What they said about

‘At last - a new and brilliantly original novel from India.’
— V S Naipaul

‘The Alchemy of Desire puts Tarun in the front rank of Indian novelists. I am inclined to agree with Naipaul: his book is a masterpiece.’
— Khushwant Singh

‘One of the most attractive Indian writers in English of his generation, he writes with a great deal of raw energy, inventively employing images which are at once sad, haunting, horrendously comic and beautiful.’
— Times Literary Supplement

I could sense that in that swirling mad room, every eye had slowly come to rest on him. I saw even yoronour in all his pasty majesty sneak a look or two.

Sethiji said, ‘They say he is the future king of western UP. His name is Hathoda Tyagi. Before he was nineteen he’d killed his first five men by caving their skulls in with a hammer. Full brain-curry. Now of course he shoots people – through their ears, in their mouths, up their assholes. Today he kills you, tomorrow your enemy. Like Sethiji gets up and comes to Patiala House courts every morning, he goes out every day and dispatches a few sorry souls to Yamraj directly. He works only for the big mafia dons now. When they want a big job done, they send for Hathoda Tyagi. You should be proud. Not just Sethiji, even the mafia thinks you are a big man!’

Back in the parking lot I turned on the engine and the air-conditioner, leaned on my seat back as far as it would go and closed my eyes. In the end it was always exhausting. It took no time for every damn relationship to spill out of the functional. Suddenly even the prospect of home seemed like a relief. At least I would’t have to talk, to listen to anything. And if things got insufferable I could shut myself in my tiny study and stew--and bugger you Wystan Hugh--and not see anything either.

The sun had obliterated every nuance from the world by now, and was pouring down white heat. No dazzle was permitted in this enclave of the nondescript, of boxy colourless buildings and endless Maruti cars. The trees in the parking lot looked as if they’d had all the green syringed out of them, leaving them coated with settled dust. Most of them seemed stunted, throttled by a tourniquet of concrete. Every now and then an exitable-irritable family tumbled out of dark holes.


India Unedited
Tejpal rewrites the idea of victimhood in a country where the deceptions of power know no bounds
- S. Prasannarajan
The Ripper of Accepted Notions
In his second novel, Tarun Tejpal brings together the India that lives in the cities and one that survives in villages. Pillage, violence and torture link his two Indias.
- Binoo K. John
A Big-theme Novel on the Violence of our Times
- Suresh Menon