Read Noon by Aatish Taseer Online


Rehan Tabassum has grown up in a world of privilege in Delhi. His mother is a self-made lawyer and her new husband a wealthy industrialist. But there is a marked absence in Rehan's life: his father, Sahil Tabassum, who remains a powerful shadow across the border in Pakistan. This story follows Rehan's attempts to negotiate this loss. Aatish Taseer was born in 1980. He is tRehan Tabassum has grown up in a world of privilege in Delhi. His mother is a self-made lawyer and her new husband a wealthy industrialist. But there is a marked absence in Rehan's life: his father, Sahil Tabassum, who remains a powerful shadow across the border in Pakistan. This story follows Rehan's attempts to negotiate this loss. Aatish Taseer was born in 1980. He is the author of Stranger to History: a Son's Journey through Islamic Lands (2009) and The Temple-Goers (2010), which was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. He lives between London and Delhi....

Title : Noon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780330540414
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 298 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Noon Reviews

  • Syl
    2019-05-09 10:25

    Loved the prose, but failed to make sense of the story...this is what I understood :post independence India and Pakistan of 70s and 80s. A young boy born out of a dysfunctional union between an Indian Sikh mother, Pakistani Muslim father, and who is influenced by Hindu idolatry is the main character. His lawyer mother remarried a rich Industrialist, similarly affluent father has married and divorced at Least a couple more times.The boy is in search of his identity, and is sort of keen to meet his biological father, who's an enigma, though his step brother has always been charming and brotherly whenever they communicated. The first half of the story, that which I found enthralling , is spent in India; latter half in Pakistan in pursuit of paternal roots, which was quite complicated with many intricacies, and the final few pages are very disappointing.I would say4 stars for first one third, 3 stars for the middle and 2 stars for the last third.

  • Pia
    2019-05-13 09:04

    I hadn't read Taseer's Temple-Goers, but when I saw this book in the advance reading section of a bookshop, I couldn't help but snatch it up. I was truly disappointed. Perhaps my folly was attempting to read it while on a vacation in a tropical land, but I found the chapters disjointed and the protagonist extremely difficult to support. Was this his story, or his mother's new husband's? Was this a story about him finding his father who had abandoned him at an early age, because his father doesn't make an appearance once even though the narrator has clearly connected with him. I didn't understand the point of this book, nor why I spent three days trying to force myself to read it.

  • Parvathy
    2019-05-20 01:58

    It's a 2,5 actually. It reads like something I've read before - which I have. Taseer's autobiographical Stranger to History is really the base of this book too. The Indian mother, Pakistani father etc. And the morally corrupt modern India and Pakistan he writes about in Noon, while sounding true does not pull you in, the way it does in Adiga's White Tiger or Suketu Mehta's Maximum City or even a Mohsin Hamid's How to get filthy rich in rising Asia. What you sense is a distinct lack of empathy with what he sees and experiences. Quite disappointing.

  • Daniel Lowen
    2019-05-17 07:56

    I read a great review of this book when it first came out, so I was set up for disappointment. It's a quasi-autobiographical novel about a boy with a Pakistani father and Indian mother, and so there are two large parts to the book -- one in India and one in Pakistan. And they don't seem to have much to do with each other, and the boy doesn't really take his experience in one place to the other place. It reads like someone who's been told his life is really interesting and he should make it into a book.

  • Bachyboy
    2019-05-17 10:26

    I really lost my way in this book but carried on because I had bought it! I struggled with the relevance of the three sections and being set in India and Pakistan I had high hopes for something better.

  • Mamta
    2019-05-18 04:22

    A disappointing read. Glimpses of promise were quickly dashed away by an almost indifferent treatment of a tired and overdone subject.

