The Thing about Thugs by Tabish Khair

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...Meadows is a poorly drawn character. He lacks depth and dimension. We are simply meant to assume he’s a good man.
-NY Times


A subversive, macabre novel of a young Indian man’s misadventures in Victorian London as the city is racked by a series of murders

In a small Bihari village, Captain William T. Meadows finds just the man to further his phrenological research back home: Amir Ali, confessed member of the infamous Thugee cult. With tales of a murderous youth redeemed, Ali gains passage to England, his villainously shaped skull there to be studied. Only Ali knows just how embroidered his story is, so when a killer begins depriving London’s underclass of their heads, suspicion naturally falls on the “thug.” With help from fellow immigrants led by a shrewd Punjabi woman, Ali journeys deep into a hostile city in an attempt to save himself and end the gruesome murders.

Ranging from skull-lined mansions to underground tunnels a ghostly people call home, The Thing about Thugs is a feat of imagination to rival Wilkie Collins or Michael Chabon. Short-listed for the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize, this sly Victorian role reversal marks the arrival of a compelling new Indian novelist to North America.

About Tabish Khair

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Tabish Khair is an award-winning poet, journalist, critic, educator and novelist. A citizen of India, he lives in Denmark and teaches literature at Aarhus University.
Published July 24, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 256 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Patrick Mcgrath on Sep 14 2012

...Meadows is a poorly drawn character. He lacks depth and dimension. We are simply meant to assume he’s a good man.

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