read online books The Crow EatersAuthor Bapsi Sidhwa – Bilb-weil.de

At the dawn of the th century in Pakistan, Freddy Junglewalla moves his family pregnant wife, baby daughter, and Jerbanoo, his rotund mother in law from their ancestral forest home to cosmopolitan Lahore He opens a store, and as his fortunes grow, so does the animosity between Freddy and his mother in law While Freddy prospers under British rule, life with the domineering Jerbanoo is another matter entirely This exuberant novel, full of rollicking humor, paints a vivid picture of life in the Parsee community


10 thoughts on “The Crow Eaters

  1. W W says:

    Bapsi Sidhwa is well known as Pakistan s first major English language novelist.She belongs to the tiny Parsi community whose numbers continue to dwindle.They are almost threatened with extinction,as a religious community.This book is an entertaining account of their way of life,in early 20th century Lahore.They worship fire,and leave their dead in the towers of silence where wild animals and vultures can tear off pieces of their flesh.For me,the best thing about the the book was Sidhwa s trade Bapsi Sidhwa is well known as Pakistan s first major English language novelist.She belongs to the tiny Parsi community whose numbers continue to dwindle.They are almost threatened with extinction,as a religious community.This book is an entertaining account of their way of life,in early 20th century Lahore.They worship fire,and leave their dead in the towers of silence where wild animals and vultures can tear off pieces of their flesh.For me,the best thing about the the book was Sidhwa s trademark humour.She has a natural gift for it.Ironically,it was the same humour which offended some Parsis and made the novel a bit controversial.The bigger significance of this book is that it finally introduced a Pakistani English language novelist to a wider,international audience.Sidhwa had a real struggle publishing it,but later success followed


  2. Sundus Sundus says:

    The Crow Eaters is an excellent novel that skillfully describes family problems It addresses serious historical and cultural issues of Parsi Community in a humorous way Thoroughly enjoyed reading it


  3. Nusrah Javed Nusrah Javed says:

    I have a beef with South East Asian authors It seems that the ones i have read jhumpa lahiri, the god of small things deliberately have underlying depressing themes to their novels I mean it makes sense, misery is easier to do than satire or comedy But it always makes me feel like my emotions are being exploited As if I am being told how to feel something, and I dislike that immensely THIS BOOK, however though, was none of the above It was satire done so well, that i found myself laughin I have a beef with South East Asian authors It seems that the ones i have read jhumpa lahiri, the god of small things deliberately have underlying depressing themes to their novels I mean it makes sense, misery is easier to do than satire or comedy But it always makes me feel like my emotions are being exploited As if I am being told how to feel something, and I dislike that immensely THIS BOOK, however though, was none of the above It was satire done so well, that i found myself laughing out loud so many times It is in no way a light read, but its deep meaningful satire that makes you feel the ridiculousness of some of the things that pervade in our culture Its an excellently written book, and if you want to diversify your portfolio of authors, i highly recommend it


  4. Aayan Mirza Aayan Mirza says:

    An interesting story who s only direction and purpose seemed to be keep moving foward The Parsi culture, the Indian history it is set in, and the varied and well developed characters, all very well managed to keep things afloat in a very snail paced, rather ordinary plot Didn t mind much the extravagant writing, a trait common in the sub continental writers of the olden days, and found it rather beautiful The book had its moments, but forced me at times to pick up other books in parallel to i An interesting story who s only direction and purpose seemed to be keep moving foward The Parsi culture, the Indian history it is set in, and the varied and well developed characters, all very well managed to keep things afloat in a very snail paced, rather ordinary plot Didn t mind much the extravagant writing, a trait common in the sub continental writers of the olden days, and found it rather beautiful The book had its moments, but forced me at times to pick up other books in parallel to it in order to keep satisfying my literary needs


