The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay
When photographer Karan Seth comes to Bombay intent on immortalizing a city charged by celebrity and sensation, he is instantly drawn in by its allure and cruelty. Along the way, he discovers unlikely allies: Samar , an eccentric pianist; Zaira, the reclusive queen of Bollywood; and Rhea, a married woman who seduces Karan into a tender but twisted affair. But when an unex
Review: This novel is a bit like a tabloid-tell-all, set in Bombay, and I mean that in the best way. A reclusive pianist, a Bollywood star, a repressed artist, a Nick Carraway-ish photographer: the cast is appropriately superficial and self-destructive and yet, as we -- and Karan Seth, the outsider-turned-insider -- discover, ...more
In one respect it is a tragedy of characters (for Shanghvi crafts each presence as a character) thrown together by circumstance, paying homage to the most potent character of them all, the City of Bombay. It's an ode to the greatest literary composition on chance encounters and accidental friendships, Fitzegrald's Great Gatsby. It is also hyperbolic Bollywood Noir with the brazen, saturated colour that only Arvind Adiga succeeds in ( ...more
I kind of like the way he forebodes important scenes with some metaphor mostly using some animal. Like an innocent sparrow dying by hitting into the courtroom fan just before the verdict.
It seems there are portions in the book when he is at his creative best, and there are portions where he gets engrossed in the plot and the prose becomes bland and dull.
Even if I can skim over the little too many sexual metaphors, one crib I have is ther ...more
But look deeper and we're treated to the dirty insid ...more
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If you haven't figured out already based on that introduction this book is ...more
Dans les marais, les flamants roses sont les symboles tenaces d’un Bombay qui est devenu Mumbai. C’est dans les quartiers huppés que Karan Seth, venu saisir avec son appareil l’esprit de la mégapole, va croiser ses modèles : Samar, pianiste, excentrique, homosexuel ; la star de Bollywood, Zaira, et Rhea, dont les frustrations d’épouse l’entraînent dans une relation avec le jeune photographe. L’assassinat de Zaira va bouleverser ce microcosme mondain et faire remonter à la surface tous les non-di ...more
Having said that it is full of lovely lines, the sketch of complexity of re ...more
I picked this book up thinking it would be a refreshing read. To my disappointment, I was wrong. The Lost Flamingoes Of Bombay was a terribly slow and painful read. Moreover, I found it to be scattered and all over the place. There is just too much going on in the book and none of it ties in nicely. Smack dab in the middle of the book you find the author throwing in the murder of Jessica Lal and then the incident is lost somewhere else amidst all that was going on in the book. It was frustratin ...more
While this book is mainly about and redeemed by the portrayal of the relationships between four main characters, what I found profoundly ugly and vulgar was the thin veil of fiction put over real life tragedies. The whole of part 2 is as if someone put makeup on a victim of an acid attack. ...more
For me, reading a book set in India is like joining a group of people who all know each other, and whom I haven't met before. I feel like I am missing the in-jokes, and some code words, and don't quite appreciate the wit. Then I get to know them a little and then when I go home I miss them, very much. So it was with this one. A tough beginning, and a good ending...
This was a lovely, melancholy book...is it about love, and how people recognize it, and redemption; or is it about loneliness, and m ...more
He is an Indian author in English-language whose notable books include, The Last Song of Dusk and The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay. His book, The Last Song of Dusk, has ...more