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September 20, 2019


For various reasons, many readers do not leave public comments / reviews on Amazon, social media, or elsewhere. But many of them wrote to me directly. Among them were those who identified a lot with Ved. Some saw large similarities between his parents and theirs. Below are some excerpts from what they told me, each from a different reader (names withheld for privacy; I might add more comments over time).

Of course, many readers, incl. some family and friends, must've overwhelmingly disliked the book too. Well, they haven't reached out yet. :)

  1. “… your book has given me some powerful things to think about and I am now intentionally slowing my completion of same for fear that it will be over soon.”
  2. “The conversations of your protagonist Ved were very cathartic. I liked the book, and I am glad you wrote it. It provided me with some closure to my life.”
  3. “Just finished your book now. Read it all on my phone actually (that's a first for me!). It was a surreal read and quite disturbing at times, I identified a lot with Ved and lost myself in many similar soliloquies, haha.”
  4. “i [really] identified with the protagonist "vade" ... to me at least, the book is more than a little evocative of kundera's "unbearable lightness". that book came to me just when i needed it and imparted to me much wisdom that was useful to get me through some shit ... your book however was a mirror to a lot of deliberations and tribulations i have already gone through ... but i am certain, [it] will get to some readers at the right time, and have a not insignificant impact on their thoughts and lives. thank you for writing such a beautiful and thoughtful work.”
  5. “I read it from cover to cover pretty fast (the book is fast-paced). The story should be very interesting to both the NRI and the Indian (who is very curious about the NRI). I do know that I keep trying to figure my NRI sisters and your book helped.”
  6. “I enjoyed reading it very much. Well done! ... Found Ved's slightly self deprecating dealing with his sexuality a very human touch. As was his interaction with his parents.”
  7. “A gripping novel of ideas is a difficult thing to pull off. You have done it with some style, Namit. Bravo!”
  8. “Ved character seems very familiar to me[, it] also took me down memory lane about the life in SFO.”
  9. “I enjoyed it a lot. I loved the simple and easygoing prose, the dialogues, and the reflective tone that sketches Ved's inner life and his thoughts so intricately.”
  10. “I'm still trying to resolve my views of your book which are fairly blurry at this point. Not sure what it is about the book that is not letting me give you 5 stars.”
  11. “I found myself sucked into the conversations as if I they were real, fascinating people ... It also reminded me of why it's a miracle that I'm married.”
  12. “My wife read it and she said that you were too hard on the main character, that you should’ve treated him more gently.”
  13. “It is a tough book, and I have been thinking about it a lot. You capture a slice of life that hasn’t been written about: the innards of Silicon Valley, the techie South Asian males of the diaspora that are so true to my/our experience. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement.”
  14. “I took advantage of this period of isolation and inactivity to finish reading A California Story. Could not put it down, it is so well written.”
  15. “Really enjoyed it! I loved all the multiple layers of immigrant experience (of our generation) that you weaved in there.”
  16. “It's a good novel and you should be proud of it.”

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Books by Namit Arora

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