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The Inscrutable Americans - Funniest Book Ive read

Updated on March 5, 2013

Everything you wanted to know about Inscrutable Americans

Love to read, love to eat, love to experiment. New ideas, new food, new books. Change is the only constant in my life. But this lens is dedicated to the one book - Inscrutable americans - which I think is the funniest novel I have ever read.Have fun!!

Book Review of the Inscrutable Americans

Inscrutable americans

"The Inscrutable Americans" by Anurag Mathur is a timeless piece of unabashed humour about a simpleton from Bihar, India who travels to the US for higher education.

His only knowledge about US has been the porn magazines that he has read, and one of his fondest aims in the US is to get ***ked.

Having said that, his amazingly hilarious english letters to his family and his rendezvous with a typical but affable American friend named Randy (pun unintended!) will keep you in splits.

This book was initially published in the early 1990s but till date it's a refreshing novel and i use it as a perfect gift to introduce someone to the joys of reading.

Its a light read and trust me you will be guffawing all the way till the end.

It was also subsequently made into a movie. As with all such movies, the book was always much better.

The Inscrutable Americans

This is a book which will be loved by generations to come. Its the perfect gift that you can give to your friends and dear ones and it aint too expensive either.

Go ahead. Buy It. Gift it. Enjoy the best selling book in Indian publishing history.

The Inscrutable Americans

The Inscrutable Americans
The Inscrutable Americans

Film Review of The Inscrutable Americans

THE CONCEPT of an alien in another land is good grist for the mill of story telling - it never really fails to pall simply because it is happening all the time and every new comer's pains of settling down in a new environment indeed deserve sympathy and understanding. And so films in the genre of ``Hyderabad Blues'' are straight from the heart - there are no pretensions of great film-making the accent being on the narrative and the actual filming of situations that comment on the subject. So if one goes looking for technical wizardry then these are not the films to patronise - but pure entertainment? Sure! That they certainly represent. ``And Tri Color Communications - The Inscrutable Americans'' is one such.

Based on a best-selling book by Anurag Mathur, the film is a comical, yet tinged with pathos. It takes a look at the travails of a small town Indian from Madhya Pradesh let loose in the Big Apple and all the cultural shocks he faces. Though some of the situations seem a bit outdated in today's context - thanks to Internet and the reach of the television with all the foreign channels - it must be kept in mind that the film is based on a book written in the 1990s.

Gopal, a good vegetarian, teetotaller Brahmin boy goes over to the U.S. for a one-year course in chemical engineering. He comes in contact with the archetypical American in Randy, an extrovert, a Casanova by all standards, but quite a wonderful person, Sue, who is quite irresistible and kind, Mary Ann who tries her best to seduce Gopal, Gloria his landlady whose poetry gives Gopal and the audience moments of amusements, Bush, short for, Bhushan who has a love-hate relationship with India and his Dean who says ``all Americans do not resent people from other cultures'' and who makes Gopal feel more than welcome in the university - All of these provide an insight into how race is immaterial if the person is liked.

Randy as a character is a favourite both with the author and the director of the film - they have made him so irrepressible and lovable that it leaves you feeling quite sad that you have to say goodbye to him in the end. With him around Gopal graduates from vegetable hamburgers and coke to steak and beer. Randy also embarks on a mission called ``Operation Devirginasation for Gopal'' who wants to be a reluctant accomplice. The many situations arising out of Gopal's lack of experience with the opposite sex and his typically Indian English give the movie its element of fun and keeps you involved till the end. You will laugh when Gopal bargains with a supermarket manager and when he asks if red haired women are red all over. But you will also share his anguish when he discovers a part of America that is racist, lonely, poor and painful.

The director, Chandra Siddartha, has probably felt deeply about what Gopal the character goes through - maybe not the exploits but as a person trying to bridge two extremely divergent cultures. It is his first film and going by the casual flow of story telling he is someone to watch out for. He has left the technical elements of the film to the basic minimum - camera Choudrie Rajendra Prasad, a graduate of the FTII, editing - Oriol Puig, music - Uday Benegal and Jayesh Gandhi, art - Ed Highfields and Laxman Aelay - but puts his skill to the construction of events in a series of cuts and brief flashbacks - that is what brings about the contrast and tickles the funny bone.

