Read No God In Sight by Altaf Tyrewala Online


A daring novel about present-day Bombay and the individual lives that spark the city’s consciousness.Fast-paced and innovative, No God in Sight captures the seething multiplicity of Bombay through first-person accounts of an abortionist, a convert, a pregnant refugee, a gangster in hiding, a butcher, and an apathetic CEO, among others. As the reader is hurtled from monologA daring novel about present-day Bombay and the individual lives that spark the city’s consciousness.Fast-paced and innovative, No God in Sight captures the seething multiplicity of Bombay through first-person accounts of an abortionist, a convert, a pregnant refugee, a gangster in hiding, a butcher, and an apathetic CEO, among others. As the reader is hurtled from monologue to short story to anecdote, disparate lives collide in tantalizing ways. A family flees religious persecution in their village to take refuge in an urban slum; women walk the tightrope of free will and dormant violence; a father and son grant each other the relief of estrangement; and young men and women struggle to comprehend the consequences of sexual attraction. At the heart of the action is the city itself: a teeming, breathing, suffering Bombay that demands subservience and total surrender before it will sanction survival. Insightful, ironic, and scathingly honest, No God in Sight is a brilliant debut by a talented young writer....

Title : No God In Sight
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781596921948
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

No God In Sight Reviews

  • Tanuj Solanki
    2019-05-03 06:57

    My favorite movie critic is Richard Brody of The New Yorker. Each year, he publishes a list of the best and worst movies from around the world—the list has been my staple for years. In 2014, Brody mentioned Oscar notable Birdman in the worst category. This year, The Revenant gets some flak. Brody suggests that for both movies by the director Alejandro González Iñárritu, the gap between ambition and delivery is filled not by imaginativeness, but by a grandiose attitude: a balletic camera trying to hide a spiritual hollowness. I agree.In literature, too, there are examples of bluster filling the gap between high ambition and actual content. Altaf Tyrewala’s debut novel, No God in Sight, garnered near-universal praise over a two year period from 2005 to 2007, in which it was published in country after country and translated in various European languages. My Penguin copy had a front-cover Salman Rushdie blurb laden with numerous five-star adjectives. Manil Suri’s back-cover blurb called it “a bullet-train of a novel,” in a good way.Tyrewala’s thin novel is indeed big on ambition. It is composed of dozens of vignettes, almost all in first person. What we have is not a single narrative arc but a variety of situations, all of which are supposedly contributing to the meaning inherent in the title. Tyrewala comes up with good scenarios, most of them involving Muslim protagonists. There are abortionists, shoe sellers, young lovers, cops, rich people, fake Urdu teachers, and others – all struggling to get by. But Tyrewala' writing chops do not turn up routinely. Sample the below exchange between a woman and her boyfriend:"I'm sorry Abhay, you're just too crude! We've tremendous physical chemistry, agreed, but we can't be in bed all the time. What about the mornings or during meals? What do we talk of then? How many programmes you debugged? I want someone immersed in life, someone who can buy me diamonds while fascinating me with his take on Pynchon's works."'No, Swati, no!' I looked up from between her thighs. 'You're the one for me! Give me two months. When I come back to Boston, I promise I'll be dripping with the humanities like you won't believe.'I'm too lazy to accommodate other examples of shoddiness, but suffice to say that one often wonders if Tyrewala’s conceit of multiple 1000-word vignettes isn’t a ploy to hide the sub-standard nature of his content. It is a pity that the structure happens to be the most definitive thing here; the component stories, of variable quality, do not contribute to the initial design uniformly. The novel reads like a brief survey of lives, and the more-or-less aleatory nature of the selections bares the writer’s deficiencies. Had there been more of a plan, had the writing been better, and the vignettes longer, the book would have left a better impression. For now, this reader is left wondering just how a Salman Rushdie blurb resembles an Oscar nomination.

  • Tanmay Tathagat
    2019-04-23 01:58

    Cliches piled upon cliches in language that reads like a botched translation job from an Indian language, this book was a pain to get through. I am amazed that stuff like this even gets published, and to add insult to injury, I see literary giants like Rushdie, Suri and Tejpal (famous, but not really a literary giant) hailing this as the next big thing. We have a thing for topicality in India, don't we? We like stuff if they deal with "issues", no matter if they describe the whole process in the most deadening, hoary prose ever known to man. A quick but unpleasant read.

