Published to coincide with Khair's new and brilliant novel How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position.
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.
A complex, thoughtful novel...Khair takes two large, mainly invisible cultural narratives...and blends them in powerful and enlightening ways...A fascinating and emotionally moving novel for fans of literary fiction. - Library Journal
Authentic and deeply thought-provoking. Readers who enjoy Collins and Dickens will recognize their influence on Khair and revel in his creation. - Booklist, STARRED