Joshua King’s father dies of a viagra overdose and in his will, states that his son would inherit a fortune if he wrote a bestseller. Josh is of course, busy bumming around in India, clueless about what to do with his life, and doesn’t particularly like being forced to have a purpose. But the money is tempting, and so Josh sets out on the job.
This premise ensures that the entire book/ parts of it can be seen in meta – though Josh is writing it in the first person, it might as well be completely his imagination at work. As Josh himself states, quite a few times, the book has it all – “drugs, diamonds, exotic locations, sexy girl, the plan that goes horribly wrong”. Add to this some deceit, a few doses of how media makes stories and a sprinkling of philosophy, and you have a reasonably good read in your hands.
I’d say that Josh is tripping on life in general, and India in particular. In addition to the familiar stereotypes, there are also thinly veiled inspirations – Faizad Gerstad, the drug peddling film director, Dowdy Ibrahim – the mafia warlord, to name a few.
A roller coaster ride – from Bombay’s party and ‘Boom Shankar’ circuit to its grimy street life and then a roadtrip to the deserts of Rajasthan, its definitely fantastical, and though you can easily guess the end, it keeps your attention.