The Best Novels From India

When I search for good books I try to choose also some books which are out of the most popular and ordinary offers, so I look sometimes over our borders. India is very amazing and huge country which seems very interesting to me. So I got an idea to look for some good novels from Indian authors. There are many of them but I chose some good short collection of books which are translated to English. I hope you`ll find something for you!

The White Tiger (Aravind Adiga)

The White Tiger book was a winner of The Man Booker Prize in 2008. It presents a raw and unromanticised India, the story is both thrilling and shocking. It leads us from desperate, sometimes lawless villages near Ganges to the booming Wild South of Bangalore, with technology and outsourcing centers.

Balram Halwai is the name of The White Tiger – the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor that they couldn’t afford to pay school for him. That`s why he has to work in tea shop, where he is breaking coals and wiping tables. Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur and takes him to live in Delhi. He finds a city as a revelation, when he drives his master around, he finds out that wealth and opportunities are all around him, but he knows that he will never be able to access to that world. As Balram broods his situation, he finds out that there is only one way to become a part of this glamourus new India – by murdering his master.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.

Midnight`s Children (Salman Rushdie)

The iconic masterpiece of India that introduced the world to “a glittering novelist–one with startling imaginative and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling” (The New Yorker).

Salem Sinai was born at midnight on 15th August in 1947. He was one of the 1000 children at that night, at the moment of India`s independence. Greeted by fireworks display, cheering crowds and Prime Minister Nehru himself,

Saleem grows up to learn consequences of this important moment in India`s history. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are bound to those of his nation. His life is inseparable from the history of his country. This novel is a fascinating family saga and an evocation of a vast land people-a brilliant incarnation of the human comedy.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.

The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)

This Arundhati`s novel was the literary sensation of the 1990s, she got the Booker Prize for it. The God of Small Things is written as a beautiful novel, colored and teeming with life, it contains a comedy and a sense of

It shows life of twins named Rahel and Estha. They are growing up among the banana vats and peppercorns of their blind grandmother`s factory amid scenes of political turbulence in the town of Kerala. Armed only with innocence, they tried to craft their childhood amidst what constitutes their family – their lonely mother Ammu, their blind grandmother Mamachi, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron and radical Marxist) and their avowed enemy Baby Kochama (ex nun and grand aunt).

When one day, their English cousin Sophie Mol and her mother Margaret Kochamma arrived for a Christmas visit, the twins learn that things can change in one day.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.

Maximum City (Suketu Mehta)

The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 and won the Kiriyama Prize, an award given to books that foster a greater understanding of nations and people of Pacific Rim and South Asia.

The Maximum City is an insider`s view about the city of Bombay, which is written and shown to us by Suketu Mehta, a native of this stunning metropolis. It is impassioned, funny and heartrending revelation of ancient and ever-changing world.

The author approaches the city from unexpected angles and views. He takes us into the criminal underground of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs, following the life of a bar dancer who raised in poverty and abuse. He opens the door into the inner sanctums of Bollywood and delving into the stories of countless villagers who came to the city in search for a better life but end up living on the sidewalks.

Mehta also showed his own efforts to make a home in Bombay after more than twenty years being abroad.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.

Narcopolis (Yeet Thayil)

The book Nacropolis is a rich and hallucinatory novel which is set around Bombay opium area, it charts the evolution of a great and broken metropolis through three decades. It is a book about drugs, sex, death, perversion, addiction, love and God. It is brilliant portrait of beautiful and damned generation in a nation about to sell its soul.

They say that in Old Bombay you introduce only your worst enemy to opium. In Rushid`s opium room on Shuklaji Street, the air is thick with voices and ghosts. A young woman holds a long-stemmed pipe over a flame, men sprawl and mutter in the gloom. And there is an underworld whisper of terror; the Pathar Maar, the stone killer, whose victims are the nameless and invisible poor people.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.

Family Matters (Rohinton Mistry)

Rohinton Mistry`s book Family Matters is a brilliant novel which is a domestic drama and intently observed portrait of every-day life in Bombay with all its vitality and corruption.

Nariman Vakeel is a seventy-nine-year-old Parsi widower, he suffers from Parkinson`s disease. One day he breaks his ankle and since then he finds himself totally dependent from his family. He is forced to take up residence with his own daughter Roxana, her husband Yezad and their two young sons. All of them now are forced to share a small crowded home.

Yezad is already besieged by financial worries and now he has a new hard responsibility, all these things pushes him into a scheme of deception. In a series of events their family relations came under test, not only of their material resources but in surprising ways also of all their tolerance, compassion, integrity and faith.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.

A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)

The book A Fine Balance is magnificent novel filled with compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recalls masters from Balzac to Dickens. It captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India.

It is set in middle-1970s India in the unnamed place near the sea. After the government declares the `State of emergency` four strangers, four unlikely characters meet and came together; a spirited widow, a young student who was uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the cast violence of their native village.

They are thrust together, forced to share one apartment and an uncertain future.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.

The Room on the Roof (Ruskin Bond)

The Room on the Roof is a timeless coming-of-age novel which will attract a whole new generation of readers. It is written by the author Ruskin Bond when he was just seventeen years old.

It is about Rusty, an Anglo-Indian teenage boy who is orphaned and has to live with his English guardian in the stifling European quarter of Dehra Dun. He is very unhappy because of strict ways of his guardian.

After some time, Rusty ran away from home to live with his Indian friends in the dream-bright world of the bazaar, Hindu festivals and all other ways of Indian life. Rusty finds himself enthralled and he is lost forever for the habits of the claustrophobic European community.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.

