The Devourers

Indra Das. Del Rey, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-101-96751-5
Das’s brutal, intoxicating, and gorgeously visceral debut merges an often mythic sensibility with an appreciation for the coarse beauty of the everyday. This tale of shape-shifters connects Mughal India, under the shade of a newly built Taj Majal, to modern Kolkata while exploring the nature of story and history. Prof. Alok Mukherjee meets an extraordinary stranger who claims to be half werewolf, at a musical festival in present-day Kolkata. After the man gives him a strange, compelling story in the form of a vision, Alok agrees to transcribe two 17th-century scrolls for him. Within one is the story of Fenrir, a wanderer of the many-cultured ancient race of human-hunting monsters called vukodlak; the other holds the autobiography of Cyrah, a strong, defiant human woman whom Fenrir, against the strict taboos of his kind, does not hunt not as prey, but rapes to create his child. Das creates a feeling of urgency amid a sense of timelessness and feeds a fascination with the alien that is enhanced by dives into terrifying intimacy. Agent: Ron Eckel, Cooke Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/16/2016
Release date: 07/12/2016
Ebook - 978-1-101-96752-2
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-101-96753-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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