Monday, December 8, 2008
I am back. It was a long journey but well worth the effort. This trip was in the metaphysical sense though real none the less. Vikram's dense novel leads the reader through the underworld of Mumbai, weaving an intricate tale of gang lords and detectives. I was introduced to this novel by Rampini's account of modern India that I had read over the summer. Sadly, this fictional work took on a whole new meaning as half way through reading it, the tragic real life terrorist attacks occurred.
Rampini described how Chandra lived among Mumbai's gangsters for several months to put together the material for this book. It shows. The depth of the story and the characters is wonderful. This book further confirmed to me the important role fiction plays in our learning. A well-written tale is able to provide a certain type of shading on a certain subject that non-fiction is not capable of doing. I thoroughly recommend this novel to anyone interested in crime, mob bosses, India or all three. It will entertain you while opening the door into many cultural nuances of the Indian culture.