An Obedient Father

An Obedient Father

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
Ram Karan works for the New Delhi school system but supports his widowed daughter and grandaughter by taking bribes for a small time Congress party boss, until his involvement in a terrifying political campaign could cost him his life. A first novel.

Blackwell North Amer
Ram Karan, a corrupt official in the Physical Education Department of the Delhi school system, lives in one of the city's slums with his widowed daughter and his little granddaughter. Bumbling, ironical, sad, Ram is also a man corroded by a guilty secret.
When Rajiv Gandhi, the soon-to-be Prime Minister, is murdered, the country is plunged into confusion and Ram, as his department's resident bribe collector, is trapped in a series of escalating, possibly deadly political betrayals. While he tries to protect himself and his family, his daughter reveals a crime that he had hoped would be buried forever. Ram's struggle to survive, and to make amends after a life of deception, thrusts him among gangsters and movie stars, into riots and morgues.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2000
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374105013
Branch Call Number: FICTION SHARMA
Characteristics: 282 p. ; 22 cm


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Feb 11, 2016

This is an extremely well-written and also very heavy book. The main character is a fat, very corrupt minor Indian official who takes bribes and sells what he does not own. He has no loyalty and easily changes sides. This novel is set at the time of the assassination of Rajiv Ghandi and the characters serve as a metaphor for India itself. It is an unrelentingly bleak portrait of unsympathetic characters. Thought-provoking. Recommended.

Jan 14, 2015

This was a difficult book for me to read. But Sharma’s writing pulled me into a very sad story. A father in India molests his young daughter. As a young widow with a young daughter of her own, financial poverty forces Anita to return to living with her father. Her fear and anger at her father overflows especially when she sees him rubbing against his granddaughter as the granddaughter sleeps. Ram knows he was wrong, but can he make amends? It is a sad touch story about the past which Ram had hoped had been forgotten.


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