Book Review: Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

Ghachar Ghochar

Author: Vivek Shanbhag

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: Literary Fiction


Blurb (as on Goodreads):

A young man’s close-knit family is nearly destitute when his uncle founds a successful spice company, changing their fortunes overnight. As they move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house on the other side of Bangalore, and try to adjust to a new way of life, allegiances realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. Things become “ghachar ghochar” – a nonsense phrase uttered by one of the characters that comes to mean something tangled beyond repair, a knot that can’t be untied. Elegantly written and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humor, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings – and consequences – of financial gain in contemporary India.

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A glimpse into the life of a lower-middle-class family who just got an upgrade and has no clue what to do with their new found money or house. This is the most relatable book I have come across. The writing style got me involved with the characters and the narrator. I have judged these people so bad 😛

The narrator sits in a cafe every day, just to avoid the family drama. He is the CEO of a spice selling company and takes pride in not having to work at all. He loves his mother, wife, and sister, but only when they are doing their own thing. These three individuals in the same room is a deadly combination.

A book that got me emotionally entangled because stories like these are all around, including my own house. Everything that is happening in the plot has happened to a lot of us, maybe in bits but has definitely taken place. Maybe that’s why this book has won so many hearts.

I found the climax a little confusing and abrupt because this book is not written metaphorically. For Example, an ant is an ant (okay, maybe a giant-crazy-greedy-clingy ant) but it remains an ant throughout, it doesn’t mean anything other than just an ant. The ending might not really mean anything else, but maybe it did and as u can see, I am totally confused 😛


  • A tiny, but a deeply engrossing glimpse into the life of a family, that had acquired money over time
  • Plot twists
  • Events that happen every day, either with us or around us


Purchase Links:               |Amazon Kindle||Amazon Paperback|


A big yes, to more books by the author.


12 thoughts on “Book Review: Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

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