The film is produced by Dr. Srihari Malempati and Dr. Indira Malepati a husband and wife team from Pikeville, Kentucky. They intend making more films and obviously love the experience of bringing out films with a message. Rajiv Punja plays Gopal endearingly and he is a Californian-born Indian with theatre as a major subject. He has worked in many theatrical productions and has come into films recently. Eron Otcasek plays Randy who is a graduate from the New York University Film School where he wrote and directed six shorts. He also works for student films around New York. Jana Williams as Sue, Jai Menon, as Bush, Ronnie Jane as Ann and Staci Cobb as Gloria make ``The Inscrutable Americans'' quite an experience.

An Excerpt from the Novel - The Inscrutable Americans

A letter written by the protagonist- Gopal to his brother

"Dear brother,

greetings to respectful parents. I am hoping all is well with health and wealth. I am fine at my end. Hoping your end is fine too. With God's grace and parents' blessings I am arriving safely in America and finding good apartment near University. Kindly assure mother that I am strictly consuming vegetarian food only in restaurants though I am not knowing if cooks are Brahmins. I hope parents' prayers are residing with me.

Younger brother, I am having so many things to tell you that I am not knowing where to start. Most surprising thing about America is it is full of Americans. Everywhere Americans, Americans, big and white, it is little frightening. The flight from New Delhi to New York is arriving safely thanks to God's grace and Parents' prayers and mine too. I am not able to go to bathroom whole time because I am sitting in corner seat as per revered grandmother's wish. Father is rightly scolding that airplane is flying too high to have good view. Still please tell her I have done needful.

But, brother, in next two seats are sitting two old gentle ladies and if I am getting up then they are put in lot of botheration so I am not getting up for except when plane is stopping for one hour in London. Many foods are being served in carts but I am only eating cashew nuts and bread because I am not knowing what is food and what is meat. I am having a good time drinking 37 glasses of Coca-Cola.

They are rolling down a screen and showing a film but I am not listening because air hostess ladies are selling head phones for 2 dollars which is Rs.60 and in our beloved Jajau town we can sit in balcony seats in Regal Talkies for only Rs.3. I am asking lady if they are giving student discount but she is too busy. I am also asking her for more Coca-Cola but she is looking like she is weeping and walking away. I think perhaps she is not understanding proper English.

Next I go to place marked " Baggage" as Father has advised and suddenly place I am sitting starts to move throwing me. It is like python we once saw in forest, only rattling and with luggage bouncing on its back and sometimes leaping to attack passengers. I am also throwing myself on bag before it is escaping. I think if I am not wrestling it down it would revert to plane and back home to India. I am only joking of course.

At Customs, brother, I am getting big shock. One fat man is grunting at me and looking cleverly from small eyes. "First visit?" he is asking, "Yes," I am agreeing "Move on," he is saying making chalk marks on bags. As I am picking up bags he is looking directly at me and saying "Watch your ass." Now, brother, this is wonderful. How he is knowing we are purchasing donkey? I think they are knowing everything about everybody who is coming to America.

But, brother, now I am worrying. Supposing this is CIA keeping watch or else how they can know about our donkey? Anyway please do not tell Mother and Father or they are worrying, but lock all doors and windows. If CIA wants to recruit me to be spy in Jajau, I will gladly take poison before betraying our Motherland. Then I am going out and cousins are waiting and receiving me warmly. I will write soon after settling down.

Your brother"


If you loved this hilarious letter, which had me in splits, you're surely going to lap up this book!

Did you know?

The Inscrutable Americans is the Best Selling Book in Indian Publishing History!!

Inscrutable Amercians

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    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      RS Skills

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      ArvindNarasimhan 7 years ago

      Great lens! Will lensroll once my lens in Indian books gets a lensrank :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This book had me with its great title. I like the excerpt you printed. Well, teammate, less than a month to go! Good luck! and thanks for visiting my puppet lens of the day...

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      Sojourn 8 years ago

      The letter excerpt did the job. It sounds hysterical! I'm going to have to try it out. Very nice write up. :)

    • profile image

      Sojourn 8 years ago

      The letter excerpt did the job. It sounds hysterical! I'm going to have to try it out. Very nice write up. :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 9 years ago

      Sounds like an awesome getaway book and this is great lens!

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      Jenysie 9 years ago

      That was hilarious! I am definitely going to have to buy the book, so I am favoriting this lens!

      I will be purchasing soon!!

      I am an American, but it's still funny!! Kind of reminds me of Borat, a little...(hope that isn't an insult! not meant to be!!)

      Thanks for sharing this, Great job on the lens!!

      5* and Favorited