Monday, November 01, 2004

snap judgment: maximum city by suketu mehta

By Shailaja Neelakantan
(This brief review appeared in Newsweek International in November 2004).

Readers in the know have awaited this nonfiction paean to Mumbai, India's financial and film capital, since Mehta signed a two-book contract with Knopf in 1999. But they may be disappointed by his first full-length work. The winner of the Whiting Writers' Award and O. Henry Prize has written a well-researched but unsurprising account of what he considers Mumbai's eccentricities. But his self-centered, sometimes sanctimonious writing grows tiresome. Those looking for Mumbai's Dickens would do better to explore Salman Rushdie or Rohinton Mistry.