  • Manu
    2019-05-03 07:48

    Somewhere in between a relay race and 'six degrees of separation' lies the narrative style of this excellent novel. And just like the city it showcases, it sets a scorching pace. But its not just a microcosm of the city, its also a take on social issues - from religion to class differences to a clash of the old and new. And somewhere in between is a subtext of man's search for where he came from and where he is going, and the series of connected lives and the sheer weariness that prevents them from being able to think beyond their immediate existence, somehow points towards the title - 'no god in sight'. From the millions that make up the phenomenon that's Bombay, and gives it a 'spirit', the author manages to create a few characters that give us a glimpse of the individual lives. He begins with a seemingly nonchalant treatment of what might be considered a moral issue - abortion, and thus captures the pulse of a city and the thought process and credo of a new generation. But amazingly, there is a universal nature to it too, and more often than not, the author manages to walk this line with balance, despite the majority of characters being Muslim. Featuring the famous local trains, the cop who expounds the logic of his sense of justice, the men who share a name with a terrorist, the book is quintessentially Mumbai, and yet, from another perspective, they're just human stories. If we juxtapose the allusions to 'my mumbai' and 'your mumbai' in the corporate executive's story and the 'to be comfortable with discomfort, one must banish all contact with ease' in the butcher's story, we see two sets of people figuring out their own ways to cope with what the city and life throws at them. Sometimes, they can't, and all they want to do is escape, like Amin Bhai.In just about 170 pages, Altaf Tyrewala creates not just the characters who make Mumbai, but even manages to represent, even if its just through a few examples, how they got there. Can't even complain about the lack of character development because the snapshots almostd efine the characters. Another great rendition of Mumbai, and a must read!

  • Vidya
    2019-05-17 06:02

    This is the book form of "Humans of Bombay". Very interesting take on the lives of Mumbaikars. How self-centered people are, the consequences of being in an intimate relationship, a father-son's typical relationship, a bootwala's dream of starting a new life in New York, so on...At some point, I felt this is another replica of Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies". Fast paced. Worth a read.

  • Vikas Lather
    2019-04-29 04:02

    I felt touched by the narration

  • Foodie
    2019-05-16 02:52

    Altaf Tyrewala's bestselling debut novel is a brilliant collective first person account of the pulsating metropolis Mumbai. The fascinatingly crafted, racy monologues add a sense of immediacy and unpredictability. the book is at once witty, surreal and dark, giving out a sense of larger forces at work. With the characters grappling with demonds - both inner and social, no God's gonna come from the skies and show you a path, each one has to work out his own destiny. (hence the tittle) The book captures confined existences in mumbai - something that is not really unique to just this city, rather anyone who's ever lived in a bustling city can relate to the experiences narrated in the book. All in all, a fantastic read!

  • Shonita
    2019-05-16 01:02

    "No God In Sight" is an ingenious way of taking the readers through a myriad of lives and perspectives and it compels you to become philosophical and question how your existence and actions have a domino effect on the lives of many others. It gives you a bird eye view of the many things happening in and around us and you are left perplexed with the ability of the author to soak his writing in the cultural mix to bring out the very essence of the characters' being. Furthermore, Altaf Tyrewala is witty and is skilled with playing on metaphors making this book a simple yet classy and humorous read.

  • Kristax3
    2019-04-24 08:11

    Wow, this was an amazing book to start my 2012 reading challenge with. The writing was almost poetic, the characters were so real, and the way each of their stories intertwined made this such an enjoyable read. It's such a short book, a little over 200 pages so it can be read very quickly. You don't get in depth views into each character but you still feel like you know them which, in my opinion, makes Altaf Tyrewala a great writer. Oh, and if you like this book I highly recommend The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri, one of my favorite books. I found out about No God in Sight from that book and I'm so glad I did. 5/5 stars. Read this book!

