Maximum City: book review

on Friday, May 23, 2008

Maximum City- best non fiction book on Mumbai. Mehta left Mumbai when he was 14 and then he returned 21 years later to re-discover the city. The suburbs of Mumbai and people dwelling there make Suketu's Bombay. Author jots down his own experiences with the city. Mehta cavorts around the gangsters, the bar girls, the movie makers, the cable-men, top cops of Mumbai, the politicians and persuades them to come out with their stories and piles up those stories into an engrossing narrative. Every single detail presented by the author in a magnificent way would keep the readers absorbed from the beginning to the end. One can't just put it down. The book is an excursion of the city which happens to be the largest and the most ruined metropolis of the country.

Mehta has divided the whole book in 3 major sections each focusing the irreplaceable aspects of the city. Every section deals with the subject well.

Author makes an opening with his childhood memoirs. His journey from Bombay to New York, Paris, London and back to Bombay turned into Mumbai to get back to the personal geography redefined makes a good outset. Mehta is stunned to see the changes city has witnessed ever since he left. His sojourn with the gangsters- Sunil, Satish and others(all names changed), the powerful people like Bal Thackrey, bar dancers like Monalisa(name changed), top cops like Ajay Lal(name changed), luminaries from bollywood like Vidhu Vinod Chopra and his experiences with them make an account through rest of the pages.

On the whole, Maximum City is a stunningly written prominent book which lets one explore the dark sides of the vivid and gaudy Mumbai with a sensual gratification.

An enjoyable masterpiece on mumbai-the maximum city!!!!!!!

Rating for this book as a non-fiction : 9.5/10