  • Neha
    2019-05-10 07:56

    You write what you see, yet tell what you don't! This applies to Aatish Taseer's 'Noon' completely. In this book, he beautifully traces his journey from India to America to Pakistan as an audience as well as a participant. His journey from confused and insecure childhood to an adult searching identity and roots, from the corridors of ever changing power house Delhi to a volatile and extremist Port Bin Qasim, from a Hindu/ Sikh upbringing to the Muslim roots. There are gaps but they don't matter as he beautifully explains... "The gaps in my life were too many, the threads too few. And though I knew this, knew there was little to string life together, the tendency was still to appear as a whole before the world, to let the imagination fill in the spaces that experience had left blank."I had previously read Aatish's, Manto's short story translation, which was well done, but this novel gives a brilliant picturisation of him as an author. His observations are sensational yet true, oblivious yet deep, close yet far, secret yet public and fiction yet truth. Each character is real, strong and grey - from the servants in his Delhi farmhouse, or royalty in his step father's power struggle, or feudal lords of his real father's extended family and business. I loved the way Aatish went into the backstory of each character rather than staying at the surface or in the moment. Take it as a compliment when I say Aatish has the renditions of Manto - a bitter man who looks at the world in a bitter way, because there is no other way he knows!And clearly NOON is the ideal title... the book does what Noon does to you... makes you wonder about the past...Some grey lines from the book...Going blindly to college in America from India was an extension of other forms of entitlement, like summer holidays in the west or buying a nice car.He was the most bendable unbending man I ever knew!What royalty? An occupying power comes to your country and appoints some local chieftain the king, and two hundred years later once the power has left, we're still saying "Hukum this, Hukum that."When someone puts forward the cup of friendship, it's not right to spit in it, no matter how bogus the wine might be. He is present in my life as an absence, and that if u were only able to fix him in my mind physically, that sense of absence would diminish.That which is not to be found is what I desire. - Rumy

  • Patty
    2019-05-01 03:26

    This novel had a lot of material to work with, upper class society in India, upper class society in Pakistan, the differences and relations between the two, sexuality and homosexuality in Pakistan, the inner workings of a telecommunications conglomerate in Pakistan, etc. But it turned out to be just a tale of an overprivileged, entitled, lazy young man having an epiphany about his complicity in social ills, and about a spoiled man who suffers emotionally because of estrangement from his father. The potential was there, but the narrative was disconnected, the drama wasn't dramatic, and it was filled with truisms and adolescent cliches. A disappointment.

  • Louise
    2019-05-20 04:06

    Nicely written, with an easy flow that has me speeding through the book.What only have it two stars though, was the dividing of the book.When it opens we are on a train, and learn a bit about our main character who is on his way to meet his father for the first time.....Then we have approximately half the book devoted to a theft in his home when he is a college student...sure it told us about his attitude to the servants, but ultimately didn't go anywhere and for me didn't connect with the rest of the book.Shame.

  • Sashankh Kale
    2019-05-19 04:18

    Has an interesting flow; layered characters; a well-crafted story with some good writing.

  • Ming
    2019-04-26 09:15

    solidly written but somehow flat and unimaginative (or uninspired). there was this level of snark and smugness that I did not enjoy for I couldn't see a purpose for it

  • Tania Qureshi
    2019-05-12 07:13

    This was the second book that I picked up this year in 2018 and dang! it was good. It's subtle in its own way. Although I liked the cover of the book but the story of REHAN SAHAB was no where near to reflect in it. Book covers does say a lot about a story but in this one it didn't. It was nice to read about past. I liked how it was a smooth read. I completed this book in one day. How? well let's just say that I was excited to read it and that I was on a family trip to my aunt's house in Tariq road and it was quite a long road trip. I enjoyed reading it.The first aspect that I liked about NOON was the female character of Rehan's mother, she seemed so different in speech and manner than today's women. She was a beauty but her relationship with Rehan, her son was a spark. The second aspect was the dinner party event at which how guests at that time conversed is portrayed by Aatish Taseer. Where ego issues are more dominant within people. The elite class especially in which Rehan's stepfather was the center of the story. The third aspect was the scene of the robbery and how the emotions and feelings are still valid today. Trust issues were present then also but now they are everywhere within us. The servants were asked in detail to confess that they stole the two laptops. I would give the novel a 3 star out of 5, all because it lacked the emotional relationship a reader builds up with the protagonist which lacked in this novel. I didn't liked the shift from Rehan to neutral language. Also, the end was not satisfying as a novel. But I liked the writing, I would sure try Aatish Taseer's other novels in the future.  

