River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and India’s Future

January 2019: Now published worldwide in English. Coming soon in Hindi and Chinese

Buy at any good bookshop, download for Kindle or order at Amazon. co.uk or Amazon.com, Amazon.in or (in HK for free delivery) BookDepository.com


Published by OUP

And here are a couple of videos on the Ganges and the crisis facing India’s rivers:

February 2015:

November 2015:

March 2013:

Praise for River of Life, River of Death:

“In prose that is as sanguine and fluid as his subject, Victor Mallet’s River of Life, River of Death charts the course of the Ganges, the spiritual and material lifeline of northern India, through the vicissitudes of time, space and the hubris of men. Rich in detail and sparkling with the insight of a trained observer, Mallet’s chronicle is an engaging and enlightening read.”

Shashi Tharoor, Indian MP and author of Inglorious Empire


“Masterfully combining fascinating history with acute observation of India today, River of Life , River of Death is brilliantly effective in its central argument – that the threats facing the Ganges from pollution, overpopulation, climate change and often bad policies – are also the severest problems threatening India ‘s progress. Mallet is at times brutally realistic about the prospects for rapid improvement, but passionately concerned that success must eventually be achieved . The result is a splendid and important book.”

Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission and of the Institute for New Economic Thinking


“An extraordinary and fascinating combination of history, geography, environment, politics, religion and much more,  written with affection for and understanding of a country of special importance. This is a river of unsurpassed significance on the world stage, whose flow and life is traced from the Himalayas to the Sunderbans and the Bay of Bengal. Not just the story of  an often difficult past but also of hope for a possible healthy and attractive future.”

Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at LSE


“To try and fathom the wonders and follies of India through a river is grand ambition…and Victor Mallet pulls it off!”

Gurcharan Das, author of India Unbound and The Difficulty of Being Good


“Victor Mallet demonstrates vividly why India needs to get to grips with the huge challenge of antibiotic resistance… I hope Mr Modi’s policy advisers read his powerful narrative.”

Jim O’Neill, economist, inventor of the Brics acronym and chair of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance


“Victor is one of those rare foreign journalists who not only likes and understands India but, in addition, has the capacity to see its faults as well as impartially assess the efforts it’s making to correct them. This means his coverage of India is always informed and thought-provoking. Even when sympathetic he’s never biased.”

Karan Thapar, Indian television anchor and author