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Delhi Noir

(Akashic noir)

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Brand new stories by: Irwin Allan Sealy, Omair Ahmad, Radhika Jha, Ruchir Joshi, Nalinaksha Bhattacharya, Meera Nair, Siddharth Chowdhury, Mohan Sikka, Palash K. Mehrotra, Hartosh Singh Bal, Hirsh Sawhney, Tabish Khair, Uday Prakash, and Manjula Padmanabhan.

The eyes of the world are gazing at India—the world’s largest democracy. But the books you read about this Asian gian
Paperback, Akashic Noir, 325 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Akashic Books
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3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  282 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Posted at Shelf Inflicted

Once again, I have sought out another book from the Akashic series of short stories that takes place in a variety of cities around the world. I am still in the mood for dark, short stories, so Delhi Noir was the perfect choice.

I have never been to India, and based on this collection of stories, I'm not sure if I want to go. It is chaotic, crowded, loud, corrupt, poor and dirty. There is also amazing architecture, natural beauty and good food, even the cheap stuff you get
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
As a fan of Indian literature, a collection of short stories centered on the city of Delhi seemed a good way to get a taste of several different authors and enjoy reading about a city I’ve never been to. Akashic books has brought out a whole series of these ‘Noir’ titles focusing on major cities around the world, particularly throughout the United States.

It hardly needs saying that in a short story collection such as this, especially one composed of a myriad of authors, that some are more succes
विकास   नैनवाल
A collection of noir stories based on the city of Delhi. Some stories were good and some were okay but over all i liked the collection. Although sometimes all the cynicism in the stories is depressing and i think it's because we have come across such stories in our life.
The collection had the following stories :

Yesterday Man by Omair Ahmad(Ashram) 3.5/5

How i lost my clothes by Radhika Jha(lodhi gardens) 2.5/5

Last In first out by Irwin allan seally( Delhi ridge)3.5/5

Parking by Ruchir Joshi(Nizam
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure if the 2 stars is an accurate representation of my thoughts on this book. More than NOT liking it, I felt it was mostly mediocre at all times. I liked the concept of the book more than the book itself. It's nice to read about the reality of Delhi that the average everyday man in the city experiences everyday, a reality that I, as a middle-class Indian, could never experience (though I was aware of its existence).

Some of the stories stood out, especially the one by Omair Ahmad (abou
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This is a collection of well-written short stories by different authors—apparently in an "x Noir" series, where, in this case, x = Delhi, India. Like A Not So Perfect Crime (Barcelona) and books by authors such as Henning Mankell, this gives us a window into life in another place as seen though the lens of crime.

These are quite dark (appropriate for a Noirish series) stories; they are not, however, truly mysteries. They are more crime stories, or, more frequently, police corruption stories.

Amit Gupta
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Delhi Noir is a world of sex in parks, dirty cops, and vigilante rickshaw drivers. It is one plagued by soulless corporate dons, jaded journalists and murderous servants. These are 14 tales of darkness and despair, each one set in the distinct part of the city, a metropolis where opulence and poverty are constantly clashing, where old-world values and the information age wage a constant battle. It uses the device of crime fiction and film noir to provide riveting, incisive perspectives on this e ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a disappointing read - the authors lack imagination and writing is trite and cliched. Some authors use cheap and disgusting expressions, some were ridiculous (name of the narrator is Baba Ganoush...really?), some implausible (a character walks from Noida to Lodi road at night in an hour or so). All authors used same sad and trite expressions you grow sick hearing.

I don't understand why knowledge of the city is important. If the writing is not good, who cares if you know streets of Timbak
Lancelot du Lac
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A must-read for those who want to see the dark and shady side of Delhi. Indeed it is fiction, yet you may feel that such incidents are very likely to happen in a country like India. This was the book that helped me understand the dynamics of Noir fiction and its limitless possibilities. Before reading this book, I had a flawed opinion of this genre. Of course, I started with Delhi, as it's the capital of the country I live in. Now that I know of it, I can go for other cities in the series. I hop ...more
Arka Duttagupta
By no means the stories can be classified as "Noir". an insolence in the name of Noir fiction. Most of the stories were full of vulgar desciptions likecheap Books You can buy at any Indian Railway Station , cheap tricks and unspeakable physical discourses.
If you ever read those dirt cheap Hindi Newsprint Paperbacks this book will remind you of them. Same kind of Dirty stories with a dash of cheap thrills.
Barbara Joan
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting, but the selection of stories wasn't varied enough.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
not so much good book.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: india-fiction
What could a book of crime stories set in Delhi possibly contain that we already not know? Indian viewers are constantly fed a heavy diet of crime stories either as news or in a serialised format. Both versions come with background soundtracks so that our minds surface from the boredom just to know who exactly to hate. The media feeds on our frenzy of unknown people and unknown places committing heinous crimes. Crimes of passion, bigotry and greed neatly packaged making us flies on the wall (or ...more
Samir Dhond
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book because it detailed things and situations in the city as experienced or imagined to have experienced by various writers. Some of them, I had heard about and some I did not know from adam. The book is just passe. I mean, nothing to talk about greatly. In fact, at times, it seems like stuff written to titilate the reader. There are couple of good stories there that I liked. These stories touched upon human emotions and attempted to articulate them in words. These two stories ...more
Shahd Fadlalmoula
Feb 26, 2014 rated it liked it
It has been a while since I indulged in a mystery/thriller book, and in comparison to most this isn't a particularly strong book. However it was well worth the read! Some of the short stories were gripping, my favorite was "How I Lost My Clothes". The authors do a great job of bringing Delhi to life, and they do an even better job of tackling some big issues including corruption, poverty, and the rape culture in India. However, the dark themes got too dark at times, with a lack of balance (but i ...more
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it
I was in the mood for something dark and this fit the bill quite nicely. I have been on a recent short story kick, because it is an efficient way to consume a complete narrative when your attention span is not at it's strongest. As with many collections from various writers, some of these are going to stick with me, others were not so remarkable. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to get insight into contemporary culture in another part of the world. Contrary to my own association wit ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shudder-worthy. This book really scared the shit out of me, because the stories really reflect the dark underbelly of everyday life in Delhi. Violence emerges as a strong and inescapable force, and the marginalised status of women is really horrifying to observe through all the stories; women lose or are victims in all the stories but one. Hissing Cobras - the exception worked really well as a noir story, the rest seemed too realistic to be fiction!

