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Sacred Games: A Novel (P.S.)

by

Sacred Games: A Novel (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780061130366
ISBN10: 0061130362
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

"Sacred Games is a brilliant crime epic, which impressively balances a literary detective and gangster story with a cinematically violent tale of contemporary Bombay. One of Chandra's most remarkable achievements amidst this novel of marvels is his ability to turn mundane moments into extraordinary ones; a father's lovingly ritualized inquiries into his sons' hygiene are just as compelling as far higher octane scenes of crime and gang wars. The overall effect for the reader is to have the breadth and depth of Bombay's peoples exposed and made immediate, highlighting the manner in which the city's impressive violence touches all in Chandra's perfect circle."
Recommended by Brodie, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A policeman, a criminal overlord, a Bollywood film star, beggars, cultists, spies, and terrorists — the lives of the privileged, the famous, the wretched, and the bloodthirsty interweave with cataclysmic consequences amid the chaos of modern-day Mumbai, in this soaring, uncompromising, and unforgettable epic masterwork of literary art.

Review:

"Mumbai in all its seedy glory is at the center of Vikram Chandra's episodic novel, which follows the fortunes of two opposing characters: the jaded Sikh policeman, Sartaj Singh, who first appeared in the story 'Kama,' and Ganesh Gaitonde, a famous Hindu Bhai who 'dallied with bejewelled starlets, bankrolled politicians' and whose 'daily skim from Bombay's various criminal dhandas was said to be greater than annual corporate incomes.' Sartaj, still handsome and impeccably turned out, is now divorced, weary and resigned to his post, complicit in the bribes and police brutality that oil the workings of his city. 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 1,001 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: the animosity of caste and religion, the poverty, the prostitution and mainly, the criminal elite, who organize themselves on the model of corporations and control their fiefdoms from outside the country. 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 900-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 characters speak in the slang of the city ('You bhenchod sleepy son of maderchod Kumbhkaran,' Gaitonde chastises). The novel eventually becomes a world, and the reader becomes a resident rather than a visitor, but living there could begin to feel excessive." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The enthusiasm with which the venerable firm of HarperCollins is promoting this massive deadweight of a novel, and the money that it's putting where its mouth is, leaves one to ponder once again the eternally mysterious ways of the book-publishing industry. Certainly, Vikram Chandra is a writer of some talent, and he has a couple of British Commonwealth prizes to show for it, yet how is one to explain... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] riveting epic....Chandra has created a compulsively involving literary thriller by drawing on the Mahabharata and aiming for the amplitude of Victorian novels....A splendidly big, finely made book destined to dazzle a big audience." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Chandra's gangster world is dynamic, occasionally absurd, and replete with social commentary and philosophic observations....Chandra also imbues his characters with humanity and color, even if his plot and writing style could do with tighter editing. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"One of the coolest things about Sacred Games is the crash course it offers in 21st century Indian society and especially the life of Mumbai....Chandra's genius is in the way he trusts his readers." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[A] ravishing, overexuberant stab at the Great Indian Novel, an extraordinary work of fiction that will reward you in full for your investment of time, though not without occasionally testing your patience. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"[An] immense, demanding novel....The appeal of Sacred Games lies in its mix of several commercially reliable formulas...along with considerable helpings of sex and violence plus enough genre-bending twists to keep pulp aficionados off balance and intrigued." Paul Gray, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[O]ne of those books you immerse yourself in, a passport to an alien world and, like life, you imagine it could go on forever." Newsday

Review:

"Chandra manages to forge an intimacy between the reader and the two often morally unattractive men who rage across these 900 pages....Sacred Games is both riveting and brilliantly vile." Time Out

Review:

"Unstinting in its ambition...flourishing in its characters...[an] intriguing act of literary decolonization....Sacred Games is cinematic in scope." Newsweek (International Edition)

Review:

"The appeal of Sacred Games lies in its mix of several commercially reliable formulas...along with considerable helpings of sex and violence plus enough genre-bending twists to keep pulp aficionados off balance and intrigued." Paul Gray, New York Times

Review:

"It is a terrific, brilliant, earthmover of a book...and it has understandably made Chandra quite a bit famous back in India." San Antonio Express-News

Review:

"It's not everyday that one reads a 900-page tome that's this good." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Review:

"Sacred Games can be read and enjoyed as an edge-of-your-seat thriller....But Chandra's sure-handed writing injects the novel with layers of depth and meaning; he captures history, politics, current events race, class and religion." The Oregonian

Review:

"Sacred Games is monstrously entertaining, conjuring images of a literary duet between John Irving and Vikram Seth with a dollop of Mario Puzo thrown in for good measure." The Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"Sacred Games is like one of John Irving's novels: Either you adore the oversized characters and abundance of material, or you find the whole shebang overwrought and verbose....My problem is that some of the characters are simply less compelling than others." USA Today

