The Golden gate by Vikram Seth

About the book

Written in verse, this was Vikram Seth‘s first novel. Set in the 1980s, in the affluence and sunshine of California’s silicon valley, it is the story of twenty-somethings looking for love, pleasure and the meaning of life.

Reviewed by Boaters Book Club

With apologies to Vikram Seth

Four of us sat with wine
And discussed if the book was sublime
We felt the other six missed a trick
For giving up because of the rhyme. Claire absolutely “loved it to bits”
While Maggie thought “it went on a bit”.
Rupert Bear was seen as an inspiration
As the reading required some dedication. All of life was in the story, with girls and boys and life and death
The end was sad with Jan’s demise
With touching thoughts on mum’s last breath
And a baby’s birth quite a surprise. Laurie was full of poetic technique
And we found Seth full of cheek
His chapters, bio, comments in verse
Were felt amusing, could be worse. On the whole the thought were good
And we were reluctant to return the book
Because it wanted revisiting and more
For a chance to again enjoy.

Star rating: ***
Read this book
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3 thoughts on “The Golden gate by Vikram Seth”

  1. Review by Titchfield Reading Group
    Unusual format in sonnet form – very clever use of words. Characterisation dubious – excellent cat!
    Star rating: ***


  2. Review by The Accidental Reading Group
    Universally disliked it. couldn’t “get” the verse structure – why?
    Star rating: no stars


  3. Review by New Forest/Waterside U3A
    This book got a very mixed reception from the group. Only seven members admitted to reading it completely. The idea of it being written in rhyming verse blocked some; being unable to gain any idea of where the plot was heading discouraged others. An eighty minute review of the fundamental elements of the book revealed that our group have a deeper understanding of the purpose and scope of story telling than they realised. Only three readers seemed to appreciate the richness of the humour. Not a book to be tackled without reasonably well versed and sympathetic leadership.
    Star rating: various within the group


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