“Bollywood Extras” is not an easy novel to read, but it is well worth effort. As the blurb states, it is a cross between two classic works of literature: “Day of the Locust” and “Lolita” (but set in our own tinseltown, Mumbai). If you have read these two novels already, then you will be in better position to appreciate Dr. Starrs’s literary endeavor. But be warned, he addresses some quite dark and unpleasant themes. The theme of sexual assault being ‘acceptable’ in India is especially hot right now, what with the controversy over the fatal pack rape of a young female university student on a Delhi bus and all the big protests in the streets. Add to this the subject of the 2008 Mumbai Islamic terrorist attacks and you have a novel with some very serious themes indeed. Surprisingly, Dr. Starrs has engaged in some amusing comedy at times and it is obvious he has spent so much time in Mumbai researching the film industry. In summary, do read this book if you are after some creative exposition of Bollywood and our frequently hypocritical attitudes to child sexual assault and don’t be surprised if you find his style amusing!
Very clever. I like this play quite a lot, although I don't understand the signifcance of Lygon Street ... And the ending is not very pleasant. I am beginning to think that Dr.Stars does not like happy endings!
This is vintage Dr Starrs! And at times quite amusing, too. In fact, this novel should be required reading for anybody planning to travel to Thailand for the express purposes of a career in English teaching!
I know I've already reviewed this but I think its important this novel be publicized, given the sentencing of American David Headly to 35 yrs imprisonment this week for his involvement in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. He should have been extradited to India and sentenced to death! Instaead he will die in gaol and the families in Mumbai torn apart from his actions will probably never get to celebrate his passing... Pakistan too should hang its heads in shame!