The Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor: A review
This is the first in a proposed trilogy of books, set in India, mostly in Delhi. It is centered around the Wadia family, but we see things mostly through the eyes of Ajay who works for Sonny, the scion of that family.
When he was a young boy, Ajay was sold by his impoverished mother. It was under those circumstances that the boy grew up and eventually came to work for Sonny.
The Wadia family essentially rules Delhi. Nothing can get done there without their consent. This creates an atmosphere that is rife with all manner of vice, including gangsters, kidnappers, murderers, drug addicts, and violent thugs of every stripe.
The story is a blend of family saga and crime drama and the writer takes her time in telling it. The book is over 500 pages long and yet it reads quickly. The action never drags and the reader feels compelled to keep turning those pages to find out what will happen next.
The book begins with a tragedy, a fatal car crash that killed five people including a pregnant woman. The driver of the car causing the crash - a Mercedes - was apparently drunk, but the investigation makes Ajay, the servant, the driver, and he is arrested and imprisoned.
We also meet Neda who is Sonny's girlfriend. She is a somewhat naive young journalist who seems to have little commitment to her profession. Instead, she just wants to be a part of the glamorous, hedonistic world represented by Sonny.
Ajay, Sonny, and Neda - these are the three characters who give us this story. Ajay and Neda live in Sonny's wake and they put their trust in him, but he is not worthy of that trust.
It was never entirely clear to me just what it was that made the Wadia family so bad. The family relationships and their actions are all left a bit shadowy. The vagueness was perhaps intentional on the part of the writer, but personally, I would have appreciated just a bit more exposition. One likes to know just what it is that makes this unlikable character so unlikable. But perhaps we will get more of that in the second and third entries of the series, which I definitely plan to read.
Sound like an intriguing start to a new trilogy!ReplyDelete
I look forward to reading the next entry.Delete
I'm already feeling a lot of sympathy for Ajay!ReplyDelete
Ajay is an appealing character.Delete
This book has been everywhere on my radar, but I've seen mixed reviews. I'm not sure if I am interested in reading it or not. I'm sure I'll see more about it when I go to the library association conference in April. Maybe I'll give it a try then.ReplyDelete
If you do decide to read it, I would be interested in your reaction to it.Delete
Oh I'm glad to hear about this novel -- as I have it on my list. I've heard some say they liked the beginning but towards the end it changes & wasn't liked as much. Still it sounds like a rip-roaring read to me!ReplyDelete
It kept my interest throughout.Delete