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The Small-Town Sea Hardcover – 9 May 2017

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

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PART OF: Memorable Fiction Books of 2017 PART OF: Memorable Fiction Books of 2017
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Review

‘Anees Salim has made an extraordinary art out of seeing a vainglorious world through the eyes of his young, irreverent, louche small-town protagonists. This novel is yet another great chronicle of the hidden joy and delicate pain of growing up, getting out, and going nowhere’
Anjum Hasan

‘The Small-town Sea is a gripping read and the narration is so masterly. I envy the artistry of Anees’s craft and his flair for words. His observations are wonderful. I felt a sad wave receding in my heart after I closed the book, as though I myself am the secret beach bruised by the footsteps of a lonely soul’
K.R. Meera

‘A scathingly funny, achingly sad story . . . In some ways darker than his earlier work. But . . . just as funny; built on his strengths as an observer of the small moment and how it fits into a larger pattern’
Open

‘A Narayanesque and mildly satirical melancholia arising out of the onslaught of urbanisation . . . In The Small-town Sea, Salim wades out into water so deep and dark that a film adaptation of the novel could almost have been titled One Wedding and Four Funerals . . . A Swami and Friends suitable for the darkness of the 21st century combined with an Indian response to that eternal growing-up classic, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger’
The Hindu

‘[A] funny, moving new novel . . . Salim allows you to see the absurdity before the tragedy . . . The Small-town Sea is Salim’s most Narayenesque novel yet . . . The novel is shot through with the melancholy of a child having to grow up too fast, and learning too soon that human life is about cutting a solitary path’
Indian Express

‘The Small-town Sea reminds one of E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, where the most ordinary becomes extraordinary through the writer's craft . . . Each of Salim's novels has been darker than its predecessor, but this is his darkest yet. All the elements of black comedy are there’
India Today

'Give [Salim] a pen and he is like a river in the plains: gentle, quiet, but profound . . . [In] The Small-town Sea the autobiographical stamp remains unmistakable. The anguish too is there. The detailing, which would do a mathematician proud, is very much intact . . . Yet, it is a feeling of melancholy that seeps in through words not spoken but not unexpressed either’
Frontline

‘Eventually, but steadily, darkness surrounds the (very) young narrator of Anees Salim’s new novel The Small-town Sea, as the award-winning author delivers yet another beautiful account of the inevitability of tragedy . . . Sombre, heartbreaking, exquisite’
Telangana Today

‘Can death lend lifeblood to fiction? In The Small-town Sea, Anees Salim’s fifth novel, it does . . . Salim lays bare the intricacies of emotions of the narrator with tremendous dexterity and empathy . . . In a way, the narrator’s story is the story of every quiet child everywhere’
New Indian Express

‘Devastating yet devastatingly beautiful . . . If sadness were as beautiful as it is in The Small-Town Sea, I would like to be a character in a novel by Anees Salim’
Scroll

‘Superb storytelling . . . Profundity presented in an absolutely innocent frame is the highlight of this novel’
Tribune

‘Anees Salim knows how to tell a story . . . The Small-Town Sea is a delightful read despite deaths and funerals that it brings to the shore . . . Lucid . . . a novel of haunting quality . . . The lyricism of The Small-Town Sea overpowers you, making this an unputdownable read’
Times of India

‘This is a book about a child’s prolonged bereavement couched in pranks and making fun . . . Comic moments are the froth and bubble of this intensely melancholic narrative, but they are not mere escapism, for the boy narrator’s hilarious observations are the straws he clings to when submerged in grief'
Wire

‘With The Small-town Sea, Anees Salim has produced one of the most subtle tragedies in Indian fiction in English . . . There’s no other way to put it: Anees Salim is one of the most affecting writers working today’
Mint

‘Arresting imagery and details bolster Salim’s realistic, sensual portrayal of the opposite pulls of small- and big-town life, as the Grim Reaper waits patiently . . . The Small-town Sea is a provocation after death. Narrating the story of relocation through the eyes of a 13-year-old, the plot is also about loss of innocence, guilt, nostalgia and rem­embrance . . . Anees Salim has evolved as a true chronicler of our times’
Outlook

About the Author

Anees Salim is an award-winning writer and an advertising professional employed with FCB -ULKA. His published works include, among others, Vanity Bagh (winner of The Hindu Literary Prize for Best Fiction 2013) and The Blind Lady’s Descendants (winner of the
Raymond & Crossword Book Award for Best Fiction 2014). He lives in Kochi with his wife and two children, Omar and Adah.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House India (9 May 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780670088638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670088638
  • ASIN: 0670088633
  • Package Dimensions: 21.8 x 14 x 3.4 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
19 customer ratings
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