Friday, 5 October 2012
Narcopolis Reaction on Book :
Narcopolis Reaction on Book : Vistasp Hodiwala
Narcopolis: Jeet Thayil, Faber & Faber, 292 pages Hardcover.
Narcopolis is 20 years too late and exasperatingly pretentious. It is repetitive beyond exasperation, has a formulaic Kamathipura cast of pimps, prostitutes and peddlers and is written with a cold, cynical pen to get the firangs high on Mumbai exotica. Add to that a soulless narrative (coming from an accomplished poet, that's doubly sad) which leaves you without any empathy for a single character in the entire novel. To me, it seemed a singularly dishonest piece of work which just became a punishment of sorts as the pages rambled on. Though as a rule, if I have nothing good to say, I do not comment adversely about any piece of work but this one has made me angry enough to make an exception. The Booker nomination only means that somewhere a more deserving piece of work has cruelly got passed over. This is of course an intensely personal sentiment and I don't want anyone who has liked the book to take personal offense, but to me this book encapsulated just about everything that gives the literary fiction genre a bad name. There, it's out of my system!