The other really good one was Hostel by Siddha
Feb 07, 2010 rated it liked it
I don't know how much I would have enjoyed this book without having spent time in Delhi, and gotten used to the general feeling of India. To paraphrase the Naked City, "There are 17 million stories in Delhi, these are just a few of them." Delhi is a city of rampant corruption, and crime with a cultural tinge of which westerners don't necessarily have a lot of experience. If you've traveled the byways of old Delhi, or the Defense Colony, or Nizzamudin these stories will bring them back. If not, w ...more
Nov 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: india
First of all: it is sort of strange to be reading noir-style stories set in a city where police brutality and bribery and all the rest is a very real occurrence. Part of the reason I love noir (books and films) is because the characters and plots have a degree of implausibility. . . I escape into this grimy other world. But the noir-world is the real world in Delhi (to some extent) which makes it kind of. . . depressing.

As for the pieces themselves, they're either hit or miss. The best one (and
Dec 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I was not expecting to like this as much as I am liking it... I started out a little miffed that they included only one story translated from Hindi, which seems very wrong for Delhi. But there is some awesome stuff in it. My favorites are the story from Hindi, by Uday Prakash, and the Nalinaksha Bhattacharya and Siddharth Chowdhury stories. Pretty darn gritty, but for god's sake Indian English writing needs some grit. Not every story is five-star but there's enough great ones to make it a five-s ...more
May 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
This collection is a mixed bag, but some of the stories are outstanding. Corrupt politicians, abusive policemen, exploited villagers trying to make it in the city, horny aunties, even some sci-fi dystopia -- it's all there. I especially enjoyed Irwin Allen Sealy's, Ruchir Joshi's, and Manjula Padmanabhan's narratives. There was only one story translated from Hindi, the other thirteen were originally written in English.
Ranjini Iyer
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I expected very edgy stories. Although I cannot complain about the style of the writers chosen, most of the stories left me wondering what had happened. I felt like I had seen a few scenes from a film and left to make my own conclusions. Perhaps that is as intended. perhaps that is what short stories do on a certain level. But I like my stories to have middles and a sort of end. Not all ends securely tied but at least something.

Jeffrey Ogden Thomas
Dec 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: India hands
Recommended to Jeffrey by: librarian
Short stories are by their nature somewhat unsatisfying -- just when the character and plot and setting grab your interest, the story wraps up. But Delhi Noir is a worthy item in the Akashic Noir sequence: these stories have great local colour, filled with throwaway details like street names and slang and references to Delhi-specific social issues.
Margot Bigg
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoyed much of this book, but I'm not sure how engaging of a read it would be to someone who didn't know Delhi well. It wasn't my favourite collection in the Noir series--many of the stories contrivedly macabre, some seemed written to shock rather than to engage. A few were insufferable, some were mildly interesting, and a couple were quite funny. Allan Sealey's piece was excellent.
Jun 26, 2009 rated it liked it
This is the first of the Noir series I've read but I'd definitely read more. They have editions set all over the world, even Queens! This particular book ws entertaining and I tore through it, but it wasn't life changing.
Sundarraj Kaushik
Not a very good book. As the name states it is about the darker side of Delhi. It is about corruption, exploitation that goes on in the different parts of the capital of India.

It is OK to read once, but you will not miss anything if you do not read it.
Ayushman Khazanchi
Oct 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Particularly enjoyed about six stories. Plots had a tendency to go from confusing to overly-simplified, though some were pretty realistic. Nonetheless, the narrative was fresh and the writing superb (in some cases). Recommended light read.
Apr 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
This one was a wild shot. I personally dont like reading crime. Not my genre at all, but after reading certain reviews, I thought of giving it a shot. But, its not to my taste. But people who like reading crime can give this book a shot.
Shayontoni Chatterjee
These are good stories that are not written well. The only reason why you'd want to read on, would be, because of the theme of the stories.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A true testament to the beastly animals humans are -- and how lyrical we can wax when we behold such craven natures.
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