Sacred Games vikram chandra ForAnuradha Tandon and S. Hussain Zaidi Contents Acknowledgements Dramatis P. Modern Sensing Technologies. Smart Sensors, Measurement and Instrumentation (Series). Subhas Chandra Mukhopadhyay Editor Krishanthi P. Jayasundera. An enormously satisfying, exciting and enriching book, Vikram Chandra's novel draws the reader deep into the lives of detective Sartaj Singh and Ganesh.

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Editorial Reviews. Review. Sacred Games is a novel as big, ambitious, multi-layered, contradictory, funny, sad, scary, violent, tender, complex , and. Read Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. Now a Netflix original series“SACRED GAMES [is] as hard to put down as it is to pick up.” — New York Times Book Review“Bold, fresh and big SA.

Sacred Games: A Novel

I remember reading British children's stories as a kid, and having long discussions with friends about what "crumpets" and "clotted cream" could possibly be. An Indian reader reading a novel about Arizona by an American writer might have no idea what a "pueblo" was, or why you went to a "Circle-K" to get a bottle of milk.

But the context tells you something about what is being referred to, and there is a distinct delight in discovering a new world and figuring out its nuances. This is one of the great gifts of reading, that it can transport you into foreign landscapes. It's one of the reasons I read books from other cultures and places, and I hope American readers will share in this pleasure.

Your book has dozens of characters who could live in books of their own. Aside from your two main figures, the policeman Sartaj Singh and the criminal Ganesh Gaitone, which was your favorite character to write? She's curious, innocent, and passionate; writing that chapter was hard and exhilarating.

The movies of Bollywood and Hollywood are everywhere in your story, and many in your family and you yourself have been screenwriters and directors. For someone new to Indian film, what are some of your favorites you'd recommend? A very small sampling from the '50s onwards might be: Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

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Adam's Rib: Antonio Manzini. Red Earth and Pouring Rain: A Novel. Vikram Chandra. Smiley's People: Dongri to Dubai. Hussain Zaidi.

The Pale Criminal: A Bernie Gunther Novel. Philip Kerr. Editorial Reviews site. Steep yourself in this story, enjoy the delicious masala Chandra has created, and you will have an idea of how the country manages to hang together despite age-old hatreds, hundreds of dialects, different religious practices, the caste system, and corruption everywhere. The Game keeps it afloat.

Mumbai in all its seedy glory is at the center of Vikram Chandra's episodic novel, which follows the fortunes of two opposing characters: Sartaj is ambivalent about his choices, but Gaitone is hungry for position and wealth from the moment he commits his first murder as a young man. A confrontation between the two men opens the novel, with Gaitonde taunting Sartaj from inside the protection of his strange shell-like bunker. Gaitonde is the more riveting character, and his first-person narrative voice lulls the reader with his intuitive understanding of human nature and the 1, tales of his rise to power, as he collects men, money and fame; creates and falls in love with a movie star; infiltrates Bollywood; works for Indian intelligence; matches wits with his Muslim rival, Suleiman Isa; and searches for fulfillment with the wily Guru Shridhar Shukla.

Sartaj traces Gaitonde's movements and motivations, while taking on cases of murder, blackmail and neighborhood quarrels. The two men ruminate on the meaning of life and death, and Chandra connects them as he connects all the big themes of the subcontinent: Chandra, who's won prizes and praise for his two previous books, Red Earth and Pouring Rain and Love and Longing in Bombay , spent seven years writing this page epic of organized crime and the corruption that spins out from Mumbai into the world of international counterfeiting and terrorism, and it's obvious that he knows what he's talking about.

He takes his chances creating atmosphere: The novel eventually becomes a world, and the reader becomes a resident rather than a visitor, but living there could begin to feel excessive. All rights reserved. See all Editorial Reviews. Product details File Size: October 13, Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers Language: English ASIN: Enabled X-Ray: Not Enabled.

Literary Fiction. Is this feature helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention sacred games vikram chandra sartaj singh ganesh gaitonde modern india indian culture inspector sartaj indian words glossary in the back police inspector bollywood films crime boss love and longing netflix series suitable boy every page longing in bombay india and pakistan well written highly recommend.

Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Paperback Verified download. I loved, i loved, i loved this book. My god, i loved this book.

Definitely one of my faves of this whole year worth of reading. I loved that it was this sprawling epic, i loved the twisty knot of its plot, i loved the complexity of the characters, i loved the structure of the dual narrative, i loved the little departures from that structure, i loved the way the whole novel is steeped in the intricacies of South Asian cultures.

A caveat though: This is a great novel, perhaps the greatest book on Bombay ever written. Certainly a contender for the Great Indian Novel. It deserves a standing ovation and a crisp street salute. Smartly done, bhidu. Sacred Games is the single best book I have ever read about my city. It captures Bombay in a way that no other book has ever managed.

And judged purely as a novel, it is an astonishing triumph of the imagination. Long after I had finished reading it, the incidents and the characters refused to fade from my memory. Even now, Ganesh Gaitonde turns up in my dreams. This is a book about Bombay written by a person who understands the city.

It is meant for those of us who know Bombay. It is not written for foreign audiences or American reviewers…. The strength of the book — at least, from my perspective — is that it is set in a vastness of grey. There are no black and whites in Bombay.

You might also like: GAME OF THRONES FULL BOOK

There is no simple right and wrong. If you want moral certitude, find yourself another city.

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Sacred Games is a detective story in precisely the same way that Bleak House is a detective story. Chandra shares with Dickens the ability to sustain a multitude of sub-plots that writhe energetically around the smooth uncoiling of his principal theme — the duel of wits between Sartaj Singh and Ganesh Gaitonde, both now entering middle age, that realm of doubt and dread.

His other Dickensian trait is the ability to enlist an entire city — in this case, Bombay or Mumbai, the novel uses the terms interchangeably — as a character in his drama.

But if eloquence, confidence, humanity, grace and fine observation are their raw materials, perhaps Sacred Games deserves those epithets. Sacred Games is — you have been warned — one of those books that one not only reads but inhabits. To inhabit Sacred Games means — again, you need to know — moving to Bombay, to Mumbai… Before everything and everyone else there is Chandra: a fabulist at work who not only entertains the reader but, as is clear from page 1… takes an all but obscene pleasure in the act of writing….

Indian writers have long striven to deliver the great Mumbai novel… Chandra comes staggeringly close to total success. His mind-stretching sweep takes in a detectives-and-gangsters thriller, a social panorama, a satire of India new and old… and so much else.

This mammoth yarn of cops and thugs, film-stars and financiers, unspools at Dickensian length — and with Dickensian zest. Vikram Chandra begs us to understand that nationalism has become the latest refuge of the scoundrel. Larson, The Daily Star Bangladesh. This is a novelist with a flair for characterisation and an ambitious reach.

Vikram Chandra has achieved the near-impossible. He has constructed a superbly realized world of alien languages, customs and styles, presented on the page without apologies or explanations, and has somehow created a wholly believable universe.

Is it possible to shrug off our hold on this small thing called our life? Is that the natural effect of aging? Is it wrong to strive? Does it make you less human, or more? Open your heart to it, bhai, and it will absorb you.

In such a vision, the ultimate folly of political and ethnic divisiveness, of hatreds and vendettas, is sharply illuminated. Sacred Games, though often suspenseful, is never filmi. But Chandra takes an even longer view; to him the battle is literally between life and death, between those who understand that this world is necessarily chaotic, flawed and painful and those whose craving for order, calm and purity make them so very, very dangerous.

Finally, the choice is not between believer and infidel, or even between good and evil, but between Mumbai and the grave. Sacred Games does not wear Mumbai as a heart on its sleeve. In its depiction of the truly slimy and creepy dark side of the city, it almost brutally tears apart the illusions that Mumbaikars hold about Mumbai. Forget streets paved with gold. The streets are not paved at all. And the city celebrated for its acceptance and open-mindedness is revealed to be not quite as its middle class residents believe.

Yet, because it is so honest about the city, Sacred Games is another love song to Mumbai. Nowhere else in fiction has the city, its people and its obsessions been delineated in such detail.

