A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor

source: Free review copy via AmazonVine
title: A Bad Character
author: Deepti Kapoor
published: Knopf (January 20, 2015)
pages: 243
first line: My boyfriend died when I was twenty-one.

A highly charged debut novel about a young woman in India, and the love that both shatters and transforms her.

She is twenty and restless in New Delhi. Her mother has died; her father has left for Singapore.
He is a few years older, just back to India from New York.
When they meet in a café one afternoon, she–lonely, hungry for experience, yearning to break free of tradition–casts aside her fears and throws herself headlong into a love affair, one that takes her where she has never been before.

Told in a voice at once gritty and lyrical, mournful and frank, A Bad Character is an unforgettable hymn to an exhilarating, dangerous city, and a portrait of desire and its consequences as timeless as it is universal.

My thoughts:
I found A Bad Character to be a unique read. The storyline follows a young woman living in New Delhi. Her mother died when she was just seventeen and she is left with her Auntie who is trying to secure a good marriage for her. The story flips back and forth to her past and present at age twenty when she meets a man and begins a love affair. He has visited New York and has experienced so much more than she has, which she envies him for.

As the story flows, you get to see how destructive her relationship with this man is. He introduces her to drugs and she cannot resist him even though she considers him to be physically unattractive.

I enjoyed the narrative and the writing style but at times I found it jarring. There is a change in perspective, time frame and and point of view.

And just his presence. Just his hand on my belly as we sleep, when he loves me. It lives forever.
Close your eyes, go to sleep.
p.23, A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor

Author Deepti Kapoor brings India to life in a unique and beautiful way, the writing is almost dreamlike in structure.

Crepuscular. Delhi creeps as we go, the sun sinks behind the earth once more, bathes in the rotten Yamuna, drowns there.
p. 96

I recommend A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor if you enjoy gritty stories and unconventional writing styles. Even with the small qualms I had with the way the time frame changes, I still enjoyed this one. This is a book you can dip in and out of as it reads like poetry.

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free copy of A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor via AmazonVine.

12 thoughts on “A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor

  1. Excellent commentary.

    People do sometimes get pulled in by other people with string personality. Sometimes the results are not good. This book sounds like it effectively portrays such a situation.

    I like unusual writing styles so this sounds very appealing.


  2. Gritty stories with unusual narrative styles are sometimes the best kind. It’s always interesting to see an author experimenting, and even better when it succeeds. Going to have to add this to Mt. TBR.


  3. Hi Naida,

    It’s a good thing I don’t really have any truck with ratings and star reviews, as this book has not performed well in either category.

    Personally though, I really enjoy unconventional writing, flawed characters and quirky storylines. I like to give new authors a chance to hook me with their debut novel and I am very keen to read more books with overseas origins.

    I am so pleased that you gave such an objective review of ‘A Bad Character’, it was a pleasure to read 🙂



  4. Hello Yvonne. Yes, ratings can be a tricky thing. If the book sounds good to me, I can look past the ratings. I found A Bad Character to be interesting and it’s one I requested myself through Vine. Enjoy your week!


  5. I hadn’t heard of this one before, but it does sound interesting. I like unconventional writing now and then and grit doesn’t bother me. I am especially interested in the New Delhi setting as well. I will have to look for this one.


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