For readers of Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, and David Mitchell comes a striking debut novel by a storyteller of keen insight and captivating imagination.
LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST
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.
Shifting dreamlike between present and past with intoxicating language, visceral action, compelling characters, and stark emotion, The Devourers offers a reading experience quite unlike any other novel.
Praise for The Devourers
“A chilling, gorgeous saga that spans several centuries and many lands . . . The all-too-human characters—including the nonhuman ones—and the dreamlike, recursive plot serve to entrance the reader. . . . There’s no escaping The Devourers. Readers will savor every bite.”—N. K. Jemisin, The New York Times Book Review
“The Devourers is beautiful. It is brutal. It is violent and vicious. . . . [It] also showcases Das’s incredible prowess with language and rhythm, and his ability to weave folklore and ancient legend with modern day loneliness.”—Tordotcom
“A wholly original, primal tale of love, violence, and transformation.”—Pierce Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Red Rising Trilogy
“Astonishing . . . a narrative that takes possession of you and pulls you along in its wake.”—M. R. Carey, author of The Girl with All the Gifts
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A fascinating alternative mythology
Weaving together strands of werewolf mythology from Viking lore to Greek and Egyptian Gods and set in India, this riveting tale follows the life of a mild-mannered professor and how his life changes when he’s causally told one evening by a stranger, “I’m half werewolf”.
The story begins in modern day Kolkata, but spans millennia, and it was absolutely fascinating reading the author’s take on the rituals, customs and lives of shapeshifters. Do they hunt in packs? How do they choose mates? Or pick their prey? Ever wondered how old they might be or how they are raised? I read this through over 3 nights every chance I got. Great read!
A storyline woven through with threads of gods, genies, demons and the all too human condition. Glorious imagination from Indra Das, I can't wait to read more.