sacred games

I finished Sacred Games yesterday, all nearly-one thousand pages of it. It is captivating, descriptive, laboriously worked out, intricately planned and yes, its long. While it did not utterly blow me away in its entirety, parts of it grab hold of you and don't let you go.

What I was struck by most were two things. There is very obviously (and very satisfyingly) a lot of hard work and research that's gone into it. While that might not be an achievement in itself (though at this scale it very well could be), it lends innumerable layers to the reading experience. Biting off chapters has an added kick when you can almost taste the places and people, smell the streets and the fear, touch grime and the inevitability.

Then, there is the grandeur of thought. There is a desire for scale and detailing, a certain greedy ambition in the writing of this book which wants to stretch out and embrace so much. Crime, sex, investigation and fanaticism, yes; but also personal histories, societal psyche, frustration, corruption, ambition, poverty, politics, hope, normalcy. And the ability/helplessness to wade through life despite it all, to accept and move on, to resign oneself and find a way around, to smile and justify everything and nothing. To find happiness- no, to find meaning in life- in spite of life itself.

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