Posted in Reviews

Review: Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

Recommended: I don’t think so?
Because I ended it feeling like I didn’t really get much out of it, and it’s low-key depressing. Go for it if you like sprawling stories that cover decades and multiple characters, with a tale that weaves between everyone it touches


This is the age of vice, where money, pleasure, and power are everything,and the family ties that bind can also kill.New Delhi, 3 a.m. A speeding Mercedes jumps the curb and in the blink of an eye, five people are dead. It’s a rich man’s car, but when the dust settles there is no rich man at all, just a shell-shocked servant who cannot explain the strange series of events that led to this crime. Nor can he foresee the dark drama that is about to unfold.Deftly shifting through time and perspective in contemporary India, Age of Vice is an epic, action-packed story propelled by the seductive wealth, startling corruption, and bloodthirsty violence of the Wadia family — loved by some, loathed by others, feared by all.In the shadow of lavish estates, extravagant parties, predatory business deals and calculated political influence, three lives become dangerously intertwined: Ajay is the watchful servant, born into poverty, who rises through the family’s ranks. Sunny is the playboy heir who dreams of outshining his father, whatever the cost. And Neda is the curious journalist caught between morality and desire. Against a sweeping plot fueled by loss, pleasure, greed, yearning, violence and revenge, will these characters’ connections become a path to escape, or a trigger of further destruction?


If you ask me what this book is about I would probably have a bit of a hard time explaining. It’s strangely complex, one of those stories where every character you meet is involved with all of the others in some obscure way. While that can have a pretty cool effect, in this one it left me a bit unsure of why things mattered. And when it came to the very end, I genuinely had no idea what happened, let alone why it happened.

My biggest struggle with this book is that everything in it is terrible. Nothing good happens, basically ever. If you think something good has just happened, know that you’re probably wrong and it will be later revealed to actually be a terrible thing. Everyone is unhappy, even the people who are “supposed” to be happy because they’re rich, or in control, or whatever it may be. This was just such a tale of misery that it was really hard to witness it all.

So what kept me going? I suppose a (misguided) hope for some kernel of love and light, but also because it is sickeningly compelling. With each person I met through another’s memories, I wanted to know what their perspective on a scenario was. And with all the stories we had of the people orbiting Sunny, I was highly anticipating the point when (I hoped) we’d get some moments from his perspective and shed some light on the myriad mysteries glimpsed from the edges of others sight.

About halfway through reading, I somehow learned that this is a book one, and not a standalone, which honestly made it even harder to keep going. I was compelled by the anticipation of a resolution, and of some answers. Knowing that this was not going to have any kind of definitive ending took away some of that motivation. Still, I’m glad I read it. It certainly wasn’t terrible, it was just about terrible things, and occasionally terrible people.

Gray characters are where this excelled. I don’t know if there was any character I liked; any one character who was The Good One. Because even the ones who seem gentle, or kind, or moral, are usually shown their breaking point and what they’re willing to do when pushed past that limit. It felt at times like a sickening experiment by a sadistic scientist.

No surprise — I loved reading about India in this time. From the backcountry, to the beaches of nearby Goa, to the big ol’ city. I was fascinated to learn some of the stereotypes and judgments that people had of regions in their country that I was totally unaware of. The setting was a huge plus in this one. Some technical notes for the book: it covers a span of probably 30-40 years, and is portioned into sections which are each narrated by a different character. There are about 3 main characters who narrate, but others have smaller sections (a few chapters instead of 100+ pages) that punctuate it as well.


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

3 thoughts on “Review: Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

  1. Honestly, the plot on this sounds a bit like a train wreck. Don’t want to watch but can’t look away. (Side note, I wonder where that phrase came from? Comparing something to a train wreck, I mean.) The setting seems like the most redeeming part.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.