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Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games is a bravura story of Mumbai an astonishing modern city of India and its dark side wherein lies friendship, betrayal, and terrible violence.
Amid the chaos of modern-day Mumbai, Chandra brings into play various characters including a film-star, a criminal overlord, a policeman, spies, cultists, beggars, and even terrorists. He creates catastrophic consequences in which people from different strata of society the wretched, the famous, the bloodthirsty, the privileged are interwoven so intrinsically in this uncompromising story that it becomes an unforgettable epic masterpiece.
The protagonist is one of the very few Sikhs on the Mumbai police force Sartaj Singh. People identify him with his unique style of trouser, and his beard and turban. The story takes the reader deep into Sartajï¿½s life ï¿½ who is plus forty now, whose married life is over, and whose professional life is about to shatter. The story takes a turn when he gets an anonymous tip-off about the boss of G-Company and then decides to find the legendary gangster.
Chandra provides an amazing amalgamation of a detective thriller (of cops and gangsters) and a 19th century social novel. While it delves into the life of Sartaj Singh, it also explores the criminal underworld of the most-wanted Indian gangster Ganesh Gaitonde. It presents various emotionally charged worlds of contemporary India. The focus here is on the intricate links between local politics, organized crime, and Indian espionage. And the golden thread here is of money and corruption.
The author has been highly inspired from mystery novels, the classics of nineteenth-century Victorian fiction, his own life, and Bollywood movies. This inspiration along with Chandras first-hand research on the streets of Mumbai renders the flavor of realism to his book.
Chandra makes use of interweaving voices and narratives to provide a broad spectrum of themes to the novel that range from the devastating violence of Indias partition to the vision of nuclear terrorism
Sacred Games has won various awards for its outstanding grandeur. In 2006, it won the Hutch Crossword Book Award for the best work in English fiction. In the next year, it won the Salon Book Award and also got nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
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