Over the summer months our book club is reading two contrasting titles, both so intriguing it’s hard to decide which to tackle first. Are you drawn to a city full of drugs, pimps, prostitutes and drunken academics? Then start with Narcopolis by Jeet Thayal. Or are you more tempted by a homely historical novel about a girl who can go back in time and change her future, again and again. Then try Life after Life by Kate Atkinson.
Nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2012, Narcopolis is set in the haze of Bombay’s opium dens in the 1960s. The narrator, son of wealthy parents, is irresistably drawn to the seedier side of the city and is addicted to the stuff. At his favourite den, Dimple, the eunuch, prepares the pipes, a fixed point in a changing world. But with the arrival of heroin, nothing is ever quite the same again.
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson tells a very different and contrasting tale. Just out in hardback, it’s all about a little girl called Ursula, born around the time of the first World War. But she is different, and can go back in time to alter the events of her own life and even those of the others she loves as she grows up. It seems her life will be perfect by the end but she soon finds things are not that simple.
The book club meets to discuss the novels on the 19th September and promises to be a lively debate.