Read The Cripple and His Talismans by Anosh Irani Online


Prepare to enter a world where the norms of human behavior—even the rules governing time and gravity—are set on their heads. This dark and wry fable begins with the narrator waking up and discovering he is missing an arm. He has no idea how he lost it or how to find it—but as he searches the chaotic, often surreal streets of Bombay, he meets an absurd and marvelous cast ofPrepare to enter a world where the norms of human behavior—even the rules governing time and gravity—are set on their heads. This dark and wry fable begins with the narrator waking up and discovering he is missing an arm. He has no idea how he lost it or how to find it—but as he searches the chaotic, often surreal streets of Bombay, he meets an absurd and marvelous cast of characters who offer him clues: a woman selling rainbows, a beggar living under an egg cart, a coffin maker who builds finger-sized caskets, a giant who lives underwater, a homeless boy riding the rails. They all lead him to Baba Rakhu, master of the underworld, who will reveal the story of his lost arm—for a price. Funny and wise, violent and tender, The Cripple and His Talismans is an impressive debut. A bestseller in Canada, it has been compared to the works of Samuel Beckett, Lewis Carroll, and Salman Rushdie....

Title : The Cripple and His Talismans
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781565124561
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Cripple and His Talismans Reviews

  • Vivek Tejuja
    2018-11-21 03:42

    “The Cripple and his Talismans” by Anosh Irani is a unique book. Of course I have read of books that have magic realism as the central theme and all of that, yet somehow this book seemed interesting and different from what I had read in the past. There was this urgency in the book that made me want to know what happens next and at the same time, a sense of stability that allowed me close the book after a couple of chapters and mull over what I had just read. It is almost confusingly therapeutic and disturbing when a book does that to you.I had first heard of Anosh Irani when I encountered him in one of his sessions at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2013. Before that I am surprised that I hadn’t heard much about him. Maybe I was too busy exploring other writers. However, once I got to know about The Cripple and his Talismans, I had to read it. It seemed too intriguing and inviting. At the same time, it was first published in 2004 and only published in India now, in 2013 by Harper Collins. So that is in brief about what dragged me to reading this book.“The Cripple and his Talismans” is like the title suggests, about a cripple. A man in search of his lost arm. He wakes up one day and his arm is missing. Along the way on his so-called conquest to find his arm, he meets a variety of people – a woman who sells rainbows to a coffin maker to a giant, to a homeless boy riding the trains, which all lead him to one person – an underworld don at that, and the only one who can tell him about the clues along the way and explain the dilemma he is in.All the action takes place in Bombay and that to me was the crux of the story. The city, its smells, the places make for the crux of the tale. To a very large extent, while reading the book, I was wondering about how Anosh now lives in Canada and all his books are set in the city he was born and grew up. To me that says a lot about the writer. More so, this being Anosh’s first book, it is quite experimental and adventurous for a first book and the same time, it is very-well written.The journey of the man in search of his missing arm is often hilarious, sad, and at the same time human and absurd. Anosh mentioned about this book that it came to him in a dream, almost a vision, where he saw a basement, and arms hanging from the ceiling and he knew that he had to write this book and he did.“The Cripple and his Talismans” is not an easy read. It demands a lot from the reader. The writing is simple and yet the situations aren’t. The characters jump off from every page and take the reader unaware. The writing radiates, teeming with the city’s boisterousness and energy and its laziness sometimes on a Sunday afternoon. To read something like “The Cripple and his Talismans” and not get affected by it, by its sheer magnitude, insanity, and almost a shock-like quality is not a possible feat.

