No of pages: 304
Other Editions: Paperback
Shuklaji Street, in Old Bombay. In Rashid's opium room the air is thick and potent. A beautiful young woman leans to hold a long-stemmed pipe over a flame, her hair falling across her dark eyes. Around her, men sprawl and mutter in the gloom, each one drifting with his own tide. Here, people say that you introduce only your worst enemy to opium.
Outside, stray dogs lope in packs. Street vendors hustle. Hookers call for custom through the bars of their cages as their pimps slouch in doorways in the half-light. There is an underworld whisper of a new terror: the Pathar Maar, the stone killer, whose victims are the nameless, invisible poor. There are too many of them to count in this broken city.
Narcopolis is a rich, chaotic, hallucinatory dream of a novel that captures the Bombay of the 1970s in all its compelling squalor. 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.
Praise for Narcopolis
'This is the Old Bombay as seen from the slums and the gutter, the city illuminated in all its sweat and temper ... Original and vital.' Daily Telegraph
'I wished that this book, like some long and delicious opium-induced daydream, would go on and on ... Narcopolis is a blistering debut.' Guardian
'A darker, grittier vision of the subcontinent than one usually encounters ... A compelling, often exhilarating debut.' Financial Times
'The sense of place is intoxicatingly horrible, and the author's poetic style makes something iridescently lush and nightmarish out of the squalor of recent Bombay.' Sunday Times
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