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Ravan and Eddie
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Ravan and Eddie

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  393 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Ravan and Eddie are the unlikeliest of companions. For one thing, Ravan is Hindu, while Eddie is Catholic. For another, when Ravan was a baby and fell from a balcony, that fall had a dramatic, and very literal, impact on Eddie’s family. But Ravan and Eddie both live in Central Works Department Chawl No. 17—and if you grow up in the crowded Mumbai chawls, you get to partici ...more
ebook, 328 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by NYRB LIT (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 710)
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Naeem
May 15, 2008 Naeem rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: omar, lal, manu, (especially) august, phil, nethra -- everybody really.
Recommended to Naeem by: Kiran Nagarkar and Anjali Nerleker
I read this a few days ago and wanted to wait a few days before i tried to articulate my response.

It takes place in the dwellings (apartment buildings of types) of the lower working class in 1950s and 60s Bombay. The characters are mostly children and their parents.

The book is funny -- in the same league as Heller's Catch-22, Nichols' Milargo Beanfield War, and Rushdie's Midnight's Children. But the way Nagarkar invokes humor is difficult to describe. The child characters are always getting the
...more
Amey Nadkarni
I had never heard of this book- which was first published way back in 1995- until its sequel- "The Extras" was released sometime in the first half of this year. That too i learnt when i stumbled upon a TV interview of its writer. Thus, before i could get introduced to anything about Ravan and Eddie, i was intrigued by the man who created them- Kiran Nagarkar.
Dressed in a crumpled white kurta- pajama and still radiating 'class'... Nagarkar seemed to me an exceptionally intelligent man with a sha
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dipayan
if you want to understand the cultural fabric of bombay, you cant miss this book
Meera Srikant
Amazed. At the language, at the narrative, at the characters... Spell bound.
Amit Mishra
Nagarkar has done a fantastic job in describing the Chawls of Mumbai. Infact, the life of Mumbai chawls(around 60's and 70's) comes out to be one of the strongest characters of the book. It's victories, agonies, shared tragedies, struggles and how people continue to live through it is very well described.

This book to is an ode to the tenacious animal(whose evolution can defy darwinism)-called the Mumbaikar, where Ravan and Eddie act as prisms to show the various facets of lower middle class Mumb
...more
Sneha
I was surprised reading the mixed reviews about this book. Ravan and Eddie is one of my all-time favourite reads, and a book I recommend to friends very often.

It is evocative, emotional and beautifully descriptive. A story about self-discovery and coming-of-age, set in the crowded chawls of Mumbai.
Maxim
The chawl life parts were fun to read. A little dated though. Then some of it was kinda surreal, some of it far-fetched. Shouldn't be telling you too much now, mustn't spoil it for you or anything. The general knowledge asides into Mazgaon, the Portuguese and related history - that was informative, but the first time I have seen non-fiction worked into a work of fiction like that and some of it clearly, excuse the cliche, was pandering to the west.

A word about the writing, not that my writing i
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Nelson
A very strong comic novel about the slightly intersecting lives of two boys--a Catholic and a Hindu--in one of the Bombay chawls, growing up in the 50s. While it has some of the epic trappings of a Rushdie novel (the boys' birth roughly coinciding with Indian independence), the virtues here are almost always located in the details. Neither boy has a particularly warm upbringing--remote mothers and absent fathers and surrogates abound--yet their travails and rites of passage are rendered in grati ...more
Manu
Jun 11, 2008 Manu rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one, really!
Recommended to Manu by: Naeem
What is it with Nagarkar and the film industry in Bombay? Nearly everything you read by him has (by way of a preface or post-script) some mention of his failed attempts at converting his books into a film. Yes, yes! Heroic expressiveness opposing a faceless commercialism is inspiring, but, to put it directly, a little too repetitive. Dwelling on this brush-off reveals too easily our own acceptance of cliches and the author's own insecurities by proudly revealing his wounds. To quote Sean Connery ...more
Bree
I was expecting something entirely different when I started reading this book - perhaps that's why it was so disappointing. I thought it was going to be about two friends growing up in the slums of Mumbai. I had high hopes for the story.

But instead, it was about 2 boys who lived in the same building, who were enemies (but it was rarely mentioned) because of an accident that happened days before Eddie was born. It was about all the trouble that precocious boys will get into in Mumbai. Basically,
...more
GONZA
Strange book, another one where nothing happens but this time the writer is not Japanese but Indian. He tells the story of two kids growing up in Bombay during the 60's (more or less) but instead of reading a book that I would have soon gave up, I decided to keep on reading to form an idea of wat it was like to grow up in something similar to a slum.

