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23
3.8 out of 5 stars
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I so enjoyed this book - it is well written, and ranges wide and far across the city, highlighting the sheer diversity of people, and recounting in detail a wide range of situations and experiences. This book is one of the few I've read which conjures up in words a portrait so vivid you can actually 'see' the city. Brilliant!
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on 2 April 2013
With a cover illustration similar to the view from the nearby retiring rooms I am very familiar with, I did anticipate a more down to earth account of the complex life in this amazing city. However, after a promising start it becomes a somewhat tedious account of the author's life rather than that of the city. Try instead Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Catherine Boo for a far more revealing account of Bombay even though, in my opinion, this too is flawed.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2006
This book is excellent in that it offers an insight into a city that many people will visit but will get nothing more then a superficial familiarity with the city,the shopping malls and Taj Hotel,Malabar Hills and a few relgious sites.

I think it is essential to know about the all-pervading influence of the gangs, which are varied in religion and origin but all have Bombay in their blood. The police action was occasionally gruesome to read about but fascinating nevertheless. Those who dont have an interest in the Hindu-Muslim relations and the seedy underworld (which is really the overworld in Bombay) wont find it as interesting.
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on 2 February 2013
A visitor to India sees the energy, the beauty and the magnificent variety of this vibrant country. This book gives a measure of the sinuous undercurrents and political threads that underly the foundation and fragmentation of the community.
A startling and necessary account.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2005
This is a fascinating read. The characters, although easy to loose in all the action at times, are intriguing and Mehta has made them very real to the reader. The book has thrown a completely new light on Bombay for me and underscored that it is a city that thrives on gender, power and money. My only criticism is that the grammar needs an overhaul - it really should have been proof read better. It's not brilliant from a literary standpoint but can be appreciated for its journalistic qualities. A must read for all.
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on 6 June 2015
Very well written after thorough study of Mumbai. If you send as a gift to India make sure they have received it. Only at the second attempt did the book was delivered to the addressee.
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The city inside out, examined by a writer with an insider and outsider viewpoint. I found it riveting. A must for anyone visiting the City
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2009
Am trying how best to review this book and the one word that keeps coming to mind is 'snapshot' Mehta provides a vivid snapshot of Mumbai during the 2 years he spends there as an NRI (Non Resident Indian). Many of those familiar with India and specifically Mumbai will find themselves agreeing with Mehta's commentary and even thinking about their own experiences.

The disappointment for me though was the lack of anything new. Though the images he creates and stories he tells are captivating, if you know Mumbai, they are not new. It's almost like he has taken all the key things that people know about Mumbai and created a book out of it.

In conclusion, I would say it is definitely worth a read, if not to find out about Mumbai then to revisit it on paper at least. A very well written book with wonderful characters and such a range of genres that it will definitely make the train journey that much more enjoyable.
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2006
I have struggled but in the end had to just skip out dozens of pages. I'm not really sure what the point of this book is. The author seemed interested in returning to his roots, but doesn't make it at all clear why anyone else but himself should want to know about it all. I find it very self-indulgent and just goes on much too long. In a way it's about the human landscape, but only a limited number of people, and at the end I couldn't name a single geographical or urban feature or recognise a single one if I were droped down in the middle. I don't feel I know the place at all, even after nearly 600 pages of print; just about one man's past and his reactions to the present, without being engaged about either.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2011
Fairly readable. A shorter version would have achieved better result. Only Indians could understand the way it was narrated. The author could have explained some of the Indian words used - giving their meanings in brackets - they were not familiar to readers in the West.
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