A few days ago Guardian asked its readers to nominate the 10th title for its first book award longlist containing 11 eligible books.
The latest nomination in this regard happens to be Madame Mephisto by A M Bakalar the story of which revolves around a Polish drug dealer who has recently come to England.
The story in the book is narrated through first person and the main character, Magda, tells us about her past and present.
Going against the family norm of getting married and having kids, Madga comes to England and sets a successful drug-dealing enterprise. The book also relates the cultural differences she had to encounter after coming to England.
Initialy, she had to go through some rough time and ended up being fired from various jobs since she fails to fit in with the life in London. Her only contact back at home is her twin sister who lives in Warsaw.
Her relationship with her mother is not very stable and besides, she has a sort of aversion for life in Poland.
The taglines of the book are particularly interesting and go like “I am a professional liar. I am two people. I am the best thing that ever happened to you.What would you talk about if you were stuck in a room with a drug dealer for five days?”
While the plot of the novel, together with its cultural references, is quite interesting, Magda fails to fit in the precise picture of a drug dealer.
After becoming a successful international drug smuggler, she has the power to pribe the police and even kill those who would hinder her way.
But the weak point in the book is that the details by which she attained this status are very little. Besides, the characters that help her set up her business in England also seem quite obvious.
Overall, the book is quite an interesting read, although addition of certain details such as her rise as a drug dealer, would make it even more interesting.