  • KumarAnshul
    2018-12-10 11:48

    The narrator has lost his arm (and he cannot recall how) and he is on a journey to find it. He starts the journey with a meeting with a man called the "In-charge" who gives him a clue and now it is upto him to unravel the mystery, look for the subsequent clues to retrieve his arm. Sounds simple? It isn't!!Along the way, he meets many people who are as weird and unique as him. A lady who sells rainbows, another lady who lights a thousand lamps, an underwater giant who is born out of a wedlock between a peacock and a river, a coffin-maker, a lonely boy in a train, a "goonda" and all of them lead him to a single man- The man who amputates the ones who don't deserve limbs and then sells those limbs to others who are in a need of them!"The Cripple and his Talisman" is dark, weird, unexpected, magical and adventurous. Some of the situations depicted might not get down well with the reader, especially the ones where the narrator goes into the flashback and describes his school life's incidents. Also, the book is sure to take you unaware because you might find it completely random and disconnected at various points. If you like your fiction to have a concrete, coherent plot, then this book is definitely not for you. But if you believe in the genre of "Magical Realism" and you can let yourself go while reading a book and love to expect the 'unexpected', then you will find this book a welcome and engrossing read. Not to forget, the story is set up in Mumbai and the author doesn't miss to mention various subtleties that echo the "Spirit of Mumbai' every now and then. This books again was a Birthday gift and I haven't even heard of Anosh Irani before I got my hands on this beautiful and colorful hardcover. Later I got to know that his other works too have won a lot of accolades. I must appreciate the author for this impressive, honest and risky debut and I look forward to read his other works soon. Find other interesting reviews on our blog "The BookTrack" here- join our facebook group for Freak Deals on books, recommendations, discussions and connect to readers from all across the world-

  • Soumyabrata Gupta
    2018-12-02 09:23

    Trudging through the widowed citySoumyabrata GuptaTaking the readers into the labyrinthine by-lanes of Bombay, Anosh Irani’s new novel The Cripple and His Talismans is a tangled tale of self realisation that the young protagonist undergoes when he wakes up in a hospital bed, sans an arm. Often dark, and mostly magical, Irani’s novel creates a world where black cockroaches are more evil to brown cockroaches, lepers fight for the right to die (biting off one body part at a time), beggars have a parliamentary congregation in the dead of night, blind men are realists and hacked off limbs hang in a shady room, up for grabs to the highest bidder.Perhaps not surprisingly enough, the protagonist remains unnamed. He is a privileged boy with a shady past, whose present circumstances (the loss of an arm to be specific), has forced him to look deeper into the meaning of his own existence as he urgently searches for the limb that he has somehow lost. And with his search Irani pulls the reader deeper and deeper into the vortex of an unnatural world with black magic, hens with evil eyes, metaphorical lamps, giant, coffin makers and Baba Rakhu. There is something oddly engaging about Irani’s style of writing. Sparse and yet poetic in the manner with which the lucid composition ties one sentence to another, a chapter to the next and characters with each other, The Cripple and his Talismans is a surreal tale set within the folds of a breathing entity called Bombay. There are times when Irani’s prose seems not to make any sense at all, and yet they are beautifully engaging. The sparsely written chapters are charming enough for the reader to live through them while he might forget what the original story stood for. Take for instance his words while he describes the story of the peacock, the river Baya and the son born out of hate, Gardulla. Who are they? Are they mythological heroes that the author has borrowed from the pages of Wharton? Or are they simply figments of the author’s imagination? And while these answers remain hanging in thin air, like freshly spun cobwebs blowing in the wind, the author plunges yet deeper into the life of the protagonist, bringing out meanings where apparently none exist. Thus Gardulla becomes the fortune-telling giant who can guide the one-armed-hero towards his golden fleece, a sleeping man who (as he runs to meet his wife) can guide him to the giant and running drain water that becomes Baya, the epitome of love and hate. As for the reader, he slowly turns into the silent follower, stealthy at times, frantic at other, perhaps a private eye, who runs after the protagonist, never getting to see his face, always a step behind him how hard he might try, while he strives hard to find the answers before the protagonist can. Irani’s prose is both imaginative and strikingly visual in their lucidity and style.Perhaps what best works for the prose in The Cripple…. is the ambiguity and conflict that pervades the general storyline throughout the pages of the manuscript. Here is a man, sans an arm, who was once rich, successful, happy and a shameless flirt (I have heard each wave come in to the shore and call their names in alphabetical order: Aarti, Damini, Gauri…Roxanne, Tarana, Zeenat. The tips of my fingers knew their hips better than the silk that once covered them). Left a cripple, he fights hard to exist between accepting his present condition of a degraded existence and marveling at the resilience shown by those he once considered less privileged as he is pulled into the world of eunuchs, beggars and magical men with strange agendas.It is strange; when the author does decide to name his protagonist he does so by completely changing the milieu. Thus suddenly our modern-day one-armed-protagonist becomes Juka, the royal cook to Emperor Akbar as he drowns himself in hookah with a cider taste engulfing the layers in his mouth. Taking the story back by a few hundred years, Irani introduces Juka and Horasi whose rivalry in the court of Emperor Akbar has transcended centuries into the modern world. The revelations (or dreams) that are realised through the smokes of the apple-flavoured hookah, are both mysterious and revealing at the same time. While Horasi the singing eunuch serves penance for cutting our protagonist’s arm in another life, our hero moves one step closer towards realising his limb and life.How the author moves towards the denouement makes for a startling read in this tale of lost and found, and while the protagonist’s search ends, the boy (perhaps God, spirit, the essence of life?) made out of pure light who began the story of Bombay (There is no other like it) comes and takes him away from the city that according to the author is forever a widow, ‘mourning a loss.’(as appearing in The Bengal Post newspaper on March 10, 2013)

