Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Review: Mumbaistan by Piyush Jha.




Book: Mumbaistan

Author: Piyush Jha

Pages: 239

How Long it took me to Read: A couple of hours

Plot Summary: Mumbaistans three explosive crime novellas unravel the secrets of maximum city from the slums of Dharavi and the bylanes of Kamathipura to the swank high-rises of Bandra. A prostitute, her lover and a policeman play for high stakes in BombDay. Injectionwala exposes chilling medical malpractices and a lovelorn vigilantes twisted game plan. In Coma Man, a man awakens from coma after twenty years, and sets out in search of his wife and himself. Gritty love stories, manipulative cops and hard-boiled slumlords form the backdrop of this unputdownable thriller. Its MUMBAISTAN all the way.

Mumbai, a city of dreams for many. But for others, a nightmare. Behind the fa├žade of lustre and glamour churns a seething underbelly of squalor, corruption and crime.

Mumbaistan’s three explosive crime novellas unravel the subterranean secrets of maximum city—from the teeming maw of Dharavi and the wanton streets of Kamathipura to the swank high-rises of Bandra.

A prostitute, her lover and a policeman play for high stakes in Bomb-Day.
Injectionwala exposes chilling medical malpractices and a lovelorn vigilante’s twisted game plan.
In Coma Man, a man awakens from coma after twenty years, and sets out in search of his wife— and himself.

Macabre love stories, conniving cops and hard-boiled slumlords form the backdrop of a schizophrenic city that is brooding...dying.

Welcome to Mumbaistan; a gritty, compelling take on the megalopolis that lives on the edge.

Characters: There are three novellas and loads of characters in them. The characters are well etched out and memorable. Some more than others, in fact one of the characters from the second novella- Injectionwalla, has a series of mystery books with him as the lead character (The Compass Box Killer).

What I Liked: I liked the writing in all three novellas. The pace of the stories are great and it was quite a page turner. Being a thriller, this book was a quick and engrossing read. There were twists and turns along the stories that kept things interesting.

I also loved how Bombay/ Mumbai (my city) was described in the book. The author did a great job at getting the general vibe of the city in the stories. I also liked that the city of Bombay/ Mumbai was a character itself. The grittiness and chaos was very well captured.

I also liked quite a few characters across all three novellas.

What I didn’t Like: Very little. But the big twists were slightly, very slightly guessable. I guessed the big reveal in 2/3 stories.

General Thoughts: I am so pleased that good thriller/mystery/detective stories are coming out of India! I loved this book. And I had no idea how much I was going to like it before I read it. I bought it on super sale and thought it might be a decent read. It exceeded my expectations. It was a quick, easy, engrossing and interesting read. I am keen on trying the next book by the author. In fact, I already bought a copy. J

Will You Like it? If you mystery and crime novels and fancy a quick read you will like this book.

Rating: 4/5.

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