Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Jeet Thayil

Narrated By: Robertson Dean

Publisher: Tantor Media

Date: October 2012

Duration: 8 hours 54 minutes


Jeet Thayil's luminous debut novel completely subverts
and challenges the literary traditions for which the Indian novel is
celebrated. This is a book about drugs, sex, death, perversion, addiction,
love, and god, and has more in common in its subject matter with the work of
William S. Burroughs or Baudelaire than with the subcontinent's familiar
literary lights. Above all, it is a fantastical portrait of a beautiful and
damned generation in a nation about to sell its soul. Written in Thayil's
poetic and affecting prose, Narcopolis charts the evolution of a great and
broken metropolis. Narcopolis opens in Bombay in the late 1970s, as its
narrator first arrives from New York to find himself entranced with the city's
underworld, in particular an opium den and attached brothel. A cast of
unforgettably degenerate and magnetic characters works and patronizes the
venue, including Dimple, the eunuch who makes pipes in the den; Rumi, the
salaryman and husband whose addiction is violence; Newton Xavier, the
celebrated painter who both rejects and craves adulation; Mr. Lee, the Chinese
refugee and businessman; and a cast of poets, prostitutes, pimps, and

Decades pass to reveal a changing Bombay, where opium has
given way to heroin from Pakistan and the city's underbelly has become ever
rawer. Those in their circle still use sex for their primary release and
recreation, but the violence of the city on the nod and its purveyors have
moved from the fringes to the center of their lives. Yet Dimple, despite the
bleakness of her surroundings, continues to search for beauty-at the movies, in
pulp magazines, at church, and in a new burka-wearing identity.

After a long absence, the narrator returns in 2004 to
find a very different Bombay. Those he knew are almost all gone, but the
passion he feels for them and for the city is revealed.



by Jeet Thayil

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Narcopolis, Jeet Thayil