Weekend Read: Narcotics In The Meteropolis

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Image Courtesy: themanbookerprize.com

Its that time of the week again, the weekend, and a dig into those pages with transportation powers. Yes, Mumbai’s favorite deity is home this week and it is festivities, modak and Ganpati Bappa Moriya all the way. With Tinku jiya dhol mix blaring all over but thanks to the 10.00 p.m. sound ban you could still have a peaceful reading night. And if Indra smiles, perfecto! Ganesha, the Mahabharata ghostwriter, also brings with him the paramount literary news – a book about his city, written by a writer educated here makes it to the shortlist of Man Booker International Prize 2012. I recommend the very same book – Narcopolis as the weekend read. Go grab!

Image Courtesy: themanbookerprize.com
Image Courtesy: themanbookerprize.com

Set in the 1970s in Shuklaji Street of old Bombay (Mumbai of today) Narcopolis is the story that is as shady, smoky and hallucinated as the characters it deals with, set in a city that could have the same descriptions. The story mostly revolves around the opium room of Rashid who is such an expert at camouflage that his opium room is like the ones in the bollywood movies of the 80s – only those who really need to know, know where the room is. Set at a time when the popularity of opium is fast disappearing and other dangerous drugs are making a leeway into the Bombay drugs market ,Narcopolis also traces links with Mao’s cultural revolution in China through a character called Lee, subtly tracing the ancient India – China opium trade links to which

Written by the Kerala born, Mumbai, New York and Hong Kong educated poet, songwriter, guitarist and writer – Jeet Thayil, the book traces the tale of three decades of life and changes in the underbelly of a city that is a narco-inducted metropolis. It has an array of what would normally be christened weirdo characters – an eunuch who is keen on reading and learning, a Chinese fugitive who gifts his pipes to the eunuch, a narrator who finds his job as a proof reader of the publicity material at a pharmaceutical company soul breaking, so on and hence forth.

Will Jeet Thayil do an Arvind Adiga, come 16th October 2012? We shall find out but before that, don’t miss out on this literary masterpiece. Like I said – go grab! Read the book already? Share your review!

Post By Reshmy Pillai (16 Posts)

Story seeker - anytime, anyplace; after all stories are not always necessarily found in books. Chain reader, writer, blogger, books reviewer.

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Reshmy Pillai

Reshmy Pillai
Story seeker - anytime, anyplace; after all stories are not always necessarily found in books. Chain reader, writer, blogger, books reviewer.