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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
Miller offers a flâneur's account of Delhi-"India's dreamland-and its purgatory" as he strolls through slums and gated communities, humble neighborhood parks and historic tombs. A longtime BBC correspondent based in Delhi, Miller understands and deftly conveys India's contradictions and makes cultural commentary with an insider's confidence. Even if there is a strain of smugness-Miller seems to enjoy feeling slightly superior to more unseasoned foreigners and middle-class Delhites who don't share his interest in walking around the city-it's fleeting; he is so likeable and so willing to confront the city on its own terms. He visits porn theaters, visits cult members, falls into manholes. He shifts easily from the comic to the serious, to the darker details of Delhi life-the water shortages, violence, disease, and staggering income disparity-helped by a picaresque narrative complete with chapter headings ("Chapter One: In which the Author is dazzled by the Metro, finds a cure for hemorrhoids, and turns the tables on a an unscrupulous shoeshine man"). A cityscape suffused with wisdom, chance, and delight.
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