An Author’s Vision of the Mean Streets of Mumbai

From The New York Times:Chandra600span_1

The Dickensian sweep of Bombay, as Vikram Chandra prefers to call the city — the cops on the take, the slums patrolled by mobsters, the whores turned Bollywood starlets, the headboards in million-dollar co-ops that slide away at the touch of a button to reveal hundreds of thousands in hidden rupees — is itself a protagonist in “Sacred Games,” Mr. Chandra’s long-awaited 900-page novel (excluding glossary) just published by HarperCollins.

The latest in what one London critic calls the “subcontinental doorstopper” school of epic Indian fiction, “Sacred Games” combines the ambition of a 19th-century social novel with a cops-and-Bhais detective thriller. (Bhai is a Hindi and Gujarati term for wiseguy.) The book, Mr. Chandra’s third, was the subject of an intense bidding war among New York publishers, one apparently presided over by Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity, who bestowed upon this 45-year-old cherubic-faced author a seven-figure advance.

More here.