  • Mythili
    2019-05-16 09:21

    Weightless but not pointless. After following news of Salman Taseer's death fairly closely, I was surprised to see his son's byline in a passionate WSJ editorial criticizing Pakistan ( It was the first I'd heard of Aatish Tasser, and I was impressed and intrigued. When Noon got a pretty lousy review in The New York Times, I lowered my opinion of Taseer slightly, but I had to revise it again after I saw him speak at a Granta event with Siddhartha Deb. Though his wealth and privilege were very much on display (and sharply contrasted with Deb's own humble beginnings) Taseer came off as very smart, polished, and thoughtful, and it was apparent that he was heavily invested (both intellectually and personally) in questions about Pakistan and India's future. And he seemed to have an utterly unique vantage point. I picked up Noon mostly because I was curious to find out more about Taseer's life and perspective. Taseer is pretty young, and the plotline of Noon appeared to be loosely autobiographical. Like its author, the novel's main character, Rehan Tabassam, is the illegitimate son of a Pakistani powerbroker and a cultured Indian mother. He has a priviledged upbringing but no real relationship with his father til adulthood. After some early dawdling childhood scenes, the book catapults into Rehan's early 20s, when he's finishing up an expensive liberal arts education in Massachusetts and futzing around in India and Pakistan, reading Russian novels and catching up with his long-lost half-siblings. My curiosity about Taseer's biography got a little bit in the way of my reading of this book. I wanted to know why Rehan seemed relatively unperturbed by his mother's tendency to seduce influential married men and how Rehan's father enforced his unquestioned power. I wondered if the real-life Taseer siblings were anything like the conniving, ineffectual Tabassam kids (in real life, at least one Taseer daughter is just as poised and well-spoken as her brother The novel's biggest strength -- and weakness -- is that it sticks closely to what the narrator perceives and experiences. This means the big political and cultural questions the story touches on are only ever examined from Rehan's perspective -- fleetingly, as he struggles to sort out his own place as a man, a son, an Indian and a Pakistani. To his credit, Rehan (Aatish?) repeatedly acknowledges and probes his limitations as a narrator. They're what give the book authenticity and value but also what prevent it from having heft. Rehan is caught between fascinating, shifting worlds, but he's too preoccupied with establishing his own identity to fully take them on.

  • Leah
    2019-04-28 08:23

    Compelling storytelling This book is more a collection of short stories than a novel, showing as it does distinct episodes in the life of Rehan Tabassum set several years apart. Written sometimes in the first-person and sometimes in the third, we see Rehan first as a young man on his way to meet his father who abandoned his mother when Rehan was too young to remember him. The following four chapters focus on incidents in Rehan’s life from when he was a child until the present when he is a young man.Rehan’s life, as a young man with an Indian mother, an absent father in Pakistan and a western education, seems to mirror the author’s own life and the book comes over as autobiographical in style. The various stories provide glimpses into the divisions in society in both India and Pakistan, the contrasts between the wealth and power of the new industrialists and the simultaneous fading of the old privileged classes, the casual corruption and cruelty that seem to be part of everyday life and the rise of the more militant form of Islamism. Without in any way dwelling on terrorism, the author makes reference to it and highlights the growing hatred of western values and the colonial legacy, embodied often by the use of the English language amongst the elite.The tone of the book was quite pessimistic about the societies of both India and Pakistan. The role of women came across as very minor and subordinate – both of Rehan’s father figures had left wives for younger women and after Rehan’s childhood years the women were barely mentioned. The scenes of mild torture casually employed by the police, the continuing class and caste divides, the contrasts of extreme poverty and extreme wealth, the street riots – I was left wanting to see some of the positives that surely must exist to counterbalance these negative images.Overall, however, I found the author to be a very effective and compelling storyteller. While I didn’t feel the book held quite together as a novel, I found each chapter to be a fully formed story in its own right. There were many cultural and religious references in the book that I didn’t get and the author didn’t explain (why should he?) but I didn’t find this marred my understanding or enjoyment of the book. I will certainly look out for more from this author in the future.NB This book was provided for review by Amazon Vine UK.

  • Vrixton Phillips
    2019-04-28 10:07

    Absolutely riveting; I read it in two sittings [which is saying something because I'm usually lucky to finish a book at all, much less finish it quickly]. The premise isn't exactly compelling stuff to your average Westerner: Rehan Tabassum grows up in a changing India and later sees violence and extremism in a Pakistani port-city. However, it does give a Westerner a lot to contemplate, particularly towards the end.In Chapter 3 there's a robbery and Rehan narrates the tale of how discrimination played an enormous role in how the corrupt police handled the case. It also gives an interesting, Indian perspective on the concepts of servitude and humanity.In Chapter 4 we see blackmail, rage, extremism, a culture of homophobia, and voyeurism; the narrator insists there is no moral point to all this, but it does remind us that across the world humans are humans and we are all subject to the same absurdities and passions, even if they carry different names and circumstances. It makes you wonder about the impact that Western Civilization is having on the world, and it also makes you wonder about whether that influence is a positive one. Putting it in a different light, it also tells us a lot about our own culture: that we are not so different from many of the countries that are rather "frowned upon" in the West. The premise may not be compelling to some, but the storytelling is fantastic.A note, though: it uses a lot of colloquial language in foreign tongues. It doesn't detract from the story, most of the time, but as someone who unfortunately only speaks one language, I did find myself wondering what some words meant.

