BookBrowse Reviews Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

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Sacred Games

A Novel

by Vikram Chandra

Sacred Games
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 928 pages
    Jan 2008, 928 pages

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A splendidly big, finely made book destined to dazzle a big audience

Chandra says that he set out to write a conventional thriller, "You know, the type of thing that starts with a dead body on the first page and then at the most 300 pages later ends up with everything figured out and fixed," However, as he started to research the novel by spending time with Indian policemen, crime reporters and gangsters, he realized that what seemed like a local crime "had all these connections to politics and religion and the ongoing struggles between nation-states in the region".

In short, Chandra got a sense of "this huge web of events, people, organizations and forces at work that were affecting people's lives and linking them together." and at some point he realized "damn, this is going to be big!"

Seven years later and 928 pages in length (in the English version, the ...

Incidentally, towards the end of the '90s, a huge scandal hit Mumbai which slowly unfolded to reveal a web of corrupt relationships involving organized crime and the movie dream factory of Bollywood, reminiscent of Chicago during the gangster glory days of prohibition. Violence, intimidation, money-laundering and corruption were the norm and gangster bosses were local media celebrities. This background is worth knowing because some of Chandra's more improbable plot twists did happen in real life!

Chandra's lead protagonist is a Sikh. There are about 23 million Sikhs worldwide, of which about 60% live in Punjab in the North of India, where they form the majority. The Punjab is known as India's breadbasket and enjoys one of the most industrialized economies in the nation. Sikhs are spread ...

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