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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line Paperback – 11 May 2021
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"A model of verisimilitude . . . [Jai] comes to life on the page to live on in readers' memories."--Booklist "[Anappara's] bright, propulsive prose . . . only accentuates the seriousness of her subject: the disappearance of children from villages in India, a real-life issue give intimate treatment here."--Library Journal "Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is a moving and confident novel about the preciousness of life. The storytelling is distinctive and immersive."--Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant "Deepa Anappara is a writer of considerable talent. This is a wonderful, energetic book filled with humour and pathos. Charming, sensitive and deeply moving."--Nathan Filer, Costa Book Award-winning author of The Shock of the Fall "The children at the heart of this story will stay with you long after you turn the last page . . . A wonderful debut."--Christie Watson, bestselling author of The Language of Kindness "A magnificent achievement: the endeavours of the Djinn Patrol offer us a captivating world of wit, warmth and heartbreak, beautifully crafted through a child's unique perspective."--Mahesh Rao, author of Polite Society "Extraordinarily good, deeply moving and thought provoking with brilliant characterization . . . A very important book."--Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange "A profoundly emphatic work of creative genius that will stay with you forever."--Sonia Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing "A richly textured rendition of a world little seen in Indian literature . . . There is no desire to smooth and tidy in fiction what is untidy in life, but instead there is a payoff for the reader in a story that is as quietly troubling as it is convincing."--Mridula Koshy, author of If It Is Sweet
About the Author
- Publisher : Random House Trade (11 May 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0593129288
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593129289
- Dimensions : 13.21 x 2.03 x 20.02 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Anyhow, what a superb piece of storytelling, and what a powerful book. Told from the perspective of a 9 year old boy living with his family in a slum in an unnamed Indian city, it tells the story of life in the slum (or Basti) where everybody is trying to survive, or thrive, or connive for themselves, or escape, in various measures - against which background children start to go missing. The story is always told from the perspective of either Jai, or in intermissions from the missing children, but we never really know what's happened to them, how how the story will play out until the end.
Darker, in a stranger world, but it reminded me somewhat of a book from my childhood The Otterbury Incident. Well written, I have one slight complaint about it, which is that it would really benefit from a vocabulary in the back as a lot of (I'm sure authentic) local terminology is used that I struggled to always follow, but even despite that weakness, it was a remarkable read. Could *perhaps* be read by young adults as well, but certainly not anybody as young as the central character, Jai.
Jai has a sister, Runu, who is two years older than he is. Her passion is competitive running and training for it with the school coach: she is very good at it. She is beautiful, and lots of the boys at her school keep on ogling her; but she has no time for boys.
Bahadur’s parents have called the police, but they merely take a bribe and then do nothing. They say that the people in the slum are causing them so much trouble that they might demolish it without notice, a threat that was always hovering over the slum.
Bahadur had talked of running away from his drunken and violent father to the city, which could be reached from the slum in a metro line called the Purple Line.
Then Omvir, another class-mate, disappears. Jai and Pari take the Purple Line to the main station in Mumbai to look for their classmates; but they return to the slum without having found the missing boys.
When Aanchal goes missing, Jai and Pari add her to the list of people whose disappearance they want to investigate. But I found everything about her very confusing: there were so many false reports about this attractive young woman.
Then a five-year-old girl called Chandni disappears. Jai’s father orders Jai and Runu to come straight back to the house from school: Runu is not to go out on her running practice running. She protests. None of his family know that Jai has a job as a tea boy in the local bazaar because he wants to earn money to replace the money he has stolen from his mother’s savings jar when he needed the money to go to Mumbai, and both of them defy their father’s orders.
At first, the children who have disappeared have been Hindus, and the story spreads that Muslims must have stolen the disappeared children. But then two Muslim children, Kabir and Khadifa, disappear.
Runu’s father had, for the first time, slapped her because of a cheeky remark she had made, and she determined not to go home after school. And then she, too, disappeared.
A large search party goes out looking for her, and eventually clues are found to suggest that not only Runu, but also the other disappeared children have been killed, perhaps to harvest their kidneys. It is the bleakest of endings.
The novel gives a vivid picture of life in Indian slums, of the constant threat that they may be demolished without warning, of the children living there, of the gulf between the slums and the prosperous high-rise buildings near-by, of the corruptibility of the police with whom the local politicians are often in cahoots, of the tensions between Hindus and Muslims, and, of course, of the horrors of child abductions and of the grief of their parents. But it also presents difficulties, notably the many Indian words and relationship-terms whose meanings we can guess (there is no glossary); but also some passages whose meaning was not clear to me. Most of the chapters are narrated by Jai, whose childish efforts to be a detective fizzle out in the second half of the book. They are interspersed with accounts of the moments just before the victims disappear; but they never give a clue of what actually happened after those moments.
This is the best book I have ever read superb writing
It stays with you long after you have finished reading The
missing children, their friends playing detective trying to find what happened to their friends.The corruption in the police ,Slum life never secure never knowing when the bulldozers will flatten your home the position and judgement of women Generally no compassion for the poor. Not daring to complain to the police knowing they risk a beating or a bribe.
The importance of education to a life away from the slum The terrible things that happen to children and the people who get rich from it .If you read this book you won't want to put it down its funny at times and tragic and terrible sad I can't stop thinking about it.