Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The City of Devi: A Novel Hardcover – February 4, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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)
The City of Devi is so exuberant and sexy, one may wish to purchase a prophylactic alongside it. When the world comes to an end, I will spend my last days in Mumbai clutching a copy of Manil Suri's dazzling epic. (Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story and Absurdistan)
With comedic flashes and a plot that pulses forward, Suri’s tale solidifies the reputation he earned as a master storyteller with The Death of Vishnu and The Age of Shiva. Layered with themes that draw on Hindu mythology, this new work is equal parts near-apocalyptic drama and heartfelt Bollywood-esque love story. (Rupinder Gill - O Magazine)
Even amid the wondrous variety of contemporary Indian fiction, Suri’s work stands apart, mingling comedy and death, eroticism and politics, godhood and Bollywood like no one else. (Ron Charles - Washington Post)
Suri’s prose is reason enough to pick up the book, but what ultimately makes the reader turn the pages is the intertwined destinies of the three characters. In the end, love is all that matters, Suri seems to be saying. (Bharti Kirchner - Seattle Times)
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It is no wonder that I absolutely loved reading his new book, "The City of Devi" (the last in the not so connected series). "The City of Devi" has been touted as a dystopian novel; however I did not think it had anything to do with it. The story as his other two books has been set in Mumbai. It is about Sarita, a thirty-three year old statistician (the math angle did not surprise me considering Manil is a mathematician) who can throughout only think of one thing: To be reunited with her physicist husband Karun, who has disappeared. The times are tough: Mumbai is emptying itself under the threat of a nuclear annihilation. There are not many people left. This has almost led to anarchy. The past can but only be remembered.
Amidst all this Sarita sets out to search for her husband, in-between the gang wars of Hindus and Muslims (this angle makes you also choke a little). With her is Jaz, a Muslim whose religion is only to have sex with other men. That is what he enjoys the most - sex and nothing else and at the same time he is looking for his own lover in the city. The third angle to the book is the Goddess Devi herself who has materialized on the beach to save her city. Sarita, Jaz and Devi play their roles in the book from there on.Read more ›
Our heroine Sarita is on a mission to find her husband, who has disappeared during a curious conference and may be in danger. She's a bit of a prima donna, yet fiercely focused on her journey as she is saved from one catastrophe by a different catastrophe. Sarita is nonplussed by the panoply of pandemonia she encounters: gangs, ground warfare, imminent nuclear annihilation, a literal crazy train, elephants, circus cults, never enough Marmite, a Wizard, particle physics, an absurd aquarium, train derailments (both literal and figurative), a levitating mascot, glow-in-the-dark saris, floods and a tourist version of Noah's Ark, all tied to the rising price of pomegranates.
I enjoyed the book's "normal" first section, especially the scenes of Sarita and Karun attempting to consummate their marriage of two years. (Ominously, their wedding coincided with the beginning of the war.) These scenes are not carnal; instead, they are imaginative and full of inventive uses of yoga and gaming. These moments impart a quiet beauty in the midst of a nascent chaos. But then Sarita boards that crazy train, and the real fantasy train wreck begins.
The City of Devi got particularly arduous for me in the last quarter. I forced myself to finish the book just to see who lives and who dies. So perhaps Manil Suri was successful in creating an anxiety in me about the characters, that I should care even that much. Or perhaps I was just anxious that ANY of the characters would survive.
Where Manil scores is in effectively exploring the emotions and motivations of Sarita and Jaz, neither of whom is interestingly, the Protagonist! The novel unfolds in the first person, alternating between the points of view of Sarita and Jaz, as Manil takes us on a whirlwind tour of Bombay/ Mumbai which is on the verge of complete collapse in a 'the world is coming to an end' way. Their voices are distinct and while they are seemingly united in the pursuit of a shared goal, the reader is kept on the edge to find out how the inter-woven conflict will tear them apart! Whether the sensitive undertones of a same-sex relationship or the brutal realities of growing up within the shrouds of homosexuality in India, Manil brings a certain non-judgmental maturity to his narration without falling prey to stereotypes.
The denouement and ending, however, was disappointing, as are some of the sex scenes, which are not written with any great finesse. As a reader, neither was I fully vested in the interests of the Protagonist (Karun) nor did I fully comprehend why he held such a strong sway over both Sarita and Jaz. Had there been snippets from the point of view of Karun that may have helped?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think I read a lot of books that are predictable, so I was taken by surprise (pleasantly) by the twists in this book. Prompts some great contemplation.... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Suzanne Van Cleve
Rather hard to get into,and if you know nothing of India,I wouldn't recommend it.A real mix of old and new and the story hangs in there well.Published 10 months ago by Kindle Customer
This was a fun futuristic romp through Mumbai and beyond with a crazy love triangle in aholistic big hearted.. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Birgit Mitchell
Absolutely horrible book. It can be summed up in one sentence: it's all about who wants to sleep with Karun. Read morePublished 12 months ago by VV
Brilliant! I had no idea what I was getting into and was thrilled by the bravery, the character depth, and the adventurous plot. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ash
I liked this book very much in spite of its rather unattractive and unlikely premise. In it the world is in advanced state of war and global destruction, which is really not as... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Eric Green
Chaotic, confusing, colorful, fascinating-- as a relative newcomer to contemporary Indian storytelling I found this a very unique and entertaining-if arduous- read. Read morePublished 22 months ago by N. Ferguson R.
City of Devi has a wild and driving plot. It is funny, sexy and oddly profound. I've been passing it around to all of my friends.Published on February 8, 2014 by James Fuller
I read the other two books in this "trilogy" and really enjoyed them. It's mostly a thematic trilogy that shares some ideas and motifs but not any sort of plot continuity... Read morePublished on November 26, 2013 by Akash