  • Kiran Watwani
    2019-05-01 10:25

    It flits from one country to another and follows 4 disconnected incidents in Rehan Tabassum's charmed life - 2 in India and 2 in Pakistan. The India ones (One about little Rehan and his single Mom moving from their grandma's and the other about a grown up Rehan trying to work with Delhi authorities to get to the bottom of a household theft) are actually intriguing. The little Rehan one can't help but adore and sympathize with, the older, spineless Rehan in India one tends to despise but it still moves you. But the Pakistan stories, particularly the 2Nd one where he falls head first into a really potentially tense story of vengeance, intrigue and unfathomable violence, left me quite disappointed. I feel like I'm not allowed to feel anything. There is a distance in his visual of India as well, but it strikes you as a self preservation thing. The distance mechanism for Pakistan is so underutilized that it just feels like he hasn't looked at all. That's not self preservation.. that's the unforgivable premature decay of Rehan himself. The other Pakistan story is an encounter in a train where he hears a first hand account of the earthquake. A really good start to the book. Seems like Taseer floundered quite a bit with this one. He's very out of his element. He doesn't seem comfortable with his material, it feels like he hasn't figured out what to make of it, what to prioritize, and it seems to interfere with his usual dexterity. It also somehow felt... disrespectful.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-29 10:21

    Goodreads Synopsis:Rehan Tabassum has grown up in a world of privilege in Delhi. His mother and her new husband embody the dazzling emergent India everyone is talking about. His real father, however, is a virtual stranger to him: a Pakistani Muslim who lives across the border and owns a vast telecommunications empire called Qasimic Call.As Rehan contemplates his future, he finds himself becoming unmoored. Leaving the familiarity of home for Pakistan in an attempt to get closer to his father, he is drawn into events he barely understands. His half brother, Isffy, is being blackmailed; his powerful father’s entourage is tearing itself apart; and the city of Port Bin Qasim, where he finds himself, is filled with rioting protestors. Moral danger lurks in every corner of this dark, shifting, and unfamiliar world. Set against the background of a turbulent Pakistan and a rapidly changing India, Noon is a startling and powerfully charged novel from a brilliant young writer. Aatish Taseer bears witness to some of the most urgent questions of our times, questions about nationhood and violence, family and identity.My Thoughts:I found it interesting and enjoyed reading the story from the perspective of Rehan. It held my attention and I was able to complete it in one sitting. I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  • Murtaza
    2019-05-08 05:08

    Story at page 200 is totally crapOf, a tow cays later, a wedding massacre in Smv| hpictures wore awful: images of the young couple conn.vM,v}with scenes of butchery and chaos, the red and goM ^ ^Wedding lehnga stained with the deeper red ot brutal Mv\mBut once more, the motive for, in this case, tr.Urmdc w.,vmvstifving: the girl's brother and friends had turned on \\\ywedding party with axes upon discovering that not ,i vnv^Wmember of the groom's side could convert simple Urdu noutuinto their plural forms. This, from her brother: 'M\ suspuuHVsWert first aroused when I heard one of them s,u. "hav \ Aht""Yakht?" I thought; strange that he didn't sav "aukaat" No. outoi interest, my friends and I, we began questioning themdo vou know what? Not one of them, not even the man whowas to marry my sister, could tell me what the singular fonwof "auraak" was. Worse still, when we asked them to tonnagent nouns from simple nouns, "intezar" to "muntazn" sa\,not .i man among them could do it. lint wis when ft*> >N ¦began to boil. I thought what kind of family am I letting nnsister marry into? How would my nieces and nephew «s beraisedFTTie shame! That was when m\ fur\ ow h annj j ' ~I took matters into my own hands.'

  • Pauline
    2019-05-03 07:13

    When a book is endorsed by V.S. Naipul it raises high expectations, but I did not feel Noon was as unforgettable and compelling as I hoped it would be. The novel describes four episodes of the narrator’s life from 1989 to 2011. The first section portrays Rehan living with his squabbling mother and grandmother. The second is about a glamorous dinner party in honour of the Rajamata, who humiliates the host by arriving late. The wealthy nouveau riche plans his revenge years later. The third part depicts a burglary and Rehan’s effort to identify the suspect amongst his servants. He struggles morally and attempts to analyse the behaviour of his employees. In the last chapter Rehan is trying to find a place amongst his stepbrothers in the dysfunctional family, but only encounters corruption, blackmail and violence. Taseer makes the political tension in India and Pakistan tangible, but the book would have worked better as a collection of short stories. I missed the coherency and flow of the storyline; it lacks a narrative that brings the stories together. I found Taseer’s perspective on a menacing world and the apocalyptic scenes in the last chapter the best things in the book.