  5. Perry Whitford Perry Whitford says:

    A young Parsi merchant called Faredoon Freddy Junglewalla from Central India drags his wife, child and indomitable mother in law over a thousand miles in a rickety cart to start a new life in Lahore The Junglewalla s swell the size of the small community from four families to five, but despite being taunted ascrow eatersby the local Sikh children due to the volume of their conversation they find a tolerant home and a good place to conduct business.Unfortunately for Freddy, he can t alwa A young Parsi merchant called Faredoon Freddy Junglewalla from Central India drags his wife, child and indomitable mother in law over a thousand miles in a rickety cart to start a new life in Lahore The Junglewalla s swell the size of the small community from four families to five, but despite being taunted ascrow eatersby the local Sikh children due to the volume of their conversation they find a tolerant home and a good place to conduct business.Unfortunately for Freddy, he can t always find the same comfort inside his own home His mother in law, Jerbanoo, becomes the bane of his life, even as his wealth and influence grow in the community and beyond Swindled by a traveling insurance salesman, Freddy considers both his wants and his needs to contrive a drastic, decidedly non Indian solution to his problems The Crow Eaters is that most difficult of narratives to pull off by any novelist, let alone a first timer as Sidhwa was a breezy, light hearted picaresque on the surface, but tough as old boats underneath, with a vein of tough blood pumping noiselessly throughout There is an air of family legend passed down and embroidered somewhat over the years, myths within which Sidhwa can see the essence of life, a force far stronger than honesty and sentimentality.The Parsi Indians of 1900 were afatalistic peopleunconditionally resigned to the ups and downs of life , so Freddy s insurance fraud is a culturally unthinkable act a Western act, if you will The Jungewallas revere the English, from copying their mannerisms to the seal of authority invested in their appropriated proverbsHad someone suggested to them that Englishmen, too, defecate, they might have said, Of course they have to, I suppose. Still, magic and superstition has as much influence on their characters, right from the cradle, after all they are descended from the Magi yet all the multi varied gods of thedominant Indian religions are also given a token of reverence The business of making money and favourable marriages is Freddy s true religion though, his ruthlessness in these tasks rival those of any patriarch I have encountered in Indian literature, which is saying something.Both Freddy Jungewalla and his nemesis Jerbanoo are hardly likable characters, nor does anything astounding happen in the story, yet Sidhwa kept me enthralled from start to finish with her skillful way of presenting her characters without blame or praise.She also has a way with a yarn, which she can spin with a charm and humour which delights, despite any darker implications


  6. Calzean Calzean says:

    Early 20th century, Lahore A Parsee family treks to Lahore and in their small community become wealthy traders The book ends with Freddy, the patriarch, on his deathbed forecasting the blood letting of the Indian Pakistan partition and the risks to the small minorities like the Parsis.The book is a set of events in Freddy s family life and the culture of their religion The best parts were when the author lets herself go and writes a vaudevillian skit of humour.


  7. Sitara Kashif Sitara Kashif says:

    i often wonder how can bapsi sidhwa manages to write such wonderful stories. the dying man is talking sense to his family the beginning is entirely different from what turns the novel takes immediately after the opening Freddy famous as jungle walla sahib made his way towards Lahore where he found his great fortune he manages to live in the swirl of the artificial life around him and he becomes extremely cunning later on i loved that part of the novel where he is desperate to get i often wonder how can bapsi sidhwa manages to write such wonderful stories. the dying man is talking sense to his family the beginning is entirely different from what turns the novel takes immediately after the opening Freddy famous as jungle walla sahib made his way towards Lahore where he found his great fortune he manages to live in the swirl of the artificial life around him and he becomes extremely cunning later on i loved that part of the novel where he is desperate to get rid of his mother in law and she being stubborn enough manages to live a very long life he leaves no stone unturned when he makes the plan of burning his own house by lighting the fire in it but even then her being alive is a great surprise for the reader and the jungle walla sahib as well sidhwa has created a great character of him who has both the good and the bad qualities in the very nature of him and he is both appealing and repulsive to the readers.his wife putly is actually a puppet at times when she is required as a wife but she uses her veto when she is a mother Patric Stephan writes about this book as..As in a lot of family stories, the joys, annoyances, and tragedies as well as the emotional responses to such events are tightly woven all through The Crow Eaters The book lays bare the fact that most families from all over the planet have the same fundamental existence The only differences lay in the details of the lives of the people Trouble with one s mother in law, worrying about money and so on will seem familiar to the reader On the other hand, other problems are unique to the Jungle walla s time and place For example, worrying about arranged marriages, or Parsi death rituals will not be familiar to most modern readers, but will still be compelling The prose is lively and easy going The book is a joy to read equally bawdy, emotional and serious all at the same time This novel is well worth the time to read


