nu's landingThe setting for Manil Suri's brilliant debut novel, The Death of Vishnu, is an apartment building in Bombay. Whether you see it and its inhabitants as metaphors for modern day Indian society, for pettiness, frailty and longing everywhere, or simply as mise en scÅ½ne for the unfolding drama, you'll be capitvated by the richness of Suri's writing. The characters, thrown together by circumstance, are expertly intertwined with Hindu mythology. You may see Vishnu, a poor servant who lives on a staircase landing as a dying man reliving his youth or as the great Hindu god Vishnu in one of his many disguises. You may see his ascent up the staircase as the soul's progress through existence or as a clever way to wind in and out of the lives led on the separate floors. However you interpret this multi-layered novel, you'll be struck by its fullness and by John Lee's perfectly pitched reading.
Sukey Howard reports each month on spoken word audio.