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Confessions of a Thug Paperback – 28 Jul 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 574 pages
  • Publisher: Rupa & Co; New edition edition (28 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8129113244
  • ISBN-13: 978-8129113245
  • ASIN: 8171675832
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 3.6 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By on 18 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
A difficult book to review in many ways. Taylor's text purports to be a fairly direct account of the confessions of a high-ranking and successful practitioner of thuggee in the early nineteenth century, finally brought to justice by the colonial regime of which Taylor was a part. As such, it stands somewhere in between the categories of literature and history, and there are many academic debates as to the precise nature of the space it occupies, and its historical and cultural significance. Patrick Brantlinger's introductory essay to this volume lays out some of these issues for the reader in a sober manner, and effectively flags up its status as the forerunner of 'true crime' narratives such as Capote's 'In Cold Blood'.
Read as a novel, 'Confessions' is an at times exciting story, but becomes rather repetetive, owing to the highly successful nature of the (anti)hero's practice. One successful deployment of the murderous roomal becomes much like any other at times! However, there are enough twists and turns right up to the last page to maintain a reader's interest, whilst the social, cultural and political details that can be gleaned from the account of early colonial India are a wonderful bonus for anyone interested in the history of the region/period.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Composition and layout of the book is awful, extremely difficult when referencing particular chapters, would not recommend this edition
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What aa book,reads like a nightmare,but
still arrived in excellent condition and on time
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Great book, horrible version. 3 Feb. 2010
By Loomis - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great novel. Sadly, this version of the book is horrid. This book what created using a technology that automatically scans the original and reproduces the text. There are an innumerable amount of spelling errors, which honestly I was making do with because the book was so cheap. Now I come to find out that my copy of the book is missing over a hundred pages.

There is a little warning on the inside cover of the book that reads "We have created this book from the original using Optical Character Recognition software to keep the cost as low as possible. Therefore could you please forgive any spelling mistakes...when in doubt please consult the original scanned book that may be available from out website." This is unacceptable.

Do yourself a favor and read this book online for free. You can find it on Google Books and a variety of other places. General Readers should not make a dime off of shoddy work like this, nor should they get increased web traffic. They are selling books that are incomplete under a the guise of saving the consumer money, when in fact they are milking us for novels that fall under public domain. Avoid at all costs.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating thriller of a book 25 Jan. 2000
By Mohan Marette - Published on
Format: Paperback
For a British soldier, (Lieutenant) under the services of the Nizam of Hyderabad in the 19th century India, turned writer Philip Meadows Taylor certainly proves his prowess as a writer through this book 'Congessions of a Thug', no wonder the book turned out to be a 'best seller' in 19th century England.
The main character AMEER ALI comes to life at the outset and the story of this 'Thugee' unravels before the reader without much interruption from the author. The story is about plotting,murder and mayhem excuted with precison, conviction, with ease and without remorse for that is the way of the 'Thugee'. Though Ameer Ali and his merry men were social parasites and the very embodiment of evil, Taylor quite successfully managed to bring out the many facets of the man and his men as an impartial observer and master story teller. Lastly, the historical nature of the book can not be overlooked considering the fact that similar group of bandits (called Dacoits) still exists in certain parts of India, Chambal Valley comes to mind.
A fascinating book indeed and worth reading.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Song of Kali from the mouth of one of her devotees 6 April 2007
By Kali - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ameer Ali was born a Muslim but he was raised to be a devotee of Ma Kali, or one of her Thugs, men who killed in her name and offered all to her, including their souls.

This Ameer's story, of how he became a Thug, of his childhood years, raised in the shadow of death and destruction, brought about by his adopted family, Thugs of Kali, men who slew in her name.

Despite the fact this is a book written in the 19th century, it is surprisingly modern and without too much judgment by the author, who was obviously clearly fascinated with his subject.

When Meadows wrote this book Ameer was a prisoner of the British, he had betrayed his breathen for his own personal reasons, not for money and not out of fear for his life but for revenge, pure and simple.

A book you just can't put down no matter how hard you try.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Very interesting history 26 Feb. 2013
By Benedict - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am reading this book along with the audio version on

There are no typos in the book so they must have been fixed, referring to a complaint from an earlier reader.

Otherwise, this is a very interesting tale about a group of "thugs" (whence came the term) that flourished in India in the early 1800s that used religion of the Moslem and Hindu faiths to justify the murder of travelers for their money. They used the god of destruction Kali as their final justification. It is interesting to know they were quite ethical according to their own lights.

I like the book as it is well written and tells a lot of history as it was probably understood in those days. I recognize the Moslem faith back then as similar to what it seems to be today.

The book was written in the mid-1800s and comments upon the ruins of a bridge between Ceylon (as it is known today) and India. I found an aerial photograph of it by googling it!
Disgusting but interesting insights into the criminal mind 22 Feb. 2015
By Goldwave - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is considered a classic, and it's worth reading if you are into the history of India, the British Empire, the East Indian Company, crime, or criminal psychology. It's a work of horror and, although fictionalized, the information was inspired by and taken from factual evidence and accounts. Thus frankly it's quite disgusting. However, I will say that, if you (like many of us) have been flummoxed by the existence of certain type of people and groups such as terrorists, this book will give you a disturbing but perhaps helpful insight into how such people think, and how they view the world, and their role in it. Some people also look at this book from the position of its commentary on the Company or the Empire (such as, who is the real villain); but the fact is, it's a book about people who make life-long careers out of murder for profit and the world that supports their ability to do so.
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