all a very insipid read one that I could wait to turn the last page of May be it was just me the wrong reader for the book but this book I wouldn't recommend to anyone


  7. says:

    25 starsClaire’s story was okay but I couldn’t get into the parts with Arun The two halves seemed very disjointed shoes wasn’t enough of a concept to bind them together


  8. says:

    Living is a gift though each of us has trials and tribulations Leading a dull unvarying life is a choiceFlexibility and willingness to experience change and growth is anotherClaire a shoe factory worker in England and Arun a chappal maker in India both have uneventful lives The story alternates between these two voices and enumerates the choices they felt should have been made to control their destiniesThe digital copy was difficult to read and contained many spacing errors The text was sometimes unclear as to which character's feelings were being revealed A disappointing read


  9. says:

    Two alternate lives Claire working in a shoe factory in England and Arun working as a chappal maker which is featured on the cover in Kohalpur He is just doing what his father and grandfather before him did Both characters lead humdrum lives and both wonder what would have happened if things had worked out differently in their respective worldsI unfortunately did not understand that the book was portraying the two lives and the workings of the mind of the characters till the very end The portrayal of daily life the humdrum and the extraordinary were both depicted in detail


  10. says:

    Anjali Joseph’s third novel tells two tenuously connected stories of two dissimilar people living thousands of miles apart Thirty something Claire lives in Norwich England with her teenage son Jason and works in a shoe factory Claire estranged from her family and long out of touch with Jason’s father makes ends meet but lives a sterile and inert emotional life She goes to work without regret because it is a kind of labour that though often tedious occupies her physically and intellectually and provides welcome distraction from her empty love life and other worries Eventually she meets a man Damian with whom she strikes up a casually romantic relationship But where love is concerned Claire is reserved and tentative unable to commit to take the next step After she and Damian meet a few times and have fun she starts putting him off and pretending to not be available But when he stops calling she is assailed by confusion and regret When her father dies and she has no choice but to reconnect with members of her family the hurts and grudges of the past come rushing back In the novel’s other thread we meet Arun in his late sixties a reformed but still susceptible alcoholic who lives in India and earns a modest wage by making sandals by hand an outmoded but exacting craft that he knows will soon be lost Arun’s story is one heavy with forebodings of mortality Arun is suffering from physical indignities that are consistent with his age and history of alcohol abuse and he resists visiting the doctor because of what he might discover Arun both loves and resents his wife whose strong and steady demeanor is the glue holding the family together Their lengthy up and down marriage which survived his drinking and an affair he had with a local woman has remained steady though his relationships with his two sons are strained As the days pass and he senses physical decline signalling that his time on earth is limited the affair and accompanying guilt are increasingly on his mind Joseph’s novel vividly written and filled with painterly detail though lacking somewhat in immediacy and narrative drive urgently evokes sensations of remorse and reproach as Claire and Arun struggle to come to terms with decisions they have made and how those decisions continue to affect the people they love The two stories split into four alternating sections are not linked in any conventional sense though each carries thematic echoes of the other The Living is a wise and beautiful book that shines a light on human nature at its most vulnerable and exposed However readers will likely finish it with as many uestions about the structure as about the fates of the two main characters


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free download ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ¶ Anjali Joseph

R he had years earlierThese lives are woven through with the ongoing discipline of work and the responsibility and tedium of family life Lives laced with the joys of old friendship the pleasure of sex and the redemptive kindness of one’s own children This is the story of the livin Two alternate lives Claire working in a shoe factory in England and Arun working as a chappal maker which is featured on the cover in Kohalpur He is just doing what his father and grandfather before him did Both characters lead humdrum lives and both wonder what would have happened if things had worked out differently in their respective worldsI unfortunately did not understand that the book was portraying the two lives and the workings of the mind of the characters till the very end The portrayal of daily life the humdrum and the extraordinary were both depicted in detail Dark Fever pleasure of sex and the redemptive kindness of one’s own children This is the story of the livin Two alternate lives Claire working in a shoe factory in England and Arun working as a chappal maker which is featured on the cover in Kohalpur He is just doing what his father and grandfather before him did Both characters lead humdrum lives and both wonder what would have happened if things had worked out differently in their respective worldsI unfortunately did not understand that the book was Believing In Faeries portraying the two lives and the workings of the mind of the characters till the very end The Buddho portrayal of daily life the humdrum and the extraordinary were both depicted in detail

characters The Living

The Living

There is a certain number of breaths each of us has to take and no amount of care or carelessness can alter thatThis is the story of two lives Claire is a young single mother working in one of England’s last surviving shoe factories her adult life formed by a teenage relationship There are books that the reader finishes and fails to see the Author's point or what the publisher saw Any of the parties could be at fault but this book was one suchThe book narrates two parallel tales Claire working in a shoe factory in Britain is a single mom of a teenager Her monochrome life is stifling and so she tries to find spark in affairs only to be disappointed or guiltyThe other track is of Arun the last of the Kolhapuri chappal makers His sons and grandsons have moved on With age related diseases guilt over past regrets and nostalgia he carries on living with nothing to look forward toThe book starts of well alright with lot of uotable uotes on ennui Sample this I thought to myself something I often thought at that time when anything went wrong whatever it was and then when it stopped at least for a bit Well that passed the time But then like a elementary kid with a stage fright the book meanders away into unintelligible ramblings Had hoped for a better book Catch Me Before I Fall point or what the Biggles Fails to Return publisher saw Any of the African Nights parties could be at fault but this book was one suchThe book narrates two Kings parallel tales Claire working in a shoe factory in Britain is a single mom of a teenager Her monochrome life is stifling and so she tries to find spark in affairs only to be disappointed or guiltyThe other track is of Arun the last of the Kolhapuri chappal makers His sons and grandsons have moved on With age related diseases guilt over Doctor Who past regrets and nostalgia he carries on living with nothing to look forward toThe book starts of well alright with lot of uotable uotes on ennui Sample this I thought to myself something I often thought at that time when anything went wrong whatever it was and then when it stopped at least for a bit Well that An Affair with My Mother passed the time But then like a elementary kid with a stage fright the book meanders away into unintelligible ramblings Had hoped for a better book

free download ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ¶ Anjali Joseph

Is she ready to move on from memory and the routine of her days? Arun an older man in a western Indian town makes hand sewn chappals at home A recovered alcoholic now a grandfather he negotiates the newfound indignities of old age while returning in thought to the extramarital affai I thought this was very uiet beautiful and impressively strange It reminded me of Knausgaard in the sense that it's about how life is lived about how nothing really happens and how that could make you feel kind of ennui ish and frantic And I liked how the two parallel novellas didn't forcefully try to impose any links between the characters and their lives apart from the fact that they're both shoemakers; you could draw your own conclusions about how they are connected Some people walk uite evenly but not many I’ve noticed not many Most of us shuffle along in our own strange way not giving it attention 82 As I shouted I wanted I remember to weep at the idea of having to be a grown up 105 And then she said I decided that I would never be unhappy again; that I would just expect nothing from life but just enjoy whatever I could a cool breeze clean clothes walking to school or being alone If bad things happened I knew they would pass I knew I would live a long life But I also knew I couldn’t depend on anyone or anything to be happy She looked at me again and her eyes were clear and warning It’s a choice she said 107 I had the feeling I had floated above everything the factory line of my existence failing to feel that I belonged in my life 119