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CompleteMartialArts.com - Children of Kali: Through India in Search of Bandits, the Thug Cult, and the British Raj

Children of Kali: Through India in Search of Bandits, the Thug Cult, and the British Raj
List Price: $27.00
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Manufacturer: Walker & Company
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 364.15230954
EAN: 9780802714183
ISBN: 0802714188
Label: Walker & Company
Manufacturer: Walker & Company
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 292
Publication Date: 2003-04-01
Publisher: Walker & Company
Studio: Walker & Company

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Editorial Reviews:

In the early 1800s, the greatest criminal gang in history operated throughout India. Its members were inspired by religious fanatics and came from many faiths, yet they worshiped one goddess, Kali. In her name, they murdered more than one million Indian travelers—all without spilling a drop of blood. Their weapon was the handkerchief, their sacrament sugar, and the gang was supposedly eradicated by the British in the 1830s.

Today, a modern-day bandit named Veerappan is India’s most-wanted man and most notorious criminal, responsible for more than one hundred murders. Some say he is a freedom fighter, others that he is a vicious killer. Still at large in the jungles of southwestern India, he avoids capture, his followers claim, by magical powers.

In Children of Kali, Kevin Rushby researches these two criminal legends, both of which have been distorted and misused by those in power. As intrepid an investigator as he is an elegant writer, Rushby recounts his quest both to gain a meeting with Veerappan and to untangle the legends of the Thug Cult and the British policeman, William Sleeman, responsible for its suppression. He visits prisons and gangster hideouts, exploring the nature of crime and punishment in a country where good and evil may be as murky as the Ganges.

A compelling blend of travel journalism and history, infused with Rushby’s infectious spirit and with memorable characters, Children of Kali connects past with present and reexamines the legacy of the British Raj.



Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great perspective
Comment: Kevin Rushby has traveled extensively, and has written about his journeys with insight and tremendous empathy for people he has met. Children of Kali concerns his search for knowledge on the current state of the thug cult (murderous worshippers of the goddess Kali), and for one charismatic and well-known thug in particular. But the book does not read like some sort of true-crime or investigative work; rather, it takes the form of a travelogue, where Rushby learns about the parts of India he travels through, the types of people he meets. As such, although it develops at a slower or more leisurely pace, the work is deep and rich, and the reader feels he has learned not so much about the cult of Kali as gained somewhat of a new perspective on life. It was not exactly the type of book I was expecting, but I came to very much enjoy reading it.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Very interesting topic and travels but....
Comment: This book deals with some very interesting, yet somewhat disparate topics. Rushby's travelogue/history was apparently inspired by his learning of the British colonial administrator Sleeman, who allegedly eliminated the thuggees from India. He travels across India to investigate the thuggees, but somehow mixes them up with Indian bandits, gangsters, and assorted mischief-makers. His biggest problem is his tendency to write in a stream-of-conscious style that is confusing. He jumps around from different places, to different topics, switches between travelogue, history, and commentary, without effectively transitioning and explaining himself. At times he refers to phenomena, places and people without any explanation of who or what they are. With just a little better writing and editing, this could have earned five stars.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: a bibliomaniac
Comment: I was expecting a much darker(creepy?) book from what I had read of the excerpt from the synopsis given by the bookstore. It turned out to be a very humorous travel log by Kevin Rushby's search of the Thug Cult. There are many entertaining encounters with the people in India, great descriptions of the food there, atrocious hotel rooms, the hustle and bustle of a very populated country - all a very informative and highly entertaining look of a Brit with a wonderful sense of humor travelling through ancient India. If you enjoy cooking or travel essays, this book's a keeper.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A must read investigative travelouge
Comment: Anybody interested in Modern India, I urge you to read "Children of Kali" by Kevin Rushby from several points of views:

1. How we get what we seek:
Kevin went to India in search of thugs and decoits, while Maddy (a character in the book) went to India in quest of happiness. See what each one got, and how this simple concept of "we get what we seek" revealed to Kevin at Sangam.

2. Real history of modern times:
The history of north and central India during East India company, Raj and after wee hours of independence is not taught to us, Indians in schools as it should be. Read how Kevin unearths it.

3. Travelogue:
How we all have very similar experiences as Kevin had in India, except he logs it in a superb fashion.

4. Objectivity:
If you are from India (a non-resident Indian, like me), see the places you grew up from an objective eye. Not necessarily an English eye, but an eye of a just seeker, Kevin that is!

5. Style:
I absolutely love the modern style of story-telling that is weaved with real facts and ground-level research. Just to examine this aspect, the book is worth reading.




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