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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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3.7 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • The Cobras Bite Doesn’t Hurt

    Richly written, powerful and evocative. I could almost smell the streets and taste the food. The examination of the nuanced layers of life on the Indian sub continent is precise and honest. This book presents an important examination of the inequalities of Modern day India so many years after Ghandi “ banished” the caste system. An important read for anyone interested in social history.

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • A must read

    Really enjoyed reading this book. Written in the form of a letter, it is the story of an orphan boy who has been kidnapped by some gangsters and put to work as a pickpocket. The boy's attempts to escape from the clutches of the gangsters are not entirely successful. A very moving novel, as well as sad, humorous, controversial, political. A page turner with very descriptive writing. Thoroughly recommended.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • More please

    I got very wrapped up in Kalu’s story, and was so disappointed when it ended. Sequel please.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Well-crafted story

    Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite In A Cobra's Bite Doesn't Hurt by Anil Nijhawan, one of its most memorable themes is that its main character, Kalu, narrates his story and records it for the prime minister of India to let him know of his sad plight and of others like him. He has a steady job as a pickpocket but is one day kidnapped by a crime syndicate that forces him to work for them as a pickpocket. Babu, the crime leader, murders Kalu’s best friend, Ramesh, and informs him that Ramesh has run away and cannot be found. But Kalu knows better and decides to flee for his own safety. He finds refuge in the love of a woman named Tanya while Babu is still tracking him. As a pickpocket, Kalu is a well-defined character judging from the evocative images that Anil Nijhawan provides. We know Kalu to be a man who must use a great deal of stealth in slipping his hand in bags and pockets to make a living, a sort of rape of the personal belongings of others. Kalu is almost thoughtful and philosophical in telling his sad tale. It could have been purely melodramatic but Anil Nijhawan supplements it with enough physical action, most notably at the end. In this story, you may sense the pulsing vein of such stories as Crime and Punishment and Oliver Twist. Kalu is a victim of circumstances beyond his control, and he survives by taking advantage of the skill he wields that operates outside of what is deemed moral. There is an incredible passion in the writing of A Cobra’s Bite Doesn’t Hurt, complemented by tension and romance. It is written with a certain gravity and honesty about a man in a dire situation, and you will want to know what happens to him.

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