Some books you drift through without taking notice of the words, others baffle you to the point of confusion and hysteria. The true quality of any type of literature is finding the balance. Producing a book with enough integrity to keep a reader interested, with the finesse and creativity to reach out to an audience. Tabish Khair does this, to formulate an interesting mix of memoir and fictional story telling in The Thing About Thugs.
Admittedly it starts out reading like a memoir, and although its intriguing, it doesn’t immediately grab you by the hand and turn the pages for you. However you must persist.
Later on in the story the prose is transported into the grime and grit of Victorian London, following the lives of misunderstood and misled immigrant Indians as they force a living in a prejudiced society run by the wealthy and affluent.
This is an intricately detailed and graphic portrayal of a bygone time, and one that, until now, has not been given much page space.
The Thing About Thugs doesn’t immediately jump into any category or genre, but specifically because of this you should pick it up and give it a read. It’ll be like nothing you’ve ever read (in a good way).