LOVE AND LONGING IN BOMBAY by Vikram Chandra

LOVE AND LONGING IN BOMBAY

Stories
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Five ingeniously linked long stories by the young Indian-born author whose impressive fictional debut was the magical-realist Red Earth and Pouring Rain (1995). These stories, which are uniformly full-bodied and richly detailed, are told by a convivial yet enigmatic civil servant, Subramaniam, to his attentive cronies in a bar called the Fisherman's Rest. Each recounts a quest of some kind, and all are distinguished by unusually detailed and persuasive characterizations. ``Dharma'' tells of a stoical combat veteran who experiences ``phantom pain'' in his amputated leg and consequently a ghostly visitation that brings equally painful memories of his childhood. ``Shakti'' is an amusing tale of rivalry between two socially ambitious women that is resolved by an unexpected alliance. In ``Kama,'' the investigation of an apparently open-and- shut robbery and murder uncovers a morass of sexual and political misdoing and the complicated personal life of Sartaj, the police detective who learns as much about himself as about the killer he pursues. ``Artha'' and ``Shanti,'' respectively, describe a gay computer programmer's dangerous search for information about his disappeared lover, and a twin bereft of his brother and in love with a beautiful married woman who travels ceaselessly looking for the truth about her long-lost husband, a soldier reported missing in action. ``Love and longing'' indeed are thus, in various ways, the motive forces behind these pieces--and in the last, the tale- teller Subramaniam is himself an important presence, and we realize how the preceding stories have also expressed aspects of his own loves and longings. A brilliant work, equally effective in its radiant separate parts and as a pleasingly complex and highly original construction.

Pub Date: March 5th, 1997
ISBN: 0-316-13307-8
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1997




MORE BY VIKRAM CHANDRA

NonfictionGEEK SUBLIME by Vikram Chandra
by Vikram Chandra
FictionSACRED GAMES by Vikram Chandra
by Vikram Chandra
FictionRED EARTH AND POURING RAIN by Vikram Chandra
by Vikram Chandra

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