  • Ketan Shah
    2019-05-17 09:10

    Altaf Tyrewala weaves a series of interlocking stories into a tapestry of Mumbai.A majority of the characters involved are Muslim and there are some nice insights into religious tension in this bustling city.He's very good at finding a pattern in the seeming chaos of this amazing city.Highly recommended for anyone who's been to Mumbai,or anyone who just likes a well told story .If you enjoyed this,you'd probably enjoy Anita Desai's In Custody,Arundhati Roy's God of Small Things ,R K Narayan's Malgudi Stories and the Salman Rushdie edited Vintage Book of Indian Fiction.

  • Erkki
    2019-05-09 01:02

    Taught, creative, wry, dark. A portrait of dense, oppressive Mumbai and its desperate residents through vignettes of loosely overlapping characters. Not a great book but a good one, an interesting one, and an author who shows promise; Tyrewala evinces a keen observation of detail and a crative play of language. It's a page-turner and an easy read, but morally ominous. A bit Our Town meets Steinbeck.

  • Preet
    2019-05-13 05:00

    I liked this book for using a simple trick and turning it into a meaty little novella bridged essentially with short stories. The structure here solid and while there is no real plot to speak of (rather, a whole series of plots), I did not feel cheated or let down as a reader. As a writer, I admired his vignettes, each of which had so succinctly captured life's little dramatic episodes that they were great ideas for full-length novels.

  • Diana
    2019-04-27 09:07

    Libro strano. Parte molto bene, veloce ed accattivante. Brevi flash di vita tutti diversi, tutti intensi, tutti profondamente indiani. Uniti solo da una brezza leggera che passa da un protagonista all'altro. Poi però si appesantisce un po' e ti resta nei pensieri la voglia di sapere qualcosa in più riguardo a queste storie. Un libro senza finale che mi ha lasciata come in attesa...

  • Saranga
    2019-05-07 00:54

    What a book!! The author has provided an insight to the big and busy Bombay life.By taking a view of an unusual set of characters, one gets to know about life and its various scenarios. Also, how religion in India is still associated with a person's identity. A unique style of writing.Fast paced ranging from short stories to anecdotes.This book captivates you till the end.

  • Divya
    2019-04-23 09:13

    A very quick and fascinating read about the dark, humorous, hidden and celebrated aspects of one of India's most interesting cities: Bombay. The author's style is clever and addictive. I have never read another atory presented this way that leads you into the recesses of so many people's life stories.

  • Prakriti
    2019-05-24 08:46

    This was a good writing experiment, quite tight by the end. But as someone else mentions, this lacks the soul of the entire exercise. If the intention was to capture Bombay in some of it's slices, that is sorely missing. Some good scenarios, but basically one quick rally race. Strictly time-pass.

  • Areej014
    2019-05-21 02:57

    I loved this book.had me thinking at every second sentence. It plunges you into the morbid emotions of the characters while at the same time forcing you to recognise what is it that the characters are feeling. Short book with a lot of depth.

  • James Njoroge
    2019-05-06 06:58

    This is an incredible book. Fast paced, you don't want to let go till it's over. Altaf made me feel like a ghost, going through walls, intruding into people's lives and minds in Mumbai and Bombay. Amazing story telling!

  • Ffiamma
    2019-05-18 07:07

    un insieme di istantanee da mumbay/bombay: storie fulminee, ordinarie, tragiche, tristi e un po' buffe- dove la religione è importante ma non sembra esserci nessun dio in vista. molto indiano, copertina splendida.

  • Kunal Gaidhankar
    2019-05-18 01:00

    A dark story.The author connects each chapter with introduction of a new character.

  • Ayelet Waldman
    2019-05-06 09:15

    I was sent this book because the editor read my booklog and knew I have a weakness for Indian fiction. Man, did I love this. Tiny little fragments that together make a wonderful story.

  • Jacqueline
    2019-05-19 07:01

    This book heart wrenchingly weaves the fragile web of life, and how we are all interconnected. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

  • Kascia
    2019-05-20 05:08

    I only read half of the book. It was hard to understand and get into. What I did read was interesting, but not enough to keep me reading.

  • Dina
    2019-05-07 05:52

    3.5 una parte de la realidad de la India, un libro crudo.

  • Catherine
    2019-05-13 01:05

    a pretty good. A lot of character depth. A very real view of the happenings in a city like Mumbai.