Though the picture that emerges is far from pretty, Mumbai, eventually, turns out to be beautiful.

It is tempting to describe the sprawling novel Sacred Games as a potboiler, the Indian answer to The Godfather. For lunch Sartaj had an uttapam sent to the station from the next-door Udipi Restaurant. The keen kick of the chillies was invigorating, but when he was finished, Sartaj was unable to get up from his chair. It had been a very light meal but he was crushed, pulped by lassitude.

He was barely able to get up and pull the bench from the wall, to slip off his shoes and lie flat and very straight on the wood. His arms were crossed on his chest. A deep breath, then another, and the edge cutting into the back of his thigh receded, and in the swimming drowsiness he was able to forget details, and the world became a receding white blur.

Yet a sharp undertow flung him into anger, and after a moment he was able to remember what he was restless about. And once Parulkar was gone, what of Sartaj? What would become of him?

Sartaj had begun recently to feel that he himself had accomplished nothing in his life. He was past forty, a divorced police inspector with middling professional prospects.

Others from his batch had climbed past him, he was just pedalling along, doing his job. He looked into his future and saw that he would not achieve as much as his own father, and much less than the redoubtable Parulkar. I am quite useless, Sartaj thought, and felt very bleak. He sat up, rubbed his face, shook his head violently, and pulled on his shoes. He stalked into the front room, where PSI Kamble was rubbing his stomach lightly in circles. He looked quite satisfied. You know those two gaandus who were encountered yesterday by the Flying Squad in Bhayander?

You know the Gaitonde gang and the Suleiman Isa gang have been stepping up their war again, right? So, I heard the two hits yesterday were a supari given by the S-Company. I heard that the Flying Squad boys made twenty lakhs. I hear the going rate to get in is twenty-five lakhs. His face was aglow, every pore open and alight. Sartaj had once heard it from a slumlord convicted of murder, the bitter secret of life in the metropolis: paisa phek, tamasha dekh.

They had literally bumped into each other, walking round a corner in a basti in Andheri. Which was absolutely true: if you had money to throw, you could watch the spectacle — the judges and magistrates trapezing blithely, the hoop-jumping politicians, the happy, red-nosed cops. Bahzad Hussain had the grace and good sense to come quietly to the station, and he was very confident, and wanted only a cup of tea and a chance to make a few phone calls. He made jokes and laughed a lot.

Yes, he had thrown his money and watched the spectacle.

All of this police jhanjhat was only a slight waste of time, nothing more. Paisa phek, tamasha dekh. Kamble now had a family standing in front of him, a mother and a father and a son in blue-uniform short pants.

The father was a tailor who had come back home from the shop early in the afternoon, to get some suiting material he had forgotten. On the way he had taken a short-cut and seen his son, who was supposed to be in school, playing marbles against the factory wall with some faltu street kids. The mother was doing the talking now. The teachers have given up.

He shouts back at us, my son. You take him. You put him in jail. Looking at her hands and finely muscled forearms, Sartaj was certain that she worked as a bai, that she washed dishes and clothes for the wives of executives in the Shiva Housing Colony.

The son had his head down, and was scraping the side of one shoe against the other. Sartaj crooked a finger. It was very loud, and Sailesh started and backed away. Sartaj grabbed him by the collar and twisted him around the end of the desk.

Let me show you what we do with tough taporis like you, Sailesh. Katekar was sitting with another constable at the end of the room, near the squatting line of chained prisoners.

Narain Swami, pickpocket. Let him see.

Give Narain Swami some dum and let the big man see. With the second one he howled quite creditably. After the third and fourth he was sobbing.Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free site App.

You are in the India store Not in India? With a good pair of binoculars you could even see Nariman Point, not so far across the sea but at least an hour away on empty night-time roads, and very far from Zone Deals and Shenanigans. By the time he pulled up, parked and walked to the Cave, it was almost one and now he was very tired. He was hedged in close, and it was hard to see more than a few feet, and everywhere they were talking animatedly, leaning close to each other and shouting against the music.

He studied it closely. They had a fight.

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