Books

Top 5 Books set in India – as chosen by Vaseem Khan

Modern classics and literary epics – with a few movie adaptations in between, Vassem Khan shares his pick of books set in India

THE WHITE TIGER
Aravind Adiga

A dark satire set in modern Delhi, following the rise of a lowly chauffeur who is determined to succeed at any price, even murder. Adiga tears down many modern Indian institutions, focusing on the great gulf between rich and poor.

Q&A (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE)
Vikas Swarup

A pacey tale which later became the phenomenally successful movie Slumdog Millionaire. The story follows a poor boy as he describes how he managed to win a fortune on a quiz show by answering questions that he could not possibly have known the answers to.

2018 Quick Read Inspector Chopra and the Million Dollar Motor Car by Vaseem Khan is out now (price £1, paperback).

SHANTARAM
Gregory David Roberts 

The true-life story of an Australian criminal who flees to India in the Eighties, and finds redemption in the slums of Mumbai. Roberts depicts the city in all its gritty glory.

LIFE OF PI
Yann Martel 

This fantastical book is part philosophical meditation and part thrilling adventure story. Piscine Patel enjoys a colourful upbringing in south India, then finds himself, after his ship sinks, trapped on a life-raft with a hyena, a monkey, a zebra, and a Royal Bengal tiger…

MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN
Salman Rushdie 

A literary epic that tells the story of India’s transition to independence and beyond, through the eyes of Saleem Sinai who was born “at the precise instant of India’s arrival at independence”. A modern classic, and my favourite book!

Read more Top 5 Book lists, every week in The Big Issue

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