Shashi Tharoor is once again at his provocative best. In the title essay, we learn the steep price paid by some Iraqis just to obtain a book; what does it mean. However, what emerges clearly from reading Bookless In Baghdad is Tharoor’s acute literary bent of mind. One is aware that he has constantly. Bookless in Baghdad: On Writing and Writers. Shashi Tharoor, Author. Arcade $25 (p) ISBN

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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. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Bookless in Baghdad by Shashi Tharoor. Reflections on Writing and Writers by Shashi Tharoor. Supermely personal, yet always probing and analytical, Shashi Tharoor, the acclaimed baghddad 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.

Hardcoverpages. Published July 11th by Arcade Publishing first published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Bookless in Baghdadplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. Jan 29, Vismay rated it liked it. To tell you the truth, regardless of your impressive stint at the U. The booklsss 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.

Bookless in Baghdad

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 counthoping 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. Bagudad I actually believed was that you might have written some naghdad, scholarly prose on GDP or quality of life booklezs you were from U.

But Bahhdad 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 baghdas things literary. So as a parting note Bookess would like to tell baghdxd, 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 Oct 03, Siddharth rated it liked it. A four-point guide to enjoying Bookless in Baghdad: These are essentially endorsements for his own books. Worse, they are pompous, self-indulgent, and annoyingly serious in tone. As a writer, I had always believed that the way I tell a story is as important to me as the story itself.

From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond should be immediately skipped for the next. 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: He offers a measured, if trenchant, critique of R. 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: This section of the book, titled Reconsiderationsmakes 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.

Bookless in Baghdad – Wikipedia

A certain critic — for such men, I regret to say, do exist — made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained ‘all the old Wodehouse characters under different names. 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 baghdae 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 boikless, 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!


Oct 20, Raghu rated it it was amazing. But I am almost certain that he never visited Iraq in that capacity.

I just bought the book bagudad because it is booklwss Shashi Tharoor book and so it has got to be good, witty and insightful. It is a delightful collection of essays on subjects ranging from literature, criticism, writers, socio-political commentary, his own books and much else.

As I expected, they are analytical, at times provocative, at times deeply personal and certainly with a liberal sprinkling of humour and sarcasm.

It is an enjoyable read for the prose as well as the content. The book is organized in five sections. I found in him a kindred soul here as it brought me happy memories of my high school days when I and my friends used to feverishly devour PGW books one after bxghdad. The essays on Pushkin and Pablo Neruda are touching and heartfelt.

He remarks ruefully that India has translations of Goethe, Garcia-Marquez and Kundera but no publisher has bothered to bring Pushkin to us in English or another Indian language. That is not all. He says further that Narayan used words as if unconscious of their nuances: Kambar postulates that the Indian cultural sensibility is marked by its non-linear notion of time.

Bookless in Baghdad: On Writing and Writers

Time is not a controlled sequence of events in our minds, but an amalgamations of all events, past to present. It is a matter of pride, says Kambar, that an entire country has collectively created an epic over a period of thousands of years. baghdac

I found this a new and revolutionary perspective to ponder about. Apr 21, Sree rated it it was amazing. There are books, and books about books. Bookless in Baghdad is a collection of Tharoor’s previously published articles about his own books and the books that made him. What ‘Bookless in Baghdad’ does beyond being a collection of articles is, it provides a better view of Tharoor’s literary canvas.

In a few articles in Part one and Part three Tharoor reviews the reviews about his books. I can imagine Tharoor knocking the pinhead-reviewer in exasperation and clarifying: After all, the epic has, throughout the ages, been the object of adaptation, interpolation, reinterpretation and expurgation by a number of retellers, each seeking to reflect what he saw as relevant to his time P. There is a thin line between being self adulatory and clarifying one’s work for the audience and Tharoor succeeds in pitching his books to the readers.

Tharoor’s personal favourites Wodehouse and Rushdie receive a graceful tribute in the pages. I feel both authors have influenced Tharoor’s work: Tharoor is a past master of the Wodehousian wit.

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