Audio Book Review: Interpreter Of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Narrated by Matilda Novak

Book: Interpreter Of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Narrated by Matilda Novak

Published January 2017 by HighBridge|Run Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: None

Genre: Adult Fiction

Navigating between the Indian traditions they’ve inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri’s elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of cultures and generations. In “A Temporary Matter,” published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth, while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession.

Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant.

I liked Interpreter Of Maladies!  It was an interesting read, and I’m glad I listened to it.

So, Interpreter Of Maladies is several short stories.  Unfortunately, some ended up being background noise that I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to, but I did like the ones that weren’t background noise!  I really liked the last story, and how important the lady was to the boarder.  She seemed like quite the old lady, with a really long life.  It was nice to see how she was remembered, and the impression she made on him.  I really wish I remembered names of the characters, but sadly, I don’t.

There was a common thread of how the characters adapted to life in the U.S.  They all settled around Boston, and had a range of experiences- from missing India, to settling in a new country, to keeping secrets, and making new connections.  I can’t help but wonder if they ever crossed paths and never knew it.  It’s possible they did, and I either missed it or it was never mentioned in the stories.  Either way, they also had their own lives and worries, and each story was a glimpse into the lives of professors and doctors.

It’s definitely worth reading!  I know I missed parts of this book, and maybe audio wasn’t the best choice, but maybe one day, I’ll revisit it in print for a different kind of reading experience.

Matilda Novak did a good job narrating.  There was something very soothing about her voice, and maybe that’s why I had a hard time focusing at times.  O maybe I just picked the wrong book to listen to this weekend.  Either way, it was nice listening to her.

3 stars.  I liked it, and the narrator was really good!  But I had a hard time paying attention to some of the stories, so I’m a little fuzzy on what happened to some of them.

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