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Synopsis: Shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize
Jeet Thayil’s luminous debut novel completely subverts and challenges the literary traditions for which the Indian novel is celebrated. This is a book about drugs, sex, death, perversion, addiction, love, and god, and has more in common in its subject matter with the work of William S. Burroughs or Baudelaire than with the subcontinent’s familiar literary lights. Above all, it is a fantastical portrait of a beautiful and damned generation in a nation about to sell its soul. Written in Thayil’s poetic and affecting prose, Narcopolis charts the evolution of a great and broken metropolis.
Narcopolis opens in Bombay in the late 1970s, as its narrator first arrives from New York to find himself entranced with the city’s underworld, in particular an opium den and attached brothel. A cast of unforgettably degenerate and magnetic characters works and patronizes the venue, including Dimple, the eunuch who makes pipes in the den; Rumi, the salaryman and husband whose addiction is violence; Newton Xavier, the celebrated painter who both rejects and craves adulation; Mr. Lee, the Chinese refugee and businessman; and a cast of poets, prostitutes, pimps, and gangsters.
Decades pass to reveal a changing Bombay, where opium has given way to heroin from Pakistan and the city’s underbelly has become ever rawer. Those in their circle still use sex for their primary release and recreation, but the violence of the city on the nod and its purveyors have moved from the fringes to the center of their lives. Yet Dimple, despite the bleakness of her surroundings, continues to search for beauty—at the movies, in pulp magazines, at church, and in a new burka-wearing identity.
After a long absence, the narrator returns in 2004 to find a very different Bombay. Those he knew are almost all gone, but the passion he feels for them and for the city is revealed.
About the Author: Jeet Thayil was born in 1959 in Kerala, India. He was educated in Hong Kong, New York, and Bombay, cities where his father worked as an editor and writer. His four poetry collections include These Errors Are Correct and English, and he is the editor of The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets. As a musician and songwriter, he is one half of the contemporary music project Sridhar/ Thayil. Narcopolis is his first novel. He lives in Delhi.
Title: Narcopolis: A Novel
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: 2012
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Penguin Press, 2012. Book Condition: Good. First Edition. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP69218262
Book Description Penguin Press, 2012. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP67596678
Book Description Penguin Press, 2012. Book Condition: Good. First Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP85949714
Book Description Penguin Press, 2012. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP95347204
Book Description Penguin Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2673039624
Book Description Penguin Press 12/04/2012, 2012. Book Condition: used-good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9781594203305
Book Description Penguin Press HC, The. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book has a small amount of wear visible on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G159420330XI3N10
Book Description Penguin Press HC, The. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fair. Dust Cover Missing. Bookseller Inventory # G159420330XI5N01
Book Description Penguin Press HC, The. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. This copy shows very minor wear. Bookseller Inventory # G159420330XI4N10
Book Description Penguin Publishing Group. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G159420330XI5N00