Vikram Chandra, 1997
the thirteenth book in the visitor recommendation series;
suggested by Edward Gilbert
This is a collection of five stories. The first is about an aged military man whose house is haunted by the ghost of his brother who died in childhood. The second is about a behind-the-scenes power struggle between two society women. The third is some sort of murder mystery, but I gave up before getting too far into it. I read a bit over a hundred pages of this book overall. I don't have any specific criticisms; I just found it dull. Really, I just bounced right off it. Didn't find the language interesting, didn't find the characters interesting, didn't find the plots interesting. I looked at a few positive reviews to see whether they could offer some perspective I might find interesting, but they mostly just said, "Oh! It's all so elegant!" and left it at that. One hailed the book as a splendid accompaniment to a chai masala, as if it were a piece of New Age music in convenient printed form. If so, it probably could have benefited from the literary equivalent of a sick drop.