Strano libro, altro romanzo dove non accade niente di particolare, ma stavolta l'autore è indiano e non giapponese e racconta la storia di due ragaz
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Ashwini Sharma
I have mixed feelings on this one - perhaps, same is the reason for me to be not able to come up with concrete views on this book. But yea, i had totally different expectations from this book when i read the info on goodreads and perhaps thats why i feel slightly let down. Nothing about this book is extraordinary, or out of the box or simmering enough to merit a mention, but yet the book manages to pull through; there will not be a dull moment, but neither will there be anything about it that yo ...more
Dwaipayan Dhar Chowdhury
I found it quite ordinary. Nothing worth recommending. if you don't read it, you are not missing anything
Shoba Sriaiyer
Brilliant, realistic narrative, and tongue-in-cheek opinions about religion, men, women, life in a Mumbai chawl.
Eddie, Ravan, Parvati Bhai, Violet, Lalee, Shankar Rao, Shobhan are all people who stay with you long after you have finished reading the book. No wonder the author followed this up with the very successful "The Extras". Language is clear and evocative. There is direct description of sex, so if some bawdiness offends you....it will.

I loved how Kiran got across so many philosophical,
...more
Alfa Hisham
A quirky, at times lewd, un-expecting tale of two people whose entire lives seemed to be tangled yet parallel. Nagarkar seemed to have sponged out the 80s and 90s of CWD chawls and its tenants to the minutest detail giving the reader a very vivid picture. Since the characters are mostly kids and teenagers, the book is contoured with wit and drama

I did not know what was in store for me until I picked up this book. And it definitely stands out of the typical genres we see.
Sumanya
an excellent book on life in the chawls in bombay....a life that the young know little about.......Nagarkar's engagement with Bombay is one of love and hate....a feeling many bombayites will identify with. Nagarkar has also mastered the lingo of the many different classes and religions at that time.
Sonia Gomes
Mar 23, 2009 Sonia Gomes rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who would want to know something about life in Bombay
I remember plucking out this book from the shelf at the British Council Library with great excitement. I had read and really loved "Cuckold". I still think it is one of the best books, ever. But Ravan and Eddie was disappointing. It had its good parts, but..... it was just not what I had expected.
Pooja Goenka
Kiran has described every aspect of the chawls so much in detail. The storyline is gripping and u want to keep reading. Not decided if I want to take in more in chawl life with the sequel. But this is witty and funny and for anyone who has had a glimpse of Mumbai chawl it's a good read.
Vaidya
Think am going to strictly avoid Indian satire for a while. Maybe this came first, but still.
And definitely avoiding books on Mumbai and lower middle class black humour. Am done. Same old jokes, same old situations, same old people who are sexually repressed all the time. Need a break!
Sayantan Ghosh
Erotic, magical and savage, this book is an outrageous achievement where the post-colonial Bombay chawl transforms into an alive and breathing character in itself. An extremely entertaining read!
Sarath Ramakrishnan
A good Indian fiction. Must read.
Malabaricus
I tried reading this book but found it so utterly boring> As a consequence I have never picked up another book by Kiran Nagarkar.
Chenthil Mohan
Brilliant..Brilliant..I am not sure why I found this amazing author this late ! I am blown away by the narration..
Sateesh Gudivada
Great book. I liked the writing style so much that I bought his book Cuckold and completed reading that too!
Reetika Subramanian
Everyday invisible moments anchored on wit and fueled by imagination, this book is a must read.
Amit
It started with so much of promise but degenerated into purposeless life sketches.
Nithyaravi86
Evocative, imaginative and vivid. However, sometimes a little too surreal for my taste!
Sandeep Abhyankar
Oh what a gem , just don't miss this one , masterpiece from Mr. Nagarkar .
Chaitra
Awesome.. One of the most brillant books I have ever read..
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Kiran Nagarkar was born in Bombay in 1942. In addition to plays and screenplays, he has written four novels, establishing his reputation as an outstanding representative of contemporary Indian literature. His books are a target of ideological critique due to the hybrid nature of his version of postcolonialism, involving irreverence alongside seriousness.

Nagarkar studied at the Ferguson College in
...more
More about Kiran Nagarkar...
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