I seem to have developed a liking for books set (wholly, or in part) in India. Perhaps it’s the incredible diversity of the place where it’s culture, it’s people and religions saturate and permeate each other like no other place on Earth.
Some of the notable titles on my ‘India List’ would be
- The Life of Pi (a book I was lucky enough to read whilst in India). A must read title.
- Penguins Stopped Play (a true story which looks at the world through the eyes of cricket – Probably India’s third greatest love (after food and music)
- The Death of Vishnu (A symbolic construct of Hinduisms and cosmopolitan living)
- The White Tiger
(2008’s Booker prize winner, and rightly so, this title unfolds as a letter written by a Bangalore entrepreneur.)
- Shantaram (a stunning true story of a Westerner who goes from rags to riches and back again in Bombay)
And now to add to my list “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistery. A fast paced novel that spans generations of Indian caste history coming up to the 1970’s during India’s “State of Emergency”. The book creates such believable characters, of which the four main characters cover so much ground the book seems to have a job fitting it all in. A delve into the good and evil of India (and humanity, which India is such an incredible representation of) . From the crisp clean hill stations in the north to the squalid rat infested jhopadi slums of the cities where at times you can almost smell the spices as the author describes a street scene. An educational novel from one of humanities cornerstones. A true masterpiece.