Thayil, Jeet Narcopolis

ISBN 13: 9780143123033

Narcopolis

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9780143123033: Narcopolis

Wait now, light me up so we do this right, yes, hold me steady to the lamp, hold it, hold, good, a slow pull to start with, to draw the smoke low into the lungs, yes, oh my...

Shuklaji Street, in Old Bombay. In Rashid's opium room the air is thick with voices and ghosts: Hindu, Muslim, Christian. A young woman holds a long-stemmed pipe over a flame, her hair falling across her eyes. Men sprawl and mutter in the gloom. Here, they say you introduce only your worst enemy to opium. There is an underworld whisper of a new terror: the Pathar Maar, the stone killer, whose victims are the nameless, invisible poor. In the broken city, there are too many to count.

Stretching across three decades, with an interlude in Mao's China, it portrays a city in collision with itself. With a cast of pimps, pushers, poets, gangsters and eunuchs, it is a journey into a sprawling underworld written in electric and utterly original prose.

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Product Description:

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Narcopolis is a rich and hallucinatory novel set around a Bombay opium den, as the city transforms itself over three decades.

In Old Bombay, they say you introduce only your worst enemy to opium. But in Rashid's opium room on Shuklaji Street, the air is thick with voices and ghosts. A young woman holds a long-stemmed pipe over a flame, her hair falling across her eyes. Men sprawl and mutter in the gloom. And now there is an underworld whisper of a new terror: the Pathar Maar, the stone killer, whose victims are the nameless, invisible poor. In broken Bombay, there are too many to count.

Stretching across three decades, with an interlude in Mao's China, Narcopolis portrays a city in collision with itself. With a cast of pimps, pushers, poets, gangsters and eunuchs, it is a journey into a sprawling underworld written in electric and utterly original prose.

Review:

'Like a beautiful nightmare, this novel is not easy to forget.' --Independent on Sunday

'Jeet Thayil's Bombay is a city dreaming troubled dreams, and Narcopolis will change the way you imagine it.' --Hari Kunzru

'Completely fascinating and told with a feverish and furious necessity.'
--Alan Warner

'This is a compelling, often exhilarating debut. Thayil deftly weaves the various narrative threads, and his overheated, hypertrophied prose invites comparison with the greatest of all narco-novels: William Burroughs' Naked Lunch.' Financial Times

'At its best beautifully written, inventive and clear-eyed, Narcopolis deserves to be read and acclaimed.' Times Literary Supplement

'An evocative portrait ... Thayil's depiction of the addicts' slow disintegration until they become 'damaged strangers' and 'inanimate objects', even to themselves, is devastating' --New Statesman

'I wished that this book, like some long and delicious opium-induced daydream, would go on and on ... Narcopolis is a blistering debut that can indeed stand proudly on the shelf next to Burroughs and De Quincey.' --Guardian

'Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil plumbs the world of substance addiction with a feverish imaginative power. Written with a poet s eye for economy, its generous and unflinching vision drifts between dream, nightmare, and the sprawling real world of Mumbai that the characters struggle to inhabit. This journey is also a narrative of language and ideas, but what makes Narcopolis a truly great book is its compassion and hard-earned wisdom.' --Krys Lee, Financial Times Books of the Year

'This is a compelling, often exhilarating debut. Thayil deftly weaves the various narrative threads, and his overheated, hypertrophied prose invites comparison with the greatest of all narco-novels: William Burroughs' Naked Lunch.' Financial Times

'At its best beautifully written, inventive and clear-eyed, Narcopolis deserves to be read and acclaimed.' Times Literary Supplement

'an evocative portrait ... Thayil's depiction of the addicts' slow disintegration until they become "damaged strangers" and "inanimate objects", even to themselves, is devastating' --New Statesman

'I wished that this book, like some long and delicious opium-induced daydream, would go on and on ... Narcopolis is a blistering debut that can indeed stand proudly on the shelf next to Burroughs and De Quincey.' --Guardian

'Captures the Bombay underworld of the 1970s in all its intoxicating, poetic squalor.' --Observer

'Thayil's prose is masterful.' --Irish Independent

'I wished that this book, like some long and delicious opium-induced daydream, would go on and on ... Narcopolis is a blistering debut that can indeed stand proudly on the shelf next to Burroughs and De Quincey.' --Guardian

'Dreamy and energetic prose.' --Independent

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