Sacred Games (now int'l BOOKRING)
12 journalers for this copy...
Edit, October 20, 2007: Therefore I just decided to make a "unrequested" bookray out of it, I'll just make a list of a very few bookcrossing-friends of whom I think they really might enjoy this book. These are the bookcrossers (as the book is quite a "monster" you may take a little bit longer to read it, I allow 2 months instead of one... ;-) ):
"bilbi" from Chambéry, Rhône-Alpes, France (int'l)
"penelopewanders" from Hasliberg, Switzerland (int'l)
"iliotropio" from Brussels, Bruxelles / Brussel, Belgium (int'l)
"perryfran" from Rockville, Maryland, USA (int'l)
"Pooker3" from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (int'l)
"loveamystery" from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (?)
"chich from Perpignan, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
"Book-Man-8" - thanks!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
This unrequested bookray starts with "bilbi". The book is on its way to France. Hope you'll really enjoy it!
How did you know that such a book will appeal to me ? ;-)
On the back cover Time Out writes : "a book about violence, greed, yachts, mafia yogis, nuclear bombs, Partition and Miss India competitions..."
That sounds great !
I hope I can read the book in two months' time...
What a nice surprise \o/
Thanks for the nice "bird" card !
I recognise most of the bc names on this 'ray ;-)
It was really a great book ! It will be published in France next January (or is February ?) : it's a MUST-READ !
I can't wait to read penelopewanders' journal entry on receiving this book. I had to ask for her address and I told her that I had a book for her. She gave her address and was wondering which book I was talking about... I kept my mout shut ;-)
I will problably put a post-it on the cover with "don't blame me !" on it ;-o
THANK YOU AGAIN !
I feel a bit guilty for keeping this ray so long, but I finally had two long train trips and was able to tackle it seriously then. I sometimes felt the story was in fact too long, although at the same time I was caught up in the saga. I would not have minded a glossary, as there were times when I felt left out (although usually that was when the various characters quoted songs, so I could almost imagine what that would have been, but still. I did enjoy plunging into Mumbai (sometimes my mouth watered when reading the descriptions of the food!)
I have PMed to confirm the next address (I have it, but realized I should check it's still valid).
Thanks so much for including me in this ray and again sorry it stalled so long here - hope to get the book on its way later this week.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
This is now making its stealthy way to Brussels... thanks so much for including me in this ray!
BTW, the book penelopewanders is referring to should be An Equal Music by Vikram Seth. His other book A Suitable Boy is one of my all time favourites.
This was waiting for me when I returned from a family trip to Utah along with another bookray -- The Judas Strain -- from book-man-8. Hope to get to these soon but I have a few in front of them
Publishers Weekly Review
Mumbai in all its seedy glory is at the center of Vikram Chandra's episodic novel, which follows the fortunes of two opposing characters: the jaded Sikh policeman, Sartaj Singh, who first appeared in the story "Kama," and Ganesh Gaitonde, a famous Hindu Bhai who "dallied with bejewelled starlets, bankrolled politicians" and whose "daily skim from Bombay's various criminal dhandas was said to be greater than annual corporate incomes." Sartaj, still handsome and impeccably turned out, is now divorced, weary and resigned to his post, complicit in the bribes and police brutality that oil the workings of his city. Sartaj is ambivalent about his choices, but Gaitone is hungry for position and wealth from the moment he commits his first murder as a young man. A confrontation between the two men opens the novel, with Gaitonde taunting Sartaj from inside the protection of his strange shell-like bunker. Gaitonde is the more riveting character, and his first-person narrative voice lulls the reader with his intuitive understanding of human nature and the 1,001 tales of his rise to power, as he collects men, money and fame; creates and falls in love with a movie star; infiltrates Bollywood; works for Indian intelligence; matches wits with his Muslim rival, Suleiman Isa; and searches for fulfillment with the wily Guru Shridhar Shukla. Sartaj traces Gaitonde's movements and motivations, while taking on cases of murder, blackmail and neighborhood quarrels. The two men ruminate on the meaning of life and death, and Chandra connects them as he connects all the big themes of the subcontinent: the animosity of caste and religion, the poverty, the prostitution and mainly, the criminal elite, who organize themselves on the model of corporations and control their fiefdoms from outside the country. Chandra, who's won prizes and praise for his two previous books, Red Earth and Pouring Rain and Love and Longing in Bombay, spent seven years writing this 900-page epic of organized crime and the corruption that spins out from Mumbai into the world of international counterfeiting and terrorism, and it's obvious that he knows what he's talking about. He takes his chances creating atmosphere: the characters speak in the slang of the city ("You bhenchod sleepy son of maderchod Kumbhkaran," Gaitonde chastises). The novel eventually becomes a world, and the reader becomes a resident rather than a visitor, but living there could begin to feel excessive.
Update 21 June 2008: Started reading this today - sorry it took so long to get to but I had several other bookrings I had to read. This one is rather lengthy (almost 1000 pages) so it may take me a few weeks. Hope to get it moving in July.
I have contacted Pooker3 and have her address so will get this in the mail today. I just told her it was a book from book-man-8. Here’s her reply: “You know I'm scratching my head here wondering which book-man-8 ring I've signed up for! I sneaked a peek at his bookshelf just now but then realized I've been tempted by almost all of the books he offers up as rings. So, I'm none the wiser. I'm really hoping my befuddlement is not another age thing. :) Maybe I'll have to start making lists. Nah. Surprise is good!”
