Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sacred Games: Vikram Chandra

I finished reading Sacred Games at 2:45am this morning. Mehul had told me that Sacred Games and Maximum City are rather similar. That much I expected. The two books have some identical stories and subplots - about a bar girl who's actually a man and who does seriously well in the profession, for example.

Overall, though, Sacred Games is more like a high-quality paperback thriller with a few differences:
* It's 900 small-print pages
* It has an elaborate glossary of Hindi/Marathi/Gujarati/Punjabi words at the end
* The locales aren't fancy: most of the story is set in dirty, grimy Mumbai and in its chawls and kholis
* The pace is slow: Vikram Chandra takes a while to hit his stride
* Even the most peripheral characters are totally fleshed-out

It is an excellent read, but it could have been shorter by a few hundred pages without losing any of the texture. The author also has one of the characters tell his tale from the grave. Those parts are slow and rather boring - I feel that I should have just skipped those portions completely in the first reading and come back to them later.

The best part about the book is that some of the characters do live and can come back for a sequel!

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It's too heavy for me to read. Like, heavy in the literal sense. ;)
Literal, not literary!

Like, ACTUALLY physically too heavy!
Whoops! My bad... "Literal sense" vs. "literary sense" - very confusing, English language...
At 900 pages it sure must have been an exhausting read! I don't read fiction that is more than 400-500 pages :)
Well, I'm not in grad school, and so don't have better things to do. :)
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