  • Rini
    2018-11-29 06:23

    2.5/5The absurdity of logic in this book was disquieting. I didn't get it.

  • Lois
    2018-11-29 03:36

    I't actually awesome, it's just bitin. That's why. I want it to be longer.This book is a bit weird but at the same time beautiful.It contains a lot of truths in it's pages.

  • Priya
    2018-12-12 03:32

    I can't answer the question exactly. But my instinct says this deserves a 5-star rating. Irani's writing here is so...personal. In that, while reading I was deeply fascinated by the resemblance to my own writing. That blend of whimsy with philosophy. At once Waiting for Godot and also Alice in Wonderland. Mirthful and yet melancholic. I stormed the library to ransack the shelves for more Irani only to find, sadly, that this was the only book there. Will be in search for the rest of his reads.

  • Marsha
    2018-12-10 09:46

    This is a weird, convoluted trip of a book, much like “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland” would be if she went wandering in mystical Bombay instead of Wonderland. As much as there is a storyline, this is it: the protagonist wakes up missing an arm. From then on, his search for it leads him to strange characters and perilous situations. Bloodshed, death, dismemberment and murder litter his path as he travels from present to past and back again.The prose is peppered with Indian words and phrases, many given without explanation. The prose can seem straightforward enough until it takes a sharp turn into the lyrical and bizarre. Casual conversations are fraught with danger or whimsy. You’re not quite certain what the point of it all; the protagonist doesn’t even begin searching for his missing arm until two months after it goes missing. So the arm is a metaphor for something else. Forgiveness? Atonement? Clear vision? Inner realization? The story gives plenty of clues but the denouement (what there is of it) is merely a journey to the beginning and left me more frustrated than enlightened.

  • Tas
    2018-11-15 11:26

    I *pause* liked *pause* itbut... I didn't really want to like it.Sounds absurd?That would be my one word review of the story. Set in the slums of Bombay where a rich depressed cripple lives among the poor, it tells a quasi magical tale of a man in search of his lost left arm. To use more words, I would have to describe the story as eccentric, funny, horrific, poignant and even grotesque at some points.For such a young author and his first book too, Irani writes well. Not brilliant, but well enough that I would be curious about his next book. Some passages were memorable.."Quiet. Don't overdo it. Overdoing things is the number one problem in our country. In our movies also." Irani is just as guilty to going overboard with his manic plot.Pick it up at your own risk and be prepared for the unexpected.

