Bombay Books

Bombay is the city full of colorful characters. With its vivid past, strange present and uncertain future, Bombay (or Mumbai) offers itself as a good subject or an abstract setting . Here are my list of Favorite Bombay books:

1. Shantaram by  Gregory David Roberts

Book cover: The Shantaram
Book cover: The Shantaram

Maybe,In terms of accuracy, this might be the most ill-fitted book in the list. Gregory’s Bombay sounds real when he writes about Colaba, Leopold or Searock.  When it came to Chawls and Chopati, his Bombay looks little drifted from the reality. Do read this book for brilliant plot, extra-ordinary quotes and never-ending twists.

2. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

The Magical Midnights Children
The Magical Midnights Children

In Midnight’s Children, Bombay is the young city which is yet to find its full potential. The streets had more space and the people had more class. The tireless city which we know now,has some a sense of calm here. Nevertheless, still it is rich with its diversity, cosmology and wide open doors.

Also by the author “The Moor’s last Sigh”

3. Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto

The beautiful paperback
The beautiful paperback

To be honest, there is not much Bombay outdoors in this book. The most of the story is inside the 1 bed-room apartment in Mahim and in the physiatric ward in JJ Hospital. But still there is lot of Bombay inside that house. The spirit of being there for each other, the absence of space, ignorance of privacy, the beauty of past, the fear of future, and the courage of steel. That is the Bombay for you (You can read the book review here )

Also by the Author “Bombay, Meri Jaan

4. Dongri to Dubai by S. Hussain Zaidi

6 Decades of Mumbai Underworld
6 Decades of Mumbai Underworld

Enough about the beauty of the city. Dongri to Dubai takes you to the dark side of the city. The story of the gangsters, underworld, criminals, the wreaked ones and the wannabes. This book takes you to the neighborhoods like Dongri, Byculla, Dharavi where the failed dreams of this city breeds. Also the city parts where rich and famous lives which was their favorite hunting grounds.  The book has also been adapted in Bollywood feature films.

Also by the Author: Byculla to Bangkok

5. Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga

Last Man on the Tower
Last Man on the Tower

Last Man in Tower is the story of a city in middle of transition. A real estate tycoon dreaming of the city’s fate to be like that of  Shanghai,  proposes to re-develop a residential tower which has outlived its days of glory. The characters in the book are typical middle class Bombay. This book will offer you a kind of Bombay which both excites and petrifies its own citizen.

Other books Suggested:

1. Maximum City

2. Love and Longing in Bombay

3. Narcopolis

4. Breathless in Bombay

What are your favorite Bombay Books? Do let me know.

My theme for #AtoZChallenge is Indian Writing in English. To know more about #AtoZChallenge, please visit the link 


16 Comments Add yours

  1. kokilagupta says:

    Great post!! i thought about entering in AtoZ with a similar idea … albeit on larger scale… glad you did it so nicely and … definitely thanks for the info… its really a great post for Bobay books.


    1. Thank you Kolila. I am glad you liked my post. Since you were planning to write on a similar range, I will be grateful if you do a guest post on it.

      Please let me know if you are interested.



  2. Nish says:

    That’s a great selection of books on Bombay. I’ve only read Midnight’s Children but I want to read Shantaram someday.


    1. Thank you for your kind words. You will definitely love Shantaram, also I will highly recommend Bombay Meri Jaan by Jerry Pinto.


  3. Bombay is a Place i would love to go ….. One day 🙂

    Nice selection of books, have read some of them, 🙂


    1. Thank you for your comment.
      Do plan to come to Bombay. Its an interesting city. And you have a free city guide too 🙂


  4. I’ll have to check out some of those books you mentioned about Bombay. I bet it’s a lovely city. 🙂


    1. Thank you Tina for stopping by. Its a interesting city, no doubt.


  5. The moment I saw Bombay I thought of Narcopolis and you have missed it 😐



  6. Richa, I have not missed Narcopolis. Its in the list below, under other books. I was little greedy because I wanted to dedicate entire for Narcopolis. 😛


  7. Love the list of Bombay Books, haven’t read from Dongri to Dubai, Last Man in Tower and the Big Hoom. Lemme add Tales from Firozsha baug, Such a Long Journey, Love N Longing in Bombay, Sacred Games and Q&A by Vikas Swarup:) Love ur list


    1. Thank you for your comment. I have added Love N Longing in Bombay (Kiran, right?) in the list below and I agree its a beautiful book. I have not read others from your recommendations which i will surely add in my reading list.


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