Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jeet Thayil's Narcopolis

Here's Palash Krishna Mehrotra's review of Jeet Thayil's much-awaited novel "Narcopolis" published in Sunday Guardian. Excerpt:

"Thayil, a well-known poet, deploys his powers of description with some success. He is excellent when nailing druggy nihilism: 'You've got to face facts and the fact is that life is a joke, a fucking bad joke, or, no, a bad fucking joke.'; or the point at which pain recedes into the dark night and one is high, simply high: 'I am unplugged from the tick of metabolism; I am mineral.' Both smack and opium produce dream-like states in the user, and Thayil describes these abstractions with great felicity: 'Dreams leak from head to head; they travel between those who travel in the same direction, that is to say lovers, and those who share the bonds of intoxication and death.'"
Knowing, as I do, Jeet's lyrical prose as well as poetry I look forward to reading the novel. Another reason for my excitement is that it is about Bombay, a city about which I too am writing in my forthcoming novel. Jeet's Bombay seems dark and noir as mine is dissolute and corrupt.

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