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I came home from holidays to find this massive tome on my desk. Really book-man-8, are you mad? Nine hundred and forty-seven pages!
But judging from the cover blurbs, it does look like it will be fabulous reading. Thanks book-man-8 for including me in this surreptitious ray. What fun!
Thanks for the postcard perryfran. The tiger cubs are so cute. Coincidentally, perhaps even at the moment this parcel arrived in Winnipeg, I was at the Calgary zoo having a gander at their baby elephant and a two week old giraffe, also too darling for words.
As it happens though, I haven't heard back from loveamystery yet and judging from the lack of activity on her shelf and a few of her own journal entries, I suspect she's on holidays. So I'm going to jot my thoughts down now in the hopes that by the time she does check (if she does) this book will be well buried under others recently journaled.
Now to be honest when I started reading this book I had some misgivings as to whether I'd actually finish it. I don't think I've ever read a book of almost 1000 pages even when I had plenty of time to read. Nowadays I don't have a lot of time and reading is for the most part confined to those few minutes before bed that I can keep my eyes open long enough. On average this translates to about 10 pages of reading. And, it's not like this was the only book on my night table.
Not only that, but this book is not the easiest to handle either. It requires two hands to hoist it to eye level, and two hands to hold it open. This was especially problematic for the first few chapters when the pure weight of the tome held in my right hand would pull the few pages I had read back towards it any time I lifted my left hand from the page.
But I persevered, trusting that book-man-8 wouldn't actually have sent me a phone book.
Continuing on the honesty kick, I was also not too sure I wanted to read a book set in India either. After all, I had sent another weighty tome, a hard cover version of Shantaram (also over 900 pages and set in India) off to England, unread, at a princely sum for postage, so anxious was I to get rid of it.
There's lots of places in the world I'd like to visit but India has never been one of those and, oh bother, as I was reading it soon became apparent that the book although written in English is packed with foreign words that the author does not define and which are totally foreign to me. If they had been Spanish or French or Italian or Latin words I would not have grumbled. While not fluent in any of those languages, I have enough background in them, that I can usually make a pretty good guess at their meaning. Not here though and I found I could not abide not knowing what the words meant. For the most part, I could generally intuit that the author was talking about some kind of food, or a building of sorts or, in the case of dialogue, that the characters were insulting or teasing each other. But I wasn't happy with such lack of precision, so was prompted to look up the meanings of these foreign terms. In doing so I discovered the author's website has a glossary for the book. Yay! I had a great time exploring the glossary, hoping to pick up words before I came across them. In doing so I became quite "well-versed"(not that I could ever read anything entirely written in the language or understand the spoken word at all) and it did give me some confidence in my reading and added to the sense of being immersed in the culture.
And the author does a very good job of that. You do become immersed in the culture and I can safely say, I still have no desire to visit India. I got a sense of the filth and smells, of the mass of people and of the crime, petty and not-so. That is not to say I could not experience the same in my own country, I could but I can also avoid it easily. I suspect it is not so easily avoided in India. Still I can appreciate that the characters (and no doubt the author himself) would love their country, despite all that and see the beauty in it.
I found it particularly interesting how my sympathies toward the characters shifted from time to time. I saw Sartaj Singh as a good man most of the time, but then when he skims some money for himself, even while realizing that that's what is done, what is expected even, I'd think to myself, "Oh ho, you're not such a good guy afterall." Similarly, while you want to think of Gaitonde as all bad, (How could he be otherwise when killing is as commonplace and irrelevant as putting on one's socks in the morning), there were moments when you felt sympathy towards him and even moments when you were amused and felt kindly towards him.
All in all, a marvelous book - one I will remember - and not just because of its size. Thanks book-man-8. I've still not heard from loveamystery, so will pm her again.
on its way to loveamystery today. The smartie pants says she's figured it out!
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
This book is on its way to chich. Unfortunately, I read a little of it, but couldn't seem to get into it, so I thought I had better pass it on to the next person.
I'm currently traveling on business and will only be able to send the book back to Germany on March 23. I'll journal again as soon as the book is on its way!
It's now ready to travel on...
The follwoing bookcrossers read along:
"Hayes13" from Rome, Lazio, Ital - worldwide
"chucklesthescot" from PAISLEY, Renfrewshire, United Kingdom (UK)
"Ardachy" Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom (Europe)
Back to "Book-Man-8"
Released 11 yrs ago (3/30/2009 UTC) at
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
The book is moving again, now off to Italy. Enjoy!
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I am not in the right frame of mind for this, so I am sending it on its way. A shame, really, as it is fun in a strange way... just not for me right now.
EDIT: Change of plan ... I am sending this today (May 18) to Colchester, UK
Hope the rest of you enjoy it!
Thanks again for including me in this 'unrequested bookray' book-man-8.
ETA 8/8/09 book-man-8 kindly agreed that I could release this book at a local meet-up. Taken to the Cafe Nero at Ipswich.
I have just finished this, but am going away today for a couple of days, so will fill this in when I get back.
Selected from ApoloniaX's Asian VBB by Dancesports, so the book is off to Australia! Sent 14/12.