Anosh Irani's review of Maximum City in The Globe and Mail calls Mehta's book, an "autopsy of a city that is morally dead" (2004, par. 2), a "gem" (Irani,2004, par. 8), and "a brilliant examination" (Irani, 2004, par. 2). In fact, all the reviewers allude to the noirish nature of Mehta's book. Akash Kapur subtitles his review in the N.Y. Times Book Review, Bombay Confidential(alluding to crime novels, and perhaps the movie L.A. Confidential) and Adam Hochschild writing in Harper's titles his review, UNDERWORLD, all in caps. A great part of Mehta's book centers on his dealings with underworld elements, like power-mad politicians (Shiv Sena's Bal Thackeray), movie stars (Sanjay Dutt), a bar dancer (Monalisa), gangsters, and Bombay's top cop on anti-terrorism (Ajay). In addition, Mehta's descriptions are precise literary renditions. Akash Kapur likens Mehta's writing to "Dicken's London" (Kapur, 2004, par. 3) while Adam Hoschild writes that "Mehta's eye on Bombay remind me of no one's so much as Balzac's on Paris" (Hochschild, 2005, par. 2).
While none of the reviewers comment on what type of libraries should carry Mehta's book, the book covers subjects that lie under the artifice of writing a book about Bombay's transition into Mumbai. For example, Mehta is a screenplay writer with credits for Mission Kashmir (2000) and a Merchant Ivory movie starring Tina Turner called The Goddess (2007, Suketu); and, part of Mehta's book chronicles his dealings with the Bollywood system as a writer and as a researcher. Therefore, it would be an easy leap to make the argument that Mehta's book would be just at home in an academic library as a special media library used by film producers and archivists, especially those pertaining working with Bollywood and East Asian film making. In addition, Mehta's book could just as easily be accessioned into a literature collection with a Victorian bent or specializing on Writers and the Cities they inhabit.
Hochschild, A. (2005). UNDERWORLD. Harper's, 94, Retrieved February 28, 2009, from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/results/results_single_ftPES.jhtml
Irani, A. (October 23, 2004). Autopsy for Bombay. The Globe and Mail, Retrieved February 28, 2009, from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/
Kapur, A. (November 21, 2004). 'Maximum City': Bombay Confidential. The New York Times Book Review, Retrieved February 28, 2009, from http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/21/books/review/21KAPURL/html
(2007). Suketu Mehta. Retrieved March 3, 2009, from http://www.suketumehta.com/ Web site: http://www.suketumehta.com/about.html
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.