Synopses & Reviews
Named "The Year's Best Fiction" by A. Magazine, The Snake Charmer tells the story of Sonalal, a middle-age snake charmer making a living with his been pipe and his beloved cobra, Raju. Despite his great skills, Sonalal's drinking and womanizing seem to have marked him for a life of insignificance. But that all changes one remarkable afternoon when he produces music so beautiful he is certain the gods must be listening. In a moment that will change his life forever, Raju bites Sonalal, and Sonalal bites back, destroying the one creature who loves him. The Snake Charmer traces Sonalal's bumpy journey through brief celebrity, profound remorse, and a quest for answers to unanswerable questions of love, life, and art. Sparely and beautifully written, this "novel of enchantments" (Oscar Hijuelos) is an unforgettable debut, confirming the Washington Post's comparison of Nigam to Arundhati Roy and Vikram Chandra.