A Bad Character: A Novel

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Actually, perhaps we know what that means. This dark skin of his is also imbued with an animal-like quality and is supposed to indicate the madness that exists in him, his Shiva-the-destroyer side. This is a recurring theme: servants have a certain look, the uneducated have a certain look, killers have a certain racialised look, and Idha is constantly taking note of how people behave differently from what their image represents to her without seeming to actually learn anything from these observations.

One is not quite sure. As part of the pampered elite, Idha and her lover are cultural tourists in their own city.


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But there is also the danger of presenting all women who write about specifically feminine experiences as above criticism, as though simply being a woman means that they must be spared critical scrutiny or that all such scrutiny has its roots in misogyny. This is dangerous in its own way, conveying the idea that women are eternal victims who cannot be responsible for what they produce, and erasing differences between women that arise out of caste, class, and race.

Any criticism on the grounds of class or race or caste is often drowned out by accusations of misogyny.

Character description examples: 7 lessons from famous books

I find it hard to imagine that this book would have come into existence in this way if the man in question, the man who sets things in motion, was fair and lovely. The spectre that haunts A Bad Character is the spectre of darkness. Which women? View 1 comment. Jan 05, Chaitra rated it liked it Shelves: contemporary-fiction , indian-literature , coming-of-age.

It started off wonderfully, much to my surprise. I'm not much of a fan, when it comes to coming of age in a haze of drugs and sex. Ill advised, and sure to end badly. For a person who's always had a head obsessively over her shoulders, this type of protagonist is especially hard to relate to. But, this novel was an exception. I believed this young college girl when she said that she felt the lure of something untamed, something animal. The writing was hypnotic, and painted a wonderful, if bleak It started off wonderfully, much to my surprise.

The writing was hypnotic, and painted a wonderful, if bleak and dirty, picture of turn of millennium New Delhi. Or, it was, until I took my first break about 70 pages into the book.

I was excited to pick it back up, but it seemed to me that once the rhythm was broken, it was hard to get back into it. I was still invested in it to follow Idha on her path to self-destruction, but I could no longer quite care for her relationship with the man. This probably has something to do with my prudish hangups, because at 70 pages, it was only just starting to become a sex and drug odyssey. Regardless of the lack of power the subject packs for me, I still liked the writing. The portrait of the country is one of the better ones I've encountered in a while, something that touches on contemporary India, without it boiling down to an immigrant story.

If Deepti Kapoor wrote about something else, I would love to read it.

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Character Development: How to Create Strong Characters in Your Novel

Actually, I'll read a second novel by her, regardless of the subject. I wouldn't have heard about this author or thought of reading this book if I hadn't attended the Jaipur litfest and heard her speak about it during a couple of events. To me the novel was more related to 'writing the city' in particular 'Delhi' than about a love story.

The relationship between the two characters didn't come across as love but as some kind of sick, escapist obsession between a twenty-year old dying to escape her life and a twenty-eight year old who doesn't know what to do with hi I wouldn't have heard about this author or thought of reading this book if I hadn't attended the Jaipur litfest and heard her speak about it during a couple of events. The relationship between the two characters didn't come across as love but as some kind of sick, escapist obsession between a twenty-year old dying to escape her life and a twenty-eight year old who doesn't know what to do with himself and who, in my opinion, has self-destructive notions bordering on nihilism.

The description of Delhi is so black and bleak even when it tries to uplift itself that the relationship between the characters falls into the descriptive black hole that the city is portrayed as. What I did like about it is that it doesn't rely too heavily on the cliches that seem to categorise Indian writing in the last few years.

Having lived in Delhi for a year I could related to some of the descriptions. It's a short novel and the language isn't heavy or emotionally demanding so it was easy enough to read in a couple of days. As a first novel, its a great attempt and I would easily pick up the author's next book out of curiosity. I read the book last night. Came back from dinner and finished it in one sitting, it is hard to put down. Very gripping, flows very well and breaks the boundaries of traditional moral high-ground.

Its about love and sex, poverty and wealth, the tiredness of living in a Delhi that belongs to men, its about passion, drugs, lies and dreams of a young free woman.


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I liked the dramatized characters, the extremism, the madness, the ease with which I read the book last night. I liked the dramatized characters, the extremism, the madness, the ease with which the author describe the pain, dirt, web of dark Delhi that many may not believe exists. Definitely worth reading. Nov 02, Shannon rated it liked it Shelves: When she meets an older, mysterious man in a cafe, he pulls her into a life and an affair she never expected.

More at rivercityreading. Lots of this book is gorgeous! What a lovely conceit - to show our heroine round Delhi, with the reader in tow. What sensuous writing! I thought I might get fed up of all the adjectives and evokings, but I didn't. And Delhi is now a lot more real to me than after any of the other Delhi-books I have read. As the book drifted on, I did start to wonder where the author was going to go with it.

And I wasn't at all as pleasured by the drug stuff, or by the inconclusive ending as by the initial parts.


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I am probably in the minority when I say this, but I was underwhelmed by this book. It begins well - it is gripping, and Kapoor's unique narrative style has all your attention, but towards the middle, it meanders - a lot - and by the time you reach the end, you just want the book to get over. Having said that, Deepti Kapoor is definitely a writer to watch out for, and I am looking forward to read more of her books!

2. Flesh out character descriptions from multiple characters’ viewpoints

Jan 06, Nick rated it liked it. A romantic and sentimental ode to Old Delhi and its dust, heat, sweat, violence, faith, and passion--above all the intensity American readers associate with India.

The Nature of Character

It becomes an allegory for the modernization of India via the obsessive control of the narrator's lover, a Westernized man with a God complex, obsessed with the "future", which for New Delhi looks an awful lot like a shopping mall. Kapoor uses sex as her illustration of the power struggle, sometimes a little crassly if you ask me. Haunting and surprisingly real. Gave me shivers.

How to Write Scary & Effective Antagonists

The writing is lyrical but raw, leaving no room for doubt. Somewhat disappointing end, but it was to be expected. Will be reading more by this author. Jun 11, Isha rated it really liked it Shelves: books-i-own. Narrated in vignettes, altering fluidly between the past and the present, the novel poignantly encapsulates the angst of a middle class young girl, desirous of breaking free the manacles of societal and filial expectations. Elucidated as a voice of the twenty-first century Delhi, A Bad Character is the story of a young girl, Idha in her twenties, narrated ten years later in retrospect by her much mature self.

Left alone after the death of her mother and the absent father who abandons her, Idha co Narrated in vignettes, altering fluidly between the past and the present, the novel poignantly encapsulates the angst of a middle class young girl, desirous of breaking free the manacles of societal and filial expectations. This is who I am. Even after his death, she chooses a rich businessman who provides her with a small apartment in Defence Colony and pays for her apartment till the time she finds a real job for herself.

Like the city, where the violence is residing just beneath the surface, her nameless lover also gets violent with her when defied, hits her, spins her around; shove her to the ground in his ultimate act of trying to take possession over her. May 28, Simran rated it liked it. Triggering with certain aspects disturbing.