Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
by Suketu Mehta, a review from Times Literary Supplement by Kamila Shamsie.
"If you look at Bombay from the air... you get a sense of its possibilities. On the ground it's different." Those early lines in Suketu Mehta's dizzyingly ambitious Maximum City go right to the heart of something that even the most transitory of visitors to Bombay can't help but notice ? the juxtapositions of that city's capacity to fuel the imagination with the sheer misery of the living conditions it imposes on almost all of its 14 million inhabitants. A chronicler less intimate with the city, or less skilled in the art of narrative non fiction, might use that juxtaposition as a way of guiding his readers through the city: here are the poor and there are the rich; here the glamour and there the squalor. Fortunately, Mehta chooses the more complex and far more rewarding strategy of showing us how the seemingly divergent facets of the city are interlinked: dreams and misery, violence and incorruptibility, the filth of the underworld and the glitz of Bollywood." Read the entire TLS review.