Book Review – Narcopolis – Jeet Thayil

images-1Narcopolis has recently won DSC Prize for 2013 at the Jaipur Literature Festival.¬†Jeet Thayil became the first Indian author to win the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2013. I had read the review of this book on some portal and had always wanted to read it. I couldn’t stop myself from buying its copy at the Jaipur Literature Festival and got it signed too by the author as he was one of the speakers at the festival. So, this book is special in its own way.

Narcopolis is one of the few books that I have read from cover to cover. I was so engrossed in the book that I couldn’t stop myself from finishing it in a single seating. When I read the prologue of this book, which is extremely well written has carries a special format of writing, I was sure that this book is going to be a great read and it didn’t disappoint me at all. I might as well read this book again. It is dark, intense and highly disturbing at times but once has got tremendous power to grip your concentration provided that you are patient enough to absorb what all is written in there.¬†IMG-20130201-01262

The book is about the dark side of Bombay. Drugs, Opium, Heroine, Blue Smoke, the book is set up in the shady areas of Bombay carrying tales of various people including Dimple, an eunuch. The book is highly unpredictable and takes you by surprise at various points. Too shocking at various levels and in the end you feel sad for Dimple in the end. Also, the dreariness of Bombay, its filth, its diseases of race, class, religion, violence and death are well embedded in the book and makes you feel sick at times.

Jeet Thayil is a poet and Narcopolis is his first fiction Novel. You just don’t want this book to end. It makes you crave for more and more and you feel bad when it ends. I highly recommend this book not because it has won a prize because in the end you would empathise with it. Read it and you will get my drift.

Book Source : Personal Copy
Publisher : Faber & Faber
ISBN : 978-0-571-28307-1
Genre : Fiction

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