  • Knitography
    2018-11-28 03:49

    Before I had even finished reading this book, Anosh Irani had become one of my new favourite authors. His writing style is immaculate; there is not a single wasted word in the book, yet the language is still rich and evocative. This is the story of a man's search for his missing arm; it's a dark tale, lightened by morbid humour. We join the main character on a journey through the streets of Bombay, meeting a cast of strange and unique characters along the way. The journey itself is worth the time, but the ending is very satisfying. If you like your stories to stick to concrete, plausible reality then this book is probably not for you. If, however, you're a fan of dark humour and magic realism, this may be right up your alley.

  • Laura
    2018-11-24 08:47

    “When in doubt, suspend all logic. Slit common sense by the throat. Travel to the nearest newsstand and ask for elephants. Walk to the bakery and show complete disbelief when they inform you they do not stock piranha.”“I do not know if it is with courage or with a lack of spine that I confess my love of Hindi movies. It is like loving a brother everybody hates. Even though you know your brother has faults, he is still your brother. When an outside person says bad things about him, you will kill that person. You are allowed to complain because he is yours. You can tell him that he is sad and good for nothing, but let anyone else say that and you will drink their khoon straight from the heart.”

  • Malobee Silvertongue
    2018-12-13 03:23

    I must confess that for the first half of this book I didn't feel like I connected with it. It is surreal. It is strange. It doesn't seem to go in any direction. I then realized that this is a fable told in a spiral. You walk along an obscured, but nevertheless designated, path and for a while nothing seems to connect or go anywhere But at some point you will reach the center. When you look all around from that point, you realize that everything led to that one spot. The path still doesn't make any sense, but that spot makes the most sense in the whole world.

  • Sukanto
    2018-11-20 10:47

    What does fantasy stand for? Is magic real? Or is it just your mind amusing you when you let your imagination run a few miles? These are the questions which come to my mind when I read books as delightful as these. This is a sort of hilarity that mindless and mindful in equal parts. In short, well done, Mr Irani!

  • Glenna Barlow
    2018-11-18 03:23

    in a word.. strange. i think it was a little too 'magic realist' for my liking. still, it was an interesting (if odd) story of redemption punctuated by some very typical bombay scenes. so not a total loss.

  • Melissa
    2018-12-10 03:31

    Another book club book that we didn't get to discuss because no one showed up =( It had good messages in it, but the events of the novel were a little too strange for me. Basically, the plot centres around a man in mythical Bombay who is searching for his lost arm.

  • Karin Lippert
    2018-12-11 04:37

    strange little book, funny insight...not quite getting it yet...skipping around a bit. Anosh Irani has written a new book which has received great reviews...magic realism of this one will take some reading, less skimming...

  • Zeo
    2018-11-26 07:37

    The finger could grow into an arm. I have to fight hard not to believe this. Loss of any kind is horrible. Not because it takes away, but because it makes you believe—in newspapers, in tomatoes, in empty whiskey bottles.

  • Mallee Stanley
    2018-12-10 09:24

    Travelling on this strange journey to remember and pay for past sins left me a little off balance. It was difficult to feel empathy after learning the cripple's mean deeds yet at the same time, the method of repentance was unnerving.

  • Hanna
    2018-11-23 07:24

    It was like reading The Alchemist which I loved, but I just didn't get this one.

  • Lauren
    2018-12-13 11:27

    it's maigical, as in it's about magic...kind of...

  • Lindsay Goto
    2018-11-26 08:33

    Incredibly strange and sometimes disturbing, but fascinating nonetheless. It's a hard book to put down.

  • Desiree
    2018-11-19 03:38

    Very good, surreal read.

  • Vanessa
    2018-11-23 04:37

    I loved this book! Almost an Alice In Wonderland, in its own right. Anosh Irani has quickly become one of my favourite authors thanks to this book.