Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar

Immigrant, Montana

Amitava Kumar

AK describes the joys and disappointments of his immigrant experience in New York, the unfamiliar political and social textures of campus life, and the very different natures of the women he loved.

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The author of the widely praised Lunch with a Bigot now gives us a remarkable novel--reminiscent of Teju Cole, W. G. Sebald, John Berger--about a young new immigrant to the United States in search of love: across dividing lines between cultures, between sexes, and between the particular desires of one man and the women he comes to love.

The young man is Kailash, from India. His new American friends call him Kalashnikov, AK-47, AK. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in--and more than that, to shine. In the narrative of his years at a university in New York, AK describes the joys and disappointments of his immigrant experience; the unfamiliar political and social textures of campus life; the indelible influence of a charismatic professor--also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK's is decidedly not; the very different natures of the women he loved, and of himself in and out of love with each of them. Telling his own story, AK is both meditative and the embodiment of the enthusiasm of youth in all its idealism and chaotic desires. His wry, vivid perception of the world he's making his own, and the brilliant melding of story and reportage, anecdote and annotation, picture and text, give us a singularly engaging, insightful, and moving novel--one that explores the varieties and vagaries of cultural misunderstanding, but is, as well, an impassioned investigation of love.


Advance Galley Reviews

I really enjoyed reading Immigrant, Montana. Kumar's writing style is authentic, and I often found myself wondering how much of the "fiction" was really fact. As the narrator (also the author?) points out in the epilogue, the line between fact and fiction is not clear, and this book takes full advantage of this fuzziness: if the book fell fully into one or the other category, I think it would have suffered. I also enjoyed the format of the book--a series of love stories, but love stories that have both a beginning and an end. I am glad I got to read this book and join Kailash in his many experiences, both happy and sad.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me. I didn't find the author's writing style interesting and it was difficult for me to really get into the story. I ended up giving up and did not finish.

This book was torture to read. At some point, I decided that no book was worth this effort. I am sorry, but I could not finish the book.

I could not get into this book. DNF.

Kumar cultivates a narrative that feels fluid in the way that it moves between capturing moments of every-day life, revolutionary histories of colonized nations, and storytelling offered by other characters in the narrator's life. Read this book not because it is a page turner, but because it is a portrait of a young man learning to re-make his life in the United States, to forge relationships while also coming to terms with the way that those with his family in India are changing, and trying to find his professional and personal purpose. I love that Kailash is unabashedly interested in thinking about and looking for love; I wish there were more literary models of men who are willing to think and write about love and the complexities within this. The book itself brings together an assemblage of text and artifacts from journal entries to magazine clips to sketches.

This book is a novel but reads like an autobiography. In fact, in the epilogue the author admits that it is both. It took me a while to get through this book. There were parts that I loved, but there were parts that left me confused. It is basically the story about a young immigrant from India trying to fit in and trying to find love. He tells of the mistakes he makes with the girls he sees and of his journey to becoming an American citizen. All the while he is trying t get through school and write his thesis. I think this is the part that left me confused. I think to the right reader, this book would be a treasure. The epilogue is what finally pulled it all together for me and I am glad that I did not skip it!

Average at best, at times it dragged on. Would have preferred a sensical narrative as opposed to the scattering sans neatness presented. A well described case of assimilation. Protagonist struggles with love, relationships and politics while attempting to assimilate to his new country, noting extraordinary that hasn't already been written previously.

Not a book for me. Hard to read and understand.

This really doesn't have anything to do with Montana. It does have to do with immigrants. It reads kind of like a memoir, but is a novel. The main character is a young man from India...he's a writer, a teaching assistant at a college, & seeking love. There's a cultural aspect relating to India, China, Pakistan....some characters are from those countries. I thought it was kind of confusing when he started getting into his writing ideas, research, & then offering a political/historical aspect.....of which I don't know if there's a speck of truth in it???? Really ended up losing my interest in the last third of the book.... I received this e-ARC from Penguin's First-To-Read giveaway program in return for my own honest review.

Not what I expected the book to be. I am always curious about the immigrant experience and this book has plenty to share. It's a novel but it made it seem like it was autobiographical with plenty of footnotes and images. The author gets lost meandering on so many things (love foremost, family, historical events...) it's jarring. It definitely has its audience, but sadly not for me.

I've written a few times to tell you that I cannot download this title. Adobe Digital editions indicates that there is an "activation error." The issue is *not* with Adobe, as I am able to download eBooks from Edelweiss, NetGalley, bookstores, and the library. I'll have to wait to read this book when it's published. Thank you so much for selecting me for an early copy. This is one of my most anticipated books of the summer.

The writing bored me from the beginning. Although the plot is exciting and interesting, the author didn’t communicate in a clear enough manner. Rather disappointed overall, but interested enough by the plot to possibly recommend to a friend.

 


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