Brian's Reviews > Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

Maximum City by Suketu Mehta
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M 50x66
's review
Feb 12, 2010

it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read February 12, 2010.

I cannot remember the last book that I liked so much but took me so long to finish. The author, Bombay born, but who spent his adult life abroad, writes with a style more suited to Indian than American English. At first the frequent use of Hindi and Marathi phrases was arresting, but after a while, I approached their use as I would a conversation with native speakers in which clarification of every meaning is neither appropriate, nor necessary.

Mehta lays out the book in a series of vignettes that, while related, are not explicitly tied to a central thesis. This style took getting used to, although it might be more familiar to those who read lots of travel lit.

An experienced India hand recommended this as his favorite book on India and I can see why. I got what I wanted - a very personal perspective of India and Indians that I cannot get as a white American whose travels to India rarely go beyond elite hotels, business meetings, and drives through the city.

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