  • Akshat
    2019-04-27 09:06

    This was one of those books which showed a lot of promise, but overall was a little disappointing. Throughout much of the reading, I was kept interested but the book failed to live up to the hype and expectations.Aatish Taseer's description of the lives of Delhi's elite socialites brought back memories for me. I could personally associate with many of the characters described in that portion of the book. The section about the lives of the Delhi servants was also pretty captivating. However, what I felt was the book's biggest weakness was the fact that the different elements of the book did not really come together effectively. The stories were quite disjointed and therefore it did not create the kind of impact that could have potentially be achieved. I also found Taseer's references to Pakistan as 'La Mirage' and Karachi as 'Port bin Qasim' to be rather pointless and unnecessary.Taseer as an author has definitely shown signs of brilliance during the course of the book, but overall the story line definitely lacks some bite.

  • Aurina
    2019-05-08 08:00

    Even though it claims to be a novel, the chapters in Noon are too disjointed to really read as one. Taseer's attempts at weaving together the narrative fall flat. I really did not enjoy the first two chapters that are set in India. Having read other works by Taseer in which he mines his personal life for material, they were repetitive and uninteresting. I especially did not like the chapter about his step-father's party because it was too reminiscent of 'Durbar,' written by Taseer's mother Talvin Singh. But Taseer hits his stride with the last two stories: He writes with unsettled and unsettling plainness about the rigid hierarchies, modern madnesses and casual cruelties of South Asia, both India and Pakistan not so different after all. His writing, in these last two chapters, is controlled, evocative and at times, even haunting. I would recommend reading these two chapters - and maybe prologue - as stand-alone stories.

  • JulieSackett
    2019-05-10 02:01

    Author quote: "in writing this last episode, I tried often to see what I had not seen, to be places I had not been, to pretend that my view of Port bin Qasim had not only-and ever- been an eclipsed one. In this, I was like a man, who peeping through a keyhole is denied his vantage point, when leaning too forcefully against the door that has restricted (and excited) his vision, he causes it to swing wide open. A mistake, you see: for what we cannot know is as much a part of us as what we do know. And people, like places, must learn to live with their absences, with those parts of the record that have been sanitized."

  • Evan
    2019-05-21 10:10

    I enjoyed this book. It doesn't follow a linear fashion, but explores different periods of time in the main character's life. I was able to pick this book up over a period of a few months, and keep reading wherever I had left off without any problem. I thought the story picked up in action/drama about halfway through. The Interesting juxtaposition between the Western world and Indian culture is examined in an offhanded way, but still remains a very interesting component of the book.

  • Tara
    2019-05-04 06:24

    Loved the detail, felt like I was right there! Very interesting story and Taseer did a wonderful job describing the scenes and characters. My only dislike of this book is the way the chapters flowed. They didn't seem to come together nicely but instead jumped around and confused me a little. Overall I would recommend this book. I'll be reading this one again!*I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads*

  • Anirudh
    2019-05-19 07:07

    Taseer is yet another subcontinent author with a brilliant writing style with flashes of descriptive brilliance escaping the dark depths of the land of No Plot But Too Much Disconnected Angst.Though the book is beautiful, I feel the Indian subcontinent needs more Hunter Thompsons and Bill Brysons, more Frank Millers and Garth Ennises, and less Stephanie Meyer.

  • Rachel
    2019-04-26 07:14

    This book exemplified the split between the educated upper classes in India and Pakistan and the less well educated and working class. Corruption was a main theme as well.The story itself was a bit disjointed as it was told in chapters in different times and place but did get to the heart of the matter. I would have enjoyed more character development but am glad I read this.

  • !Tæmbuŝu
    2019-05-05 05:59

    KOBOBOOKSReviewed by The Guardian, The Independent

  • Biju Balakrishnan
    2019-05-13 09:25

    My first book by Aatish Taseer and I must say the experience has been really bad. The chapters in the book do not link each other, completely disjointed. It makes it all the more confusing not to mention an already boring narrative. I wouldn't recommend this book but of course it is my personal opinion. I had to force myself to finish this book.

  • Lourdes
    2019-05-08 05:57

    This may not be a book for everyone. But I would say that the story seems real. The parts do read as short stories where you could see the different stages of his life. Compelling enough that I wanted to read it all the way through though.

  • Gauri Parab
    2019-04-27 10:12

    This book too, seems autobiographical like A STRANGER TO HISTORY. But it wasn't as gripping or dramatic as expected. I felt quite disconnected from the story though there was so much material, so many topics and diverse characters to tackle.