Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unusual but worth while, 16 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Narcopolis (Paperback)
A group of characters - loosely connected through their use of opium and later other variants of opium and Rashid's khana, in which it is smoked or injected or inhaled - has a range of experiences in 1980s Bombay. These range from the visit to Bombay of an artist who specialises in images of Christ, through to the live of the local gangsters and corrupt police, through ethnic conflict and general poverty. The final chapters of the book are a 30 years on return by the narrator who has been part of the scene, but not a central part. Much of the book concerns Dimple, who works for Rashid, and Mr Lee for several chapters, from whom she inherits an opium pipe which buys her original entry to Rashid's khan.

This is therefore not a tightly plotted novel - it has more the rewards of an interlocking set of short stories - memorable incident, some reflections on the meaning of life, and a very strong sense of time and place.

The opening chapter is an 8 page unparagraphed reflection by the narrator looking back on his own first experience of opium at Rashid's. If this does not immediately appeal, it is unlikely that the rest of the book will fare much better. On the whole, I enjoyed it and it will certainly linger in the memory.
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