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Bombay Ice: A Novel af Leslie Forbes
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Bombay Ice: A Novel (original 1998; udgave 1998)

af Leslie Forbes (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
241588,234 (2.81)1 / 6
A dazzling novel of murder and monsoons, of poison and seduction, of long-buried secrets and lethal betrayals. Rosalind Benegal is a BBC correspondent who has spent years distancing herself from surreal memories of a childhood spent in India. But lately her long-lost sister, Miranda, has taken to sending her cryptic postcards all the way from Bombay. In swirling script, Miranda claims she's being followed by a eunuch; she alludes to her childhood fear of water; she hints that her husband may have murdered his first wife. Miranda's dizzying missives compel Rosalind to do what she would never do on her own-return to the land of her birth, to the country that still haunts her after twenty years abroad. Part literary thriller, part eloquent meditation on everything from the secret art of alchemy to the hidden lives of gangsters, artists, con men, prostitutes, and serial killers, Bombay Ice is rich with the heady atmosphere of India. It is an extraordinarily intelligent debut that captures the very essence of an exotic and fabled land.… (mere)
Medlem:eligerman
Titel:Bombay Ice: A Novel
Forfattere:Leslie Forbes (Forfatter)
Info:Farrar Straus & Giroux (1998), Edition: First Edition
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Bombay Ice af Leslie Forbes (1998)

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I thought I might like this better than I did. I have read several books based in India and usually find it interesting to read about the culture and the place. It seemed that a thriller based here would be especially fun to read.

But for me it wasn't. What other reviewers call a "literary thriller" didn't strike me that way, in spite of the numerous literary references throughout. The protagonist, Rosalind Benegal, simply irritated me all the way through, and her interactions with others confused me. But first a bit about the story:

Rosalind travels to India as a freelance correspondent for the BBC. She tells customs officials that she is there to report on the monsoon, which is due soon. She is really there to suss out more from her sister Miranda, who has sent odd short notes to her, suggesting all is not well. Before she is able to get with Miranda, however, she is caught up in a murder.

She then follows all kinds of paths, all the time with the suspicion that her brother-in-law, her sister's husband, is at the heart of everything she finds that's evil. Throughout the novel she pursues him, blatantly, rudely, and often, to me, unfathomably. That is, she meets people, does strange things, has strange things done to her, and then goes on to the next. All the while spouting insults that one would think would get her an invitation to leave. That happens sometimes but often not. I did not find it strange that she was found by many to be "crazy".

I gather some people find this kind of gate-crashing rudeness endearing. To me it was the last way to get results. Yet of course in some way she does manage to find things out. Why people would talk to her I have no idea.

I had difficulty sorting people out. Maybe I should have started the book with a chart where I could write names and associations so I could follow along better. Seems like that should not have been necessary. I'll admit that I don't always focus all my attention as well as I could so I would not be surprised to find that I am at least partly at fault here.

As for the literary references. They didn't do much for me. Maybe if I had read more of the original sources they would have. Maybe this just wasn't the book for me, but is the book for some others. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Mixed up mystery of death in India — very clear picture of India with all her castes + intrigue.

Rosalind Benegal is a BBC correspondent who has spent years distancing herself from surreal memories of a childhood spent in India. But lately, her long-lost sister, Miranda, has taken to sending Rosalind cryptic postcards all the way from Bombay. In swirling script, Miranda claims she's being followed by a eunuch. She alludes to her childhood fear of water. She hints that her husband may have murdered his first wife. Miranda's dizzying missives compel Rosalind to do what she would never do on her own...return to the land of her birth, to the country that still haunts her after twenty years abroad.
Flere brugere har rapporteret denne anmeldelse som misbrug af betingelserne for brug. Det er derfor fjernet (vis).
  christinejoseph | Jul 20, 2016 |
394 rambling pages that I read in great hope that it would 1. get better 2. have a point 3. at least have a good ending. Unfortunately, the ending was just as rambling, it didn't make it's point, and it didn't get better. ( )
  veracruzlynn | Dec 10, 2012 |
I got this through a virtual bookbox, intrigued by the blurb.

