The Deceivers

Posted by on Monday, May 14th, 2007

Remember when I used to review things, like books and movies?  Yeah, me neither.  I did though, and then I got lazy or something.

The Deceivers by John Masters

I’d link to the book on Powell’s, but it took me years to get a copy, and they don’t have any and probably won’t for a long time.  Scott recommended this book to me ages ago, and I had to track and wheedle and bend over backwards to get a copy.  It’s been out of print for a while now, few libraries have copies, and I finally paid far too much for a copy that had clearly been mouldering in some basement for years.

The novel is set in India during the height of the East India Company’s power.  Our protagonist is an officer in the EIC, and he learns about the thuggee cult’s operation in the region he’s responsible for.  So he set out to find and crack the cult, accidentally ends up in Kali’s service, mayhem ensues, and somehow he makes it out alive.  I don’t want to say much more than that.  The history seems pretty good, though I’m no expert on India’s history so it could all be crap.  The writing is engaging, the plot is interesting and frightening.  I’m really glad I finally got a copy.  I guess I’ll stop rubbing it in now.  Now I just need to find a copy of the film to watch–it has Pierce Brosnan in the lead, which officially makes it an Irish movie, and thus puts it on my homework list. 

Also, reading this book reawakened my abiding interest in Kali cults, particularly in Thuggee.  And I found this while I was looking about for more on the subject.  If, when I allow myself to buy books again next January, you see me holding that book, remember that it’s because I’m interested in Thuggee strictly in a historical sense.   I don’t think I’ll add this particular book to any wishlists, though.  Not appropriate for birthday pressies, ever, how-to books on strangulation.  Very off-putting for the recipient and the giver. 

Filed in Books | 3 responses so far

3 Responses to “The Deceivers”

  1. rachelon 17 May 2007 at 10:49 am 1

    If I can’t get you a book on strangulation, what CAN I get you?

    Okay, how’s this for a present.
    Wait a few months before looking up The Deceivers on this site, or you might want that book on strangulation ASAP.

  2. kon 17 May 2007 at 5:35 pm 2

    One would think that the book on strangulation would be the perfect gift from Scott. Because, if your husband can’t buy you a book on strangulation, who can?
    Although my twisted little mind has the plot half worked out.

  3. Aeson 22 May 2007 at 7:19 am 3

    Bog bodies, bog bodies! Continuity of Indo-European strangling techniques! Doctoral thesis!!! (at which point Aes is subdued by concerned co-workers and scolded for commenting on over-exciting knitting blogs at work)

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