I just finished reading Vikram Chandra’s latest, Sacred Games. It took me all of four days, which for a nine hundred page novel, isnt bad. It is a gripping read, with all the trappings of a Bollywood Masala movie, with heroes, villians, beautiful women and international gurus writ large and a delicious terror plot (delicious for its conscious subversion of current religious affiliations of such acts, not because the terror is described in a cynical or sly manner) that threatens India if not the world. I read in the Bangalore Metro section of today’s Hindu that Vikram Chandra comes from a filmi family, so the Bollywood connection is understandable. The apocalyptic vein that runs through the book is perhaps more Hollywood than Bollywood, but then again, the Mahabharata was apocalyptic in its portrayal of utter and complete destruction. Talking of which, the book is Mahabharata-ish, for example, in its insistence on stories within stories with each subplot playing a role in tying up all the loose ends. If I read Sacred Games again, I might find all these sub-texts postmodern rather than Mahabharata like, but for now I am happy. Is it a good book? Absolutely. Is it a good story? Yes. Is it literature? Frankly my dear, I dont give a damn.
PS: If you want a real review, take a look here.