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Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi

Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi [Kindle Edition]

Rana Dasgupta
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £25.00
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Product Description


A beautifully written portrait of a corrupt, violent and traumatised city growing so fast it is almost unrecognisable to its own inhabitants. An astonishing tour de force by a major writer at the peak of his powers (WILLIAM DALRYMPLE)

Lyrical and haunting (International New York Times)

Rana Dasgupta is the most unexpected and original Indian writer of his generation (SALMAN RUSHDIE)

[Dasgupta has] a gift for sentences of lancing power and beauty (New Yorker)

Achingly beautiful . . . and cleverly tangential (Financial Times)

Book Description

The transformation of Delhi into a twenty-first century metropolis is an intoxicating, at times terrifying story - and it has repercussions not only for India, but for the West's - for everybody's - future.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2753 KB
  • Print Length: 481 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 085786002X
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (6 Mar 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GLQ4B48
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,851 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delhi, but not the citty of Djinns 24 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a bleak picture of one of India's most iconic city Dasgupta's cast of characters is wonderfully idiosyncratic - the rich and successful as well as those for whom system is exploitative. The portrayal of a venal medical profession betraying the basics of any hippocratic oath and the historical indifference of the new rich for their compatriots would raise the hackles of anyone not familiar with Indian civil service practice !
It is a significant contribution to the huge library of portraits od Delhi in that it reflects a 21st century prtrait - no attempt to mreflect the establishment of seven historical Delhis, no appeal to the past, it is an unflinching critique of what the city has become. In terms of professionalo development, architectural abomination and civic exploitation, it reveals a depressng picture but on the other hands stories aroud those characters such as the gay fashion designer, the business woman trapped in a traditional matriarchal home and the second generation millionaire provide a portrait of real life.

Having lived in Delhi, I foun d it fascinating, un-put-downable, great narrative and beautifull written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Biography and synecdoche: all in one. 4 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Capital proved to be an unexpected delight. Dasgupta, a relatively new and unknown Indian voice, writes with a sensitivity and directness that I have seen many accomplished columnists and self-fashioned commentators try and fail. His attempt to decode the hidden underworld behind his adopted city is free from any personal nostalgia and the pointer of his deconstruction is an Eastern megapolis transformed completely while riding on the neoliberalisation wave. The tone largely stays that of an incredulous expatriate who is disturbed and sobered by only the most recent of the jaw-dropping metamorphosis who then sets about putting microphones before the mouths of the movers and shakers along with the moved and the shaken to make sense of the disorienting din.

Armed with the emerging vignettes, he inserts himself regularly with a sweeping overlong editorial distilled from the recent historical and economic touchstones that is driving the city's contemporary citizens aspirations and ideals. The end result is an updated polyphonic biography of the city and a commendable effort at encasing the narrative of this city's metamorphosis as a synecdoche and a cautionary tale for the global phenomenon of crony-capitalism and its consequences, both for the ever-more dispossessed and expanding masses and the ever-narrowing, flourishing classes. The particular transformation of Delhi is as comprehensive as the more general extrapolations.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and Sadenning. ..a great read. 21 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Enlightening and broadly encompassing insight into modern Delhi life. Well written, insightful and thought provoking and sometimes leaving the reader feeling saddened at the bleak outlook presented. Though Das Gupta's current observations and experiences are well reasoned and written, Im not so sure if Delhi's historical side is as well presented and researched. A few times in the book, chapters are dedicated to a single persons versions and perspective on Delhi's history and development and this is then almost taken as gospel by the author and presented to the reader as is, without question. Overall a great read, especially for those who have lived in Delhi as I have done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really powerful book - immensely informative
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