The Devourers

The Devourers

Book - 2016
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"On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man's unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger's behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins. From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. The tale features a rough wanderer in seventeenth-century Mughal India who finds himself irrevocably drawn to a defiant woman--and destined to be torn asunder by two clashing worlds. With every passing chapter of beauty and brutality, Alok's interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent."--
Published: New York :, Del Rey,, 2016.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781101967515
110196751X
Branch Call Number: F DAS
Characteristics: 306 pages ;,25 cm

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estherfm13
May 25, 2019

This book was a beautiful, thoughtful journey through the different aspects of being an individual and the different shapes people take depending on what they're doing in their life. I absolutely loved the development of the human main character throughout the book and the way his story ended tied the rest of the book together.

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Aletheion
Apr 16, 2019

I can't say it better than the others who have commented before me. I've never read a book like this before. It was engrossing, haunting, disturbing, surprising, exciting, and breathtakingly beautiful at times.

In addition to exploring all the messy complexities of love and the multiple selves we each hold in tension ... it's also just really killer world-building! Das creates a single magical race that believably unites mythologies from different corners of the ancient world, complete with its own culture and rituals and factions and history.

He builds on that to tell a fairly epic family drama, which unfolds inside these lush and detailed historical settings and set-pieces, and which is just one of two parallel stories in the book (the other being that of the narrator). This all happens in 300 pages and yet somehow never feels rushed. Hell of a first novel.

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annaburger
Nov 28, 2018

plot - "fantasy" - shifting between present and past, tales of werewolves and shapeshifters come to life

JCLAndrewP Sep 06, 2018

A fascinating take on werewolf/shape-changer myths set against the backdrop of India over the span of a couple hundred years. At times graphic and visceral, this story weaves a tale that is vibrant in its clarity. Written from the eyes of both human and shifter, this book explores what it is to be human. But also, it is a story of acceptance of self and identity whether human or monster.

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Taoish
Aug 05, 2017

One could just easily consume this book whole, but for me it was, mostly, savored as fine wine, imbibed lingeringly.

The last book that enraptured, personally, like this was The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.

Philosophy, fantasy, metaphysics, aesthetics, time and place wholly realised amid wild, spanning, lucid narration.

This book is akin to walking through a poetic dreamscape, though beware that some of the topics are violently disturbing as much as other parts can be lushly gorgeous.

In part, an expository on humanity; mans' beastly temperament, the poetry of wildness, a meditation on mythos of the nature of time, place knowledge, folklore and the ever inevitable mystery of being.

But that still does not begin to touch the treasures of language and thought this book contains.

"...the most cowardly and lowest of human acts."

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bwrogers
May 29, 2017

A story that will transport the reader. As I consider what books have recently impacted my sense of how a good story operates, Das' novel consistently returns to my mind. The book transcends its genre trappings, as good genre stories do. Prose that drips with violence, lust, and an utterly alien mentality that lurks just behind the curtain of the night. Put this on the top of your list.

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Aletheion
Apr 16, 2019

We walked down the broad western road, under the shade of the trees that sifted the moonlight like flour.

a
Aletheion
Apr 16, 2019

Courten has sent four men back to Akbarabad; one came back, covered in blood from head to toe, foaming at the mouth from frenzied fear, struck with the immovable belief that he had witnessed something not of nature, a dread miracle, a man changing into an awful, gigantic animal. The survivor was a Jat, and for him the beast of supernature that he saw killing his companions was a rakshasa. For the Baluchs who looked on fearfully it was, perhaps, a djinn, a wandering ghul brought on a fell wind from the northeastern deserts.

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Aletheion
Apr 16, 2019

As Durga Puja turns into Diwali the stranger falls silent on our walks, while fire blossoms in the sky and crackers mist the streets with smoke. In his eyes the sparklers of strangers, held out over balconies, showering footpaths with glowing rain. He looks exposed in the light of all this chemical fire.

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