About the Author

Vikram Chandra is the author of the novel Red Earth and Pouring Rain (Commonwealth Writers' Prize; David Higham Prize), and the short story collection Love and Longing in Bombay (Commonwealth Writers' Prize; New York Times Notable Book). Born in New Delhi, he divides his time between Mumbai and Berkeley, where he teaches at the University of California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Sean Inman, January 28, 2010 (view all comments by Sean Inman)
This is a sprawling book that took me into a world that I knew nothing of at all. It can be melodramatic at times but the writing is propulsive.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
Stuart, March 15, 2008 (view all comments by Stuart)
This daunting book just flies by as it transports you to a place most of us have never been. Chandra never loses you even as you wind your way not only through the Indian locales but also through Indian history. I haven't been as enthusiastic about a book in a long time.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(12 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061130366
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Chandra, Vikram
Author:
by Vikram Chandra
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Series Volume:
The Revolutionary Mo
Publication Date:
20071218
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
992
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 7.52 oz

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Related Subjects


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Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

Sacred Games: A Novel (P.S.) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.95 In Stock
Product details 992 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061130366 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"Sacred Games is a brilliant crime epic, which impressively balances a literary detective and gangster story with a cinematically violent tale of contemporary Bombay. One of Chandra's most remarkable achievements amidst this novel of marvels is his ability to turn mundane moments into extraordinary ones; a father's lovingly ritualized inquiries into his sons' hygiene are just as compelling as far higher octane scenes of crime and gang wars. The overall effect for the reader is to have the breadth and depth of Bombay's peoples exposed and made immediate, highlighting the manner in which the city's impressive violence touches all in Chandra's perfect circle."

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Mumbai in all its seedy glory is at the center of Vikram Chandra's episodic novel, which follows the fortunes of two opposing characters: the jaded Sikh policeman, Sartaj Singh, who first appeared in the story 'Kama,' and Ganesh Gaitonde, a famous Hindu Bhai who 'dallied with bejewelled starlets, bankrolled politicians' and whose 'daily skim from Bombay's various criminal dhandas was said to be greater than annual corporate incomes.' Sartaj, still handsome and impeccably turned out, is now divorced, weary and resigned to his post, complicit in the bribes and police brutality that oil the workings of his city. 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 1,001 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: the animosity of caste and religion, the poverty, the prostitution and mainly, the criminal elite, who organize themselves on the model of corporations and control their fiefdoms from outside the country. 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 900-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 characters speak in the slang of the city ('You bhenchod sleepy son of maderchod Kumbhkaran,' Gaitonde chastises). The novel eventually becomes a world, and the reader becomes a resident rather than a visitor, but living there could begin to feel excessive." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] riveting epic....Chandra has created a compulsively involving literary thriller by drawing on the Mahabharata and aiming for the amplitude of Victorian novels....A splendidly big, finely made book destined to dazzle a big audience."
"Review" by , "Chandra's gangster world is dynamic, occasionally absurd, and replete with social commentary and philosophic observations....Chandra also imbues his characters with humanity and color, even if his plot and writing style could do with tighter editing. Recommended."
"Review" by , "One of the coolest things about Sacred Games is the crash course it offers in 21st century Indian society and especially the life of Mumbai....Chandra's genius is in the way he trusts his readers."
"Review" by , "[A] ravishing, overexuberant stab at the Great Indian Novel, an extraordinary work of fiction that will reward you in full for your investment of time, though not without occasionally testing your patience. (Grade: B+)"
"Review" by , "[An] immense, demanding novel....The appeal of Sacred Games lies in its mix of several commercially reliable formulas...along with considerable helpings of sex and violence plus enough genre-bending twists to keep pulp aficionados off balance and intrigued."
"Review" by , "[O]ne of those books you immerse yourself in, a passport to an alien world and, like life, you imagine it could go on forever."
"Review" by , "Chandra manages to forge an intimacy between the reader and the two often morally unattractive men who rage across these 900 pages....Sacred Games is both riveting and brilliantly vile."
"Review" by , "Unstinting in its ambition...flourishing in its characters...[an] intriguing act of literary decolonization....Sacred Games is cinematic in scope."
"Review" by , "The appeal of Sacred Games lies in its mix of several commercially reliable formulas...along with considerable helpings of sex and violence plus enough genre-bending twists to keep pulp aficionados off balance and intrigued."
"Review" by , "It is a terrific, brilliant, earthmover of a book...and it has understandably made Chandra quite a bit famous back in India."
"Review" by , "It's not everyday that one reads a 900-page tome that's this good."
"Review" by , "Sacred Games can be read and enjoyed as an edge-of-your-seat thriller....But Chandra's sure-handed writing injects the novel with layers of depth and meaning; he captures history, politics, current events race, class and religion."
"Review" by , "Sacred Games is monstrously entertaining, conjuring images of a literary duet between John Irving and Vikram Seth with a dollop of Mario Puzo thrown in for good measure."
"Review" by , "Sacred Games is like one of John Irving's novels: Either you adore the oversized characters and abundance of material, or you find the whole shebang overwrought and verbose....My problem is that some of the characters are simply less compelling than others."
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