I have heard great reviews about it from Aussies and Indians alike. Unfortunately, it didn’t do it for me. It was too long. It was too detailed and dry in some cases, which I personally felt were not needed. And, it was too unrealistic. It was only when I was three-fourths into the book that I found out it was not ‘real’ but based on some experiences of the author. In spite of knowing that, I felt that it was a bit too fantastic. Don’t get me wrong — I love fantasy (Harry Potter is one of my favourites). But when an author is trying to base the story within a real society, you expect a bit more realism.
The experiences with the underworld, the bits about going to Afghanistan in the war, and I guess, almost, the lack of emotions (to me) didn’t do it. On the other hand, I did enjoy the sections when the main character lived in the slums and the way in which he talks about Bombay.
Bombay — in India, it is the city where you go to make your dreams come true. I think the author has depicted Bombay quite well. The sights, the sounds, the smells — they are all very vivid in the book. For me personally, the description of some places brought back find memories.
Leopold’s — that was where I had my first drink
Cafe Mondegar — was where my friends and I hung out sometimes after college
Colaba Causeway — I’ve walked through there heaps of times.
Fort — yet another long walk for me on some days
So while the book did bring back some memories, it didn’t do much else in terms of substance and storyline.
Who knows, maybe Hollywood might change things around?
I would like to hear what others who have read the book thought of it.
Until next time,