India is a country where you take a nap and someone has stolen your job, where you buy a BMW but still have to idle for cows crossing your path.
In his dazzling new book Siddhartha Deb leads us into the new India through the lives of an unforgettable group of Indians: a Gatsby-like mogul in Delhi whose hobby is producing big-budget gangster films that no one sees; a wiry, dusty farmer whose village is plagued by suicides and was the epicenter of a riot; and a sad - eyed waitress named Esther who has set aside her dual degrees in biochemistry and botany to serve Coca-Cola to arms dealers at an upscale hotel called Shangri La.
'In The Beautiful and the Damned Siddhartha Deb has taken up Naipaul's mantle. Five scenes from the new India are subjected to his sharp yet sympathetic eye . . . A beautiful book about the damned' Sunday Telegraph
'Startlingly intelligent . . . Deb is quickened by his extraordinary feeling for the texture of lower middle-class life, as well as his unerring sensitivity to the way a country yet again transforms itself' Amit Chaudhuri, Guardian