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Sacred Games by [Chandra, Vikram]
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Sacred Games Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Length: 933 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product description

Review

"Lavish, accomplished, and.elegant.[SACRED GAMES] offers Western readers a panoramic view of contemporary India." -- Tennessean

Lucy Hughes Hallett, Sunday Times

'A saga full of social upheaval and personal violence, spanning
decades and touching on every aspect of the city's life.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1503 KB
  • Print Length: 933 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061130354
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004REJPZ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #155,807 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought a copy of this book soon after it was published and it sat languishing on my bookshelf. I kept putting off tackling its 947 pages of small print. But in the end I knew I had to make a start….

In fact is proved to be a terrific read set in the seamier side of Indian society. Vikram Chandra makes a huge sweep of corruption, bribery, international terrorism, religion, Bollywood and cosmetic surgery. The two main characters are Sartaj Singh, a Sikh police inspector in Mumbai and Ganesh Gaitonde, a Hindu gangster and mafia don. Gaitonde recounts his story from beyond the grave – we know he is already dead right at the start of the book. Sartaj Singh is puzzled by the fact Gaitonde is found in a house that seems to have been reinforced to withstand a nuclear bomb – but we are not told the answer until 800 pages later.

Basically Sacred Games is an easy read and is a good story but it goes off at lots of different tangents and sub-plots. The language is earthy and vibrant. At first I looked up translations of Hindi words but this was too disruptive to the flow of the narrative so in the end I just guessed their meaning from the context. (Maderchod is a great expletive – but not sure when I could put this into practice!)

Well worth a read but I take off one star for being too long…..
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As always, an excellent read.
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Format: Paperback
This is a dazzling, complicated, bewildering and magnificently compelling novel set in modern India. Its reach is extensive. `Sacred Games' trawls back to the times of Partition and explores the nature of India's divided society, its inherent and functional form of commonplace corruption, and the threat of international terrorism involving the most potent of WMD.
All of this is expertly and gradually revealed through the personal tales of two protagonists on opposite sides of the law: an upstart young Hindu gangster who becomes one of the leading crimelords in Mumbai and a stalwart if unambitious Sikh policeman. Their paths cross, and the telling of their stories explores the complexity of today's Indian society, with the spice of an international thriller thrown in.

Many people will find 'Sacred Games' hard going, and a very long read. It took me about 200 pages to feel comfortable with the language (some of it in Hindi, Gujurati, Sanskrit or slang, so English-only speakers will need to use the glossary at [...] or get a feel for the meaning and go with the flow). There is a considerable level of sex and extreme violence, as you might expect with a realistic depiction of criminal networks -- but the beauty of 'Sacred Games' is that these appear alongside moment of poetic purity. Evens the in the darkest moments of depravity there are glimpses of devout human spirit and even the most corrupt individuals can be unexpectedly righteous.

A book to be read slowly, savoured and digested at length. Let it overwhelm you for a while, and get to know the main characters. Definitely a book to take on holiday and read for several hours at a time - would be very disjointed if grabbed in short sections.
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Format: Hardcover
This truly is an epic. At first sight, I thought Vikram Chandra was just trying to match his namesake (the more famous Vikram Seth, author of other 'epics' like A Suitable Boy) by writing a long novel (it is long at 900 pages!). But as I started reading it, I realised that this was not just long, but wide and deep.

The author's breadth is dizzying - the story goes from the murky world of the Mumbai mafia-style underworld, to international terrorism, to the workings of the Indian bureaucracy, to the intelligence services investigating Islamic fundamentalism, to the traumas of the Partition of the Indian sub-continent 60 years ago, to the sidelines of the inside workings of Bollywood....

But, it is not just the breadth of the canvas that is breath-taking. This is not a superficial skimming of several sub-plots. It is the depth with which Vikram has researched each of these sub-plots and gone into not just describing the superficial external happenings there, but the intricate workings inside the minds of the people involved. He has gone right into the depths of the mind of a Mumbai don, a Mumbai policeman, an intelligence officer, a family uprooted at Partition....

It is hard to imagine that a 900-page book could be unputdownable - but this one was for me. I lost touch with the outside world for a week while I read this for several hours everyday.
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Format: Paperback
Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games combines the attractions of genre literature with a meticulous social portrayal of that most fascinating of countries: modern India.

The novel's chosen format is that of a detective story, with ex-playboy, philosophically inclined Sikh police inspector Sartaj Singh chasing the tail of Bombay's most notorious gangster boss. We are also given the gory and satisfyingly prurient tale of the gangster's rise to chiefdom. But it is best never to betray too much of a thriller's plot. Suffice it to mention that the storyline takes on nationally and even internationally threatening dimensions, as well as going through the Bombay mob and the police's more modest, everyday battles.

The pace never flags through the book's massive 900 pages. No doubt Chandra is a capital storyteller, but this also owes something to the author's evident knowledge of his subject and acquaintance with the travails of the Bombay police force; one can feel the author has sweated and put in the hours for his reader. And beyond this, whole swathes of Indian society are put under the microscope. This is no set-piece version of sacred, historical India. What we have is an equally brutal and endearing, and invariably contradictory picture of a country in full transformation. Sacred Games ranges from the Bollywood scene to Bengali slums, from Naxalite battlegrounds to new-rich condominiums and from the Singhs' family farm in Maharashtra to the corridors of power in Delhi. It even manages to make the inevitable expository piece about the partition tragedy realistic and appealing.

The writing is elegant without - surprisingly for such a tome - being wordy, granting a large place to dialogue.
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