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The City of Devi Hardcover – 14 Mar 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (14 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408833905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408833902
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 893,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

The City of Devi combines, in a magician's feat, the thrill of Bollywood with the pull of a thriller. Set in a city at the brink of the end, this is a fiercely imagined story of three souls haunted by a love that will change their most elemental ideas of identity. Manil Suri's bravest and most passionate book (Kiran Desai)

Consuming, passionate, and ultimately poignant story (Nikita Lalwani Guardian)

An extravagant, and warm-hearted romantic comedy ... Arranged around various trinities ... Suri's novel is written in vivid, cornucopian prose (Sunday Times)

A provocative fantasy from prestigious Indian author Suri (Attitude Magazine)

This vividly imagined book about personal and national destruction - and the possibilities of salvation - lingers long after the final page, showing how it is loss that teaches the value of what is most loved (Anita Sethi Independent)

The City of Devi, which will surely cement his reputation as one of the most imaginative writers of our time ... Suri creates a mesmerising novel that is impossible to put down (Yorkshire Post)

Apocalyptic fables may be routine in the West, but Suri's novel of ruined Mumbai on the eve of destruction strikes a fresh note in Indian fiction ... Ancient myths and modern fears fuse with explosive results' (Independent)

Suri's gods are subversive, malignant characters, exploited to inspire fear and revulsion ... This mixture of sex, mythology and global politics might seem likely to end in disaster, but Suri has reined in the strands admirably. The author is also a mathematician, and his sense of order is evident, even as his story bursts with high-octane, Bollywood-style drama (Chitralekha Basu, Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

A dystopia like no other, Manil Suri paints a vibrant portrait of an India on the brink of collapse, two figures travelling across the unknown in a world scarily close to the modern day

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mrs a.smith on 3 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Having read and enormously enjoyed Manil Suri's two previous books I was very much looking forward to The City Of Devi. But I was quite a bit disappointed. Although he still writes well and the story has sparks and moments of intense interest and "dark humour", I found the book every uneven and although I enjoyed the human interest of the story of the three main characters, I was bored and confused by the general setting of the"apocalyptic war and imminent nuclear menace hanging over Mumbai
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By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
There is little doubt that the Indian novel, written at home or abroad, is extremely vibrant. Few though have had the apocalyptic background of Manil Suri’s third novel published in 2013.

The novel, which might have had the subtitle ‘Story of a Pomegranate’, opens after a decade of global terrorism and warfare following the destruction of the World Trades Centre. India has been invaded by both China and Pakistan. Terrorists threatened and acted, and cyber-attacks disabled institutions, computer networks and mobile phones, leaving rumour to accentuate global panic.

The reader is introduced to the intercommunal religious and ethnic strife in Mumbai, City of Devi, through Sarita, a woman desperately searching for her physicist husband, Karun. Throughout the book, Suri’s descriptions of ruined landscapes, violent marauding groups and ecstatic crowds greeting their social and religious leaders are impressive.

Sarita provides her backstory and that of Karun, both inexperienced in relationships, and the author very sensitively describes their initial hesitancy and the gradual tenderness that grows between them. It is very clear to the reader, even if it was not stated in the publisher’s blurb, that there is a buried secret that affects their relationship. The book then explains this in detail, some might argue excessive detail, and gradually the various elements of the story are brought together for Sarita, Jaz - a young Muslim she has saved from being murdered by Hindu extremists – and Karun to escape from forces seeking to annihilate them.

Any one of these three elements, love story, religious and societal meltdown, and thriller would have made an interesting book but Suri seeks to integrate them and is let down by his ambition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stupormundi on 24 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a truly wonderful story by a master-storyteller. In brief it is about the pursuit of an academic by his wife and gay lover against the backdrop of a post-apocalypse Bombay. The story captures India beautifully from the manic sectarian hatred of the Hindu and Muslim hard-liners to the wonderful nuttiness of the cult of a living child Saint against the ruins of familiar Bombay landmarks ruined by a devastating Indo-Pak war. A truly wonderful book with superb characterisation especially the bitchy gay hero. Do not miss this jewel.
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