  8. Missy J Missy J says:

    For Pakistan, my book club chose this Bapsi Sidhwa wrote a light hearted and funny novel about a Parsi family at the turn of the 20th century All I know about Parsis is that they are a mysterious minority in Western Asia, originally from Persia, but spread all over India, Pakistan and even abroad Freddy Mercury from the band Queen was from a Parsi family that lived in Zanzibar Tanzania Is it a coincidence that the main character is also called Freddy Faredoon Junglewalla At the beginn For Pakistan, my book club chose this Bapsi Sidhwa wrote a light hearted and funny novel about a Parsi family at the turn of the 20th century All I know about Parsis is that they are a mysterious minority in Western Asia, originally from Persia, but spread all over India, Pakistan and even abroad Freddy Mercury from the band Queen was from a Parsi family that lived in Zanzibar Tanzania Is it a coincidence that the main character is also called Freddy Faredoon Junglewalla At the beginning of the novel, we see him moving to Lahore from Central India with his wife Putli and his mother in law Jerbanoo It s the latter, who becomes the clown of the novel and Freddy, the notorious anti hero There s not really a main message of the book, but it wants to give the reader a general picture of who the Parsis are since they are a disappearing society and some general family dynamics Parts of it I found funny, while other parts were predictable It was the lack of purpose in the novel that made it hard for me to continue reading Sometimes I just lost interest in the story I recommend this book for people who want to read something about Parsis For Pakistan, I think we could ve found a better bookFreedom of choice is a cardinal doctrine in the teaching of Zarathustra A child born of Zoroastrian parents is not considered a Zoroastrian until he has chosen the faith at the Navjote ceremony Zarathustra in his Gathas says Give ear to the Great Truths Look within with enlightened mind lit flaming mind at the faith of your own selection, man by man, each one for himself.And this freedom of choice extends also to Good and Evil, aspects of God Himself Evil is necessary so that good may triumph Yet Evil by itself does not exist, it is relative, depending upon the distance from God at which the individual stands upon the Path of Asha the Eternal Truth the grand cosmic plan of God


  9. Christiane Christiane says:

    This is a muchlight hearted read than the Ice Candy Man Cracking India Although not totally devoid of tragedy it is mostly funny and entertaining while providing some insight into Indian society and especially into the Parsee community.It tells the story of the ups and downs of the Junglewallas, a Parsee family who move from Central India to Lahore to seek and find their fortunes.Pride of place is given to the histrionic, maddening, indestructible Jerbanoo, mother in law and bane of p This is a muchlight hearted read than the Ice Candy Man Cracking India Although not totally devoid of tragedy it is mostly funny and entertaining while providing some insight into Indian society and especially into the Parsee community.It tells the story of the ups and downs of the Junglewallas, a Parsee family who move from Central India to Lahore to seek and find their fortunes.Pride of place is given to the histrionic, maddening, indestructible Jerbanoo, mother in law and bane of patriarch Faredoon s existence.For me, the story loses some of its charm when the next generation, Faredoon s stingy son Billy, takes over the book He s a fairly unsympathetic and uninteresting character and although we return to Faredoon on his death bed the winding down oft he story is slightly unsatisfactory


  10. Ayesha Ali Ayesha Ali says:

    After reading the American Brat, I was thoroughly amused by The Crow Eaters It is a comic picaresque which keeps the reader captivated with the light humor, suspense, and romance The life and times of Freddy were described in a prolix yet interesting way Although Freddy Freedon Junglewalla is the main character of the book, the story revolves around other members of his family and his influence on them The skirmish encounters between Freddy and his mother in law Jerbanoo brought humor in After reading the American Brat, I was thoroughly amused by The Crow Eaters It is a comic picaresque which keeps the reader captivated with the light humor, suspense, and romance The life and times of Freddy were described in a prolix yet interesting way Although Freddy Freedon Junglewalla is the main character of the book, the story revolves around other members of his family and his influence on them The skirmish encounters between Freddy and his mother in law Jerbanoo brought humor into the book Sidwa gave a refreshing account of India at the turn of the last century, beautifully describing the beliefs and customs of the Parsees Last but not the least, Sidwa s characters were true to the title, the crow eaters