East and West have forged an awkward relationship in the age of economic reforms. Politics has broken free of the idealism of the founding fathers and is floundering in sleaze. How appropriate then, that the book should appear at the time of the hawala saga. Mathur describes the complicated backroom deals and bloody vendettas that lie beneath the surface of everyday India. The Manmohanomics generation capers in a universe of parties; promiscuous US-returned designers and drunk arrivistes from Patna jostle in a fog of drink. Chris is seized by lust for his host's fiancee and she, svelte and dusky, (naturally) reveals that the New Indian Woman has undergone a transformation far more far reaching than the economy.
Mathur has written of an India that is so funny that it is quite sinister. The book is strewn with recognisably demented characters and racily written Hinglish abounds. Perhaps this highly topical little novel is sometimes a little cliched; yet it is always a mirror of our contradictory selves as we start out on the road to a globalised society