The Great Tamasha by James Astill
Cricket, Corruption, and the Spectacular Rise of Modern India

77%

6 Critic Reviews

Astill’s excursions, however, give the book its spice, its masala. “The Great Tamasha” is a book of breadth rather than depth. It buzzes with field trips and brisk interviews that sometimes bring insight, and more often momentum and freshness.
-NY Times

Synopsis

To understand modern India, one must look at the business of cricket within the country.

When Lalit Modi--an Indian businessman with a criminal record, a history of failed business ventures, and a reputation for audacious deal making--created a Twenty20 cricket league in India in 2008, the odds were stacked against him. International cricket was still controlled from London, where they played the long, slow game of Test cricket by the old rules. Indians had traditionally underperformed in the sport but the game remained a national passion. Adopting the highly commercial American model of sporting tournaments, and throwing scantily clad western cheerleaders into the mix, Modi gave himself three months to succeed. And succeed he did--dazzlingly--before he and his league crashed to earth amid astonishing scandal and corruption.

The emergence of the IPL is a remarkable tale. Cricket is at the heart of the miracle that is modern India. As a business, it represents everything that is most dynamic and entrepreneurial about the country's economic boom, including the industrious and aspiring middle-class consumers who are driving it. The IPL also reveals, perhaps to an unprecedented degree, the corrupt, back-scratching, and nepotistic way in which India is run.

A truly original work by a brilliant journalist, The Great Tamasha* makes the complexity of modern India--its aspiration and optimism straining against tradition and corruption--accessible like no other book has.

*Tamasha: a Hindi world meaning "a spectacle."
 

About James Astill

See more books from this Author
James Astill has been the South Asia Bureau Chief for The Economist, stationed in New Delhi, since 2007. He has written for a range of publications around the world—from The Guardian to Japan Times. Astill has won four major journalism awards including the America's Gerald R. Ford Prize for Reporting on National Defense and the Grantham prize for a special report on the world's forests.  He lives in New Dehli.
 
Published July 9, 2013 by Bloomsbury USA. 304 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Great Tamasha
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Rahul Bhattacharya on Aug 16 2013

Astill’s excursions, however, give the book its spice, its masala. “The Great Tamasha” is a book of breadth rather than depth. It buzzes with field trips and brisk interviews that sometimes bring insight, and more often momentum and freshness.

Read Full Review of The Great Tamasha: Cricket, C... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jason Burke on Aug 03 2013

The Great Tamasha tells a fascinating story well. Anyone interested in India, or cricket, and most certainly both, will enjoy it very much.

Read Full Review of The Great Tamasha: Cricket, C... | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jul 01 2013

-not to mention the marvelous entertainment it provides.

Read Full Review of The Great Tamasha: Cricket, C... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Krishnadev Calamur on Jul 16 2013

The Great Tamasha is a timely book, given that it coincidentally comes amid another a betting scandal, which points an accusing finger at players as well as administrators.

Read Full Review of The Great Tamasha: Cricket, C... | See more reviews from NPR

Kirkus

Good
on May 02 2013

Alternating with his prodigious research, the author chronicles his passionate watching and playing of the game...

Read Full Review of The Great Tamasha: Cricket, C... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by James Lamont on Jul 05 2013

It will resonate with anyone who has felt the intensity of the crowd when Tendulkar walks out or when the home team meets arch-rival Pakistan.

Read Full Review of The Great Tamasha: Cricket, C... | See more reviews from Financial Times

Reader Rating for The Great Tamasha
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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