Train to Pakistan (Khushwant Singh)

In the summer of 1947, when the creation of the state of Pakistan was officially announced, ten million people – Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs – were in fight. By the time monsoon broke, almost million of them were dead and all of northern India was in arms, in terror or hiding.

The only remaining oases of peace were some little villages in the remote reaches of the frontier. As Khushwant Singh tells us at the beginning of a novel, one such village is Mano Majra. It is a place where Sikh and Muslims have lived together in peace for hundreds of years. Then one day at the end of the summer, the `ghost train` arrives, this was a funeral train, loaded with bodies of thousands of refugees. It brings to the village its first taste of horrors of the civil war.

Train to Pakistan is a story about this isolated village that is plunged into the abbys of religious hate. It is also a story of a Sikh boy and a Muslim girl whose love survives instead of religion diferences and ravages of war.

Link to purchase a Paper Book or an eBook.



  1. Hi Luca, thanks for the great reading ideas 🙂

    I’m always looking for new material because I read every day. I love books from Asian countries, also Arab, they are so very different from the style European or US writers have.

    I’m sure some of these here will help me have a great time off 🙂

    • Hi Stefan, I appreciate that you find some ideas what to read 🙂 thank you for taking your time and leaving a comment!

  2. Hello,

    thanks for the honest review on all these booms, it’s quite easier to consume more books in a year through Reading reviews of the book online, most people actually have the goal of reading more book Every year. I actually love books addressed to life, just like The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy) it seems like kind of book. Thanks for the nice and awesome review

  3. I have not read any of these novels, but I can tell each of these is filled with so much raw emotion.  The Room on the Roof seems like a very easy read and one most people can relate to.

    Family matters seems like a wonderful novel as well.

    Which of these was you favorite, and why?

    Thanks for sharing these recommendations,


    • Hi Ciara,

      both books which you mentioned are great, but if you aks my for my opinion…I would choose Maximum City, because it is about life such a big city as Bombay, it seems very impressive for me.

      Thank you for your opinion and for leaving a comment!

  4. Hello Luka

    I love books too. Especially those that are biographical and non-fiction. These look like great books (You may not want to call them “The Best” but they are probably Great!)

    I finished one called the Hillibilly Elegy about an Appalachian boy who became a lawyer but didn’t forget where he started.

    There’s also a nice collection of bicycle rides across Africa by Neil Peart.

    Anyway, I particularly like that you’ve pulled up older books. They are often better than the newer ones. A Fine Balance seems particularly interesting. Many of your choices are reminiscent of  Slum Dog Millionaire. Interesting.

    • Hi Dave, thank you for your opinion and also for your suggestions of other books. Enjoy in reading!

  5. Thank you for collecting the great reviews in your “Best Novels From India” article.  I find Indian culture fascinating and have read several novels involving modern and not-so-modern India – like The Story of Pi and A Passage to India.  This was very helpful to see some of the latest novels coming out.  I’m especially interested in A Fine Balance and The Room on the Roof.  Anything reminiscent of Dickens will be sure to please, and a novel written by a 17-year-old probably offers new insights that I wouldn’t otherwise consider.  I’m thinking of traveling to India, and it would be good to read several of these to get a feel for how Indians view themselves and the world.  So again, thank you and I’ll be sure to order a few from you – you made it so easy to secure the e-books for my Kindle!  PS. If you have a collection of books about German culture (but NOT the war!) I’d be curious about those, too.  I travel there regularly.

    • Hi Don, thank you so much for taking your time and tell me your opinion about the article. I agree with you, India is very fascinating country, but I also didn`t travel there, it is the different world people say. Good idea, I will think about your suggestion about writing some post about German books.

  6. Thank you for sharing and reviewing all these amazing book. The white tiger  sounds like my book, a lot of drama and a twist by killing his master? I am in! Also, Maximum city sounds like a good one as well. I have never really explored indian writers at all. Except when I was in school in Thailand where we have to study the story of Ramayana, not sure if you are familiar with it, basically it is similar to the journey to the weat where we all have to study. Will check them out, thanks 🙂

    • Hello, I definitely recommend to you the Maximum City, it is a briliant book. I will check out the story of Ramayana, I didn`t hear for it till now. Thank you for taking your time and leaving a comment 🙂

  7. Thanks Luka for taking the time out to come up with this post  on the best novels from india. I’m not from India, and I have not read any of tihis blog post. it is good to know that the books are in soft copy for the busy executives to read through their portable mobile devices. Above all, all the movies listed are easy to read ,engaging and full of suspense. Thanks Luka once ahain.great piece

    • Hi Tolu, thank you for your positive opinion and for leaving a comment 🙂

  8. The synopsis regarding Family Matters definitely piqued my interest. I’d love to get to know more about this story and the financial burden possibly facing this family. It’s something many of us can relate to no matter where we are in the world. It will be a very interesting read. 

  9. Hello Luka

    thanks for sharing your those novels through your post. I ‘ve already been reading “The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)”. And also a big fan of Asian writings. From those novels, some of them contain unique stories. One of my friend is currently reading “The White Tiger (Aravind Adiga)”. Your post about those Indian novels will help a lot of people to find what they looking for in novels, just like it helped me get some good suggestions on Indian novel books. Thank u so much for this post on the Indian novels.

    • Hi, thank you for taking your time and for leaving a comment. I appreciate that you find here some ideas what to read 🙂 

  10. As the saying, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, i sincerely believe that every book worth to be read, as they carry a unique message. on top of that, Asian books will definitely touch your soul. Enjoy the read!

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