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Wednesday Weekly

The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay

By Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi


This is a book that I picked up at the library. It was published in 2010. The author lives in Bombay and writes in English. This is said to be his last book. It was a Man Asian Literary Prize Nominee for 2008.

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 unexpected tragedy strikes, the four lives are irreparably torn apart. Flung into a Fitzgeraldian world of sex, crime and collusion, Karan learns that what the heart sees the mind’s eye may never behold. Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi’s The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay is a razor sharp chronicle of four friends caught in modern India ’s tidal wave of uneven prosperity and political failure. It’s also a profoundly moving meditation on love’s betrayal and the redemptive powers of friendship.(Goodreads synopsis)

Well what can I say about this one? This book is not at all what I expected. I thought oh, a book about life in Bombay, should be interesting right? Hmm. This book is the most depressing book that I have ever read!! It has a lot of nasty and dirty sexual innuendoes. I am not sure what purpose they served. I think they could have been left out. The book has a certain grating rawness to it. I read it a week ago and it is still bothering me. It definitely gives one a lot to think about. The Bollywood star is savagely shot in the head at close range. There is homosexuality and extramarital affairs. Two characters die of AIDS. There is a nurse that is bit by a rabid monkey and drops a newborn down a huge stairway and the newborn dies. Ugly scenes are portrayed and ugly things keep happening. This book was very depressing for me. I should have stopped reading it. It really affected me in a negative way. No happy ending in this book. It has a tragic ending. It is still bothering me a week later. The author created many vivid scenes. The book is very dark emotionally. The book is well written with descriptive details. I would say it is very haunting. I give this book a 2 out of 5 stars. I didn’t like it and it is not enjoyable.



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