Tuesday 23 January 2007

The Cripple and His Talismans by Anosh Irani

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPublished by Raincoast Books.

Anosh Irani brings us into a world which is truly unique and magical. We follow the journey of the cripple as he searches for his severed arm, clues guiding him to a master of the underworld named Baba Rakhu where he hopes his search will end.

The tale is a seductive mix of strangeness, humour and violence but has many tender moments also. These are all blended together in such perfect harmony, making it a work of art. I often found myself disturbed my visuals that were brought to mind as I read but it was wonderful to read a book that is not predictable and definitely cannot be classified as mainstream.

One of my favourite visuals was Baba's pet dungeon:

In the dim light, human limbs slowly appear on the wall. I see all kinds: dark ones, long ones, stunted ones. They are neatly packed in plastic sheets as they hang shamelessly, suits and shirts waiting to be picked.
"Welcome to my khopcha," says Baba Rakhu. "My pet dungeon that will save the world. How many men are without arms? How many women are without legs? It is shameful when the eunuch-dogs of this city roam freely."
The organization of the arms and legs is meticulous---they are labelled with names in alphabetical order, they shine a little, coated with a substance to preserve them.
This is one of my favourite books and one that longs to be read again and again. I am also sure that this won't be the last book I read by this author. Brilliant first book by this Canadian author.

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