BEAUTIFUL THING by Sonia Faleiro
Kirkus Star

BEAUTIFUL THING

Inside the Secret World of Bombay's Dance Bars
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A harsh, cinematic look at the international sex trade.

In 2005, Vogue contributing editor Faleiro (The Girl, 2008) met the beautiful, charismatic Leela, "the highest-paid bar dancer” in her Bombay suburb. Leela brought Faleiro into her world, an environment filled with sleazy johns, frightening pimps and, of course, other exploited young women who were trapped in a life of stripping and/or prostitution. When Bombay's strip-club scene crashed and almost burned, Faleiro followed Leela's quest to rebuild her life. Leela was happy to let the author report on her adventures, and the result is a glimpse into a frightening subculture unlike anything that a typical American has ever experienced. Originally published in India in 2010, the book has become an international sensation; after only a few pages, it's easy to understand why. With crackling prose, Faleiro provides an intense, disconcertingly entertaining glimpse into the shadowy corners of a foreign culture; the fast-paced narrative, while undeniably journalistic, reads like a thriller. But what ultimately gives the book its resonance is Faleiro's empathy and love for her fully developed subjects. In lesser hands, these young people could have come off as clichés, but the author makes sure we care for them and root for them to survive a life that most will never understand.

Gritty, gripping and often heartbreaking—an impressive piece of narrative nonfiction.

Pub Date: March 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8021-7092-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Black Cat/Grove
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2012




BOOKS ON INDIA:

NonfictionBEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS by Katherine Boo
by Katherine Boo
NonfictionINDIA BECOMING by Akash Kapur
by Akash Kapur
NonfictionINDIA by Diana L. Eck
by Diana L. Eck
NonfictionINDIA by Patrick French
by Patrick French

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionSTRIP CITY by Lily Burana
by Lily Burana
NonfictionSOME GIRLS by Jillian Lauren
by Jillian Lauren
NonfictionPAID FOR by Rachel Moran
by Rachel Moran