Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

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.

4 comments:

Nels Abrams December 17, 2008 at 4:07 PM  

Wow, living with Mumbai gangsters for your book is dedication to your craft. Seems like you are interested in India. There is a new film out, Slumdog Millionaire, with very authentic cinematography of the country.

You soaking up the Obama good-will vibes in Germany? I read he has an approval rating of like 99% over there. It must be nice to be out of the country and have people stoked about our political leadership.

Volks January 5, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

Tye, if you liked the Mumbai Gangster story you should definitly get "Shantaram'by Gregory David Roberts, Australian convict who fled to Mumbai to live in the slum and make it to the criminal world, autobiographic and just great. When I was in India I read it and it helped me understand more about India.

Major.srikanth June 13, 2009 at 3:17 AM  

hey tye... true the book has good depth and being an indian i could relate to most of the charecters and the way react to the various situations. as for knowing more about india the best was is to hitch your way from end to the other. there is a saying that whatever you say about india will definetely correct and also absolutely wrong...
cheerio

Suhail June 19, 2009 at 5:22 PM  

I've been looking for a good book to read concerning the corruption on the streets of India. Slumdog Millionaire just didn't cut it for me. This book looks like it should satisfy my need to vicariously live through unique characters in the backdrop of India. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog and saw India under the Categories. My curiosity paid off this time. I'll be picking it up on the way home.

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