Maximum City

Maximum City : Bombay Lost and Found

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A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us an insider's view of this stunning metropolis. He approaches the city from unexpected angles, taking us into the criminal underworld of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs, following the life of a bar dancer raised amid poverty and abuse, opening the door into the inner sanctums of Bollywood, and delving into the stories of the countless villagers who come in search of a better life and end up living on the sidewalks. As each individual story unfolds, Mehta also recounts his own efforts to make a home in Bombay after more than twenty years abroad. Candid, impassioned, funny, and heartrending, Maximum City is a revelation of an ancient and ever-changing world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 542 pages
  • 133 x 204 x 25mm | 395g
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1 MAP
  • 0375703403
  • 9780375703409
  • 235,193

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A brilliantly illuminating portrait of Bombay and its people-a book as vast, diverse, and rich in experience, incident, and sensation as the city itself-from an award-winning Indian-American fiction writer and journalist.
A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us a true insider's view of this stunning city, bringing to his account a rare level of insight, detail, and intimacy. He approaches the city from unexpected angles-taking us into the criminal underworld of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs who wrest control of the city's byzantine political and commercial systems . . . following the life of a bar dancer who chose the only life available to her after a childhood of poverty and abuse . . . opening the doors onto the fantastic, hierarchical inner sanctums of Bollywood . . . delving into the stories of the countless people who come from the villages in search of a better life and end up living on the sidewalks-the essential saga of a great city endlessly played out.
Through it all-as each individual story unfolds-we hear Mehta's own story: of the mixture of love, frustration, fascination, and intense identification he feels for and with Bombay, as he tries to find home again after twenty-one years abroad. And he makes clear that Bombay-the world's largest city-is a harbinger of the vast megalopolises that will redefine the very idea of "the city" in the near future.
Candid, impassioned, funny, and heartrending, "Maximum City is a revelation of an ancient and ever-changing world.

"From the Hardcover edition.
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Table of contents

PART ONE * POWER
Personal Geography
—The Country of the No
—Two Currencies
Powertoni
—The 1992–93 Riots
—Elections 1998
—The Saheb
Mumbai
Number Two After Scotland Yard
—Ajay Lal: The Blasts and the Gangwar
—Encounter
Black-Collar Workers
—Mohsin: The D-Company
—Satish: The Dal Badlu
—Chotta Shakeel: The Don in Exile

PART TWO * PLEASURE
Vadapav Eaters’ City
A City in Heat
—Monalisa Dances
—Golpitha
—Two Lives: Honey/Manoj
—New Year’s Eve
Distilleries of Pleasure
—Vidhu Vinod Chopra: Mission Kashmir
—Mahesh Bhatt’s Wound
—The Struggler and the Goddess
—Accused: Sanjay Dutt
—Dreamworld/Underworld

PART THREE * PASSAGES
Memory Mines
—Mayur Mahal Multipurpose
—A World of Children
Sone ki Chidiya
—Girish: A Tourist in His City
—Babbanji: Runaway Poet
—Adjust
Good-bye World
A Self in the Crowd

Afterword
Acknowledgments
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Review Text

"Stunning. . . . A powerful, arresting work. . . . Marvelous." -Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Narrative reporting at its finest, probably the best work of nonfiction to come out of India in recent years. . . . Mehta succeeds so brilliantly in taking the pulse of this riotous urban jungle." -The New York Times Book Review

As each individual story unfolds, Mehta also recounts his own efforts to make a home in Bombay after more than twenty years abroad. Candid, impassioned, funny, and heartrending, Maximum City is a revelation of an ancient and ever-changing world.

"What Dickens did for London, what Joseph Mitchell did for New York City, Suketu Mehta has done for Bombay. . . . A candid, extensive, and wholly entertaining portrait." -San Diego Union-Tribune

"The ultimate insider's view of Bombay, a roiling and vigorous account that delivers on a seemingly impossible challenge: how to limn the diversity and sprawl of such a place in a single book." -The Seattle Times
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Review quote

"Stunning. . . . A powerful, arresting work. . . . Marvelous." -Los Angeles Times Book Review "Narrative reporting at its finest, probably the best work of nonfiction to come out of India in recent years. . . . Mehta succeeds so brilliantly in taking the pulse of this riotous urban jungle." -The New York Times Book Review As each individual story unfolds, Mehta also recounts his own efforts to make a home in Bombay after more than twenty years abroad. Candid, impassioned, funny, and heartrending, Maximum City is a revelation of an ancient and ever-changing world. "What Dickens did for London, what Joseph Mitchell did for New York City, Suketu Mehta has done for Bombay. . . . A candid, extensive, and wholly entertaining portrait." -San Diego Union-Tribune "The ultimate insider's view of Bombay, a roiling and vigorous account that delivers on a seemingly impossible challenge: how to limn the diversity and sprawl of such a place in a single book." -The Seattle Times
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About Suketu Mehta

Suketu Mehta is a fiction writer and journalist based in New York. He has won the Whiting Writers Award, the O. Henry Prize, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction. Mehta's other work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Granta, Harper's magazine, Time, Condé Nast Traveler, and The Village Voice, and has been featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Mehta also cowrote Mission Kashmir, a Bollywood movie.
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Rating details

8,520 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 29% (2,448)
4 42% (3,566)
3 23% (1,945)
2 5% (432)
1 2% (129)
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