This is not your typical mystery. Roz heads to India after receiving a distressing letter from her estranged sister. It seems that Miranda's new husband, Prosper, is mixed up in the death of his first wife, along with a hijra (eunuchs dressed as women). She arrives in Bombay with her BBC presscard, something which gives her almost unquestioned access.

Roz is a prickly woman, caught between two worlds, connected to India through her parents, and Scotland through her mother, she now lives in London, not quite fitting in anywhere. There is a lot of tension between her and her younger half-sister, who is legitimate, not a product of a long-running and destructive affair as she is herself. Roz runs in, like a bull in a china shop, determined to uncover the connections between the dead hijras, Prosper's first wife, even when it puts people, including herself, in danger.

Roz has invaluable help from her highly educated taxi driver, one who likes to quote literature and saves her neck more than once. She has connections from the world of broadcasting, which help her get closer to Prosper's own filmset. India itself is as much of a character as Roz, with the storm clouds collecting, everyone waiting for the monsoon rains to finally fall. While they bring destruction, washing away the informal settlements, they also bring renewal.

The tension in the first half of the novel starts to lose its bite. The author brings in many sub-threads, which in coming together, actually drag the narrative down. This is not to say that Forbes is a bad writer, rather that she has tried to throw to many ingredients into the pot, such as Bollywood films, mental illness, art and the forgery of works of art, disfunctional families and the weather. Taken as a whole, the reader becomes distracted.

I would still recommend Bombay Ice for a read, the mystery in itself is well-constructed. ( )
  soffitta1 | May 6, 2011 |
Saw this book well reviewed on some list or other and picked it up recently in a second-hand shop. It was a disappointment and one that I gave up on after 100 pages. The story concerns Rosalind Bengal (nee Benegal), a BBC journalist who left India as a young child with an Indian father and a Scottish mother, but who has a half-sister, full Indian as they share the same father, but the first wife was Indian. The sister has married a prominent movie director/producer whom many suspect of having murdered his first wife (or having her murdered), and the sister writes some disconcerting letters that lead Rosalind to travel to India (Bombay) to try to help out. She very quickly, a little too quickly in fact, falls in with a cast of characters, including a Shakespeare-quoting taxi driver, who help her start to winkle out all sorts of facts concerning recent murders of transvestites, called hijra, which someone is keen to cover up, and all sorts of leads/suppositions seem to keep circling back to the husband of the sister. The plot is a little overdone: complicated yet deceptively simple for the heroine to fall into it with all sorts of convenient connections. But what disappointed more, was the authorial lecturing on all sorts of stuff: the history of the Mongols and the English in India, metallurgy, the uses of various poisons, and the history of weather forecasting, tied up with the imminence of the monsoon with all of its physical and mystical connections. I know that this is now a style in many books, and it can work if the author sticks to one thing that is directly germane to the story, e.g. the history of old books in An Instance of the Fingerpost. However, in this case the author throws too many in that are not directly relevant to the story-line; they become tiresome and act more as fillers than key elements to the story.
(Nov/00)
1 stem John | Dec 1, 2005 |
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A dazzling novel of murder and monsoons, of poison and seduction, of long-buried secrets and lethal betrayals. Rosalind Benegal is a BBC correspondent who has spent years distancing herself from surreal memories of a childhood spent in India. But lately her long-lost sister, Miranda, has taken to sending her cryptic postcards all the way from Bombay. In swirling script, Miranda claims she's being followed by a eunuch; she alludes to her childhood fear of water; she hints that her husband may have murdered his first wife. Miranda's dizzying missives compel Rosalind to do what she would never do on her own-return to the land of her birth, to the country that still haunts her after twenty years abroad. Part literary thriller, part eloquent meditation on everything from the secret art of alchemy to the hidden lives of gangsters, artists, con men, prostitutes, and serial killers, Bombay Ice is rich with the heady atmosphere of India. It is an extraordinarily intelligent debut that captures the very essence of an exotic and fabled land.

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