Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tag team

Tagged by him.

Let me gush about my new-found circulating library, first. Its a wet dream come true.

Tucked in a corner between the Bombay's lousiest lounge bar called P.U.L.S.E. and the HDFC Bank ATM on Hill Road, N/books, Sales & Library should immediately be declared a national treasure.

Charges are 150 per month, 1 book at a time and 250 bucks refundable deposit. You can change as may times as you wish. To a somewhat energetic reader like me, that works out to about 25 bucks per book.

And here is the list of the books I've borrowed so far :
  • Artemis Fowl, The Eternity Code - Eoin Colfer
  • The Alchemy of Desire - Tarun Tejpal
  • Franny & Zooey - JD Salinger
  • Portrait of an artist as an old man - Joseph Heller
  • The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco
  • Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
  • Love in a Blue Time - Hanif Kurieshi
  • Half Moon Investigations - Eoin Colfer
  • Needful Things - Stephen King
  • Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Maximum City - Suketu Mehta

Not your run-of-the-mill street corner kabadiwala cum circulating library, eh? In addition the books are in pristine, virtually new condition.

I was actually thinking about not letting out this secret to anybody, but you know, what-the-hell ...

The book I am reading now is obviously the last one in that list. Hasn't quite made up my mind up on this one. Definitely better than Shantaram, definitely worse than Sacred Games. But overall, not very defining to a forced resident, like me.


spiderman! said...

Have read Shantaram but not Maximum City. Could you please elaborate on what premise is the latter better?

udayan said...

@ Spiderman!

Just in terms of sheer writing, man. Suketu Mehta, albeit a great simplifier of complex situations, is better at describing context / situations than our friend Gregory Roberts, IMHO.

Both stories are largely sensational, though.

Dipta Chaudhuri said...

Finally, you wrote! But you forgot to write the 5 lines starting from the 4th on page 123...

BTW, Shantaram features in my list of books that I found so bad that I could not finish. But then, that list includes Lord of the Rings as well!

Maximum City does not touch upon the stock market as a phenomenon of Bombay. Otherwise, it was quite good.

Rimi said...

I've heard only great things about Maximum City. From born and adoptee mumbaikars. It's a bit like Calcuttans and that article Vir Sanghvi wrote about the city.

Anyway, now be a sweetheart and write a review of Unaccustomed Earth. Pretty please.

udayan said...

@ dipta

I could not go to the 2nd page of The Alchemist.

Maximum City is what exactly you would expect in a book oriented towards wide-eyed incredulous Americans. It reinforces all the typical stereotypes which you read or hear about without actually being there. And the constant name-dropping gets to you after a while. The parts I really liked, as compared to the usual underworld / bollywood / dance bar / Shiv Sena routine, are reminiscences about his childhood.

@ Rimi

Long time. See above for my honest take on MC.

And I wrote the review. Could I get another topic now? That seems to be the only way I manage to write now-a-days :)