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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

Three weeks ago I was only a schoolkid, but now I’m a detective and also a tea-shop boy....

Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows, thinks he’s smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job).

When a boy at school goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from episodes of Police Patrol to find him. With Pari and Faiz by his side, Jai ventures into some of the most dangerous parts of the sprawling Indian city, the bazaar at night and even the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But kids continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth.

©2019 Deepa Anappara (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

‘'A moving and confident novel about the preciousness of life." (Nikesh Shukla)

"A brilliant debut." (Ian McEwan)

"Djinn Patrol is storytelling at its best." (Anne Enright, Booker-prize winning author of The Gathering)

What listeners say about Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

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  • Overall
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First half dragged, climax over too soon

I need to first rant about the protagonist narrator. Of all the talented Indians willing to render their services, why pick up someone with such bad command on Hindi words. specially for a novel which has so many hindi words. Imagine hearing daba for dhaba everytime, and other bad narration for simple Hindi words. my overall experience was ruined by him and I wanted to stop early in the novel. the other two narrators were a relief to hear to. coming to the story- I felt I was watching scenes directly from Slumdog Millionaire, updated to the current decade. the first half dragged a bit too much for my liking, repeating similar life stories of the characters too often. also I felt there were too many stereotypes, the author did not work on the fringe characters at all. I guess the author just penned what she saw as a journalist many years ago. bringing in the religious factor was not done tactfully, too much is understood before the plot unveils. the climax makes me recall an event that actually took place many years ago in NCR with similar plotline and conclusion. Here, the author had an opportunity to delve deeper, but she rushed through it unsatisfactory. At the end, I wondered if this is actually a book for under 10, than an adult. also, I heard the afterword and I realised that the author was riding on a popular opinion wave which pseudo intellectuals feel entitled to share. Overall, I was put off by the ending, copied without effort from that NCR event, so thus my rating.

1 person found this helpful

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A good book to listen

The narrators were excellent. The ending was a bit confusing. Overall a good book. Deepa Annapaa has made a good effort.

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  • Vivienne
  • 01-02-20

A Powerful Novel Giving Voice to the Children

This was a moving, powerful novel that through the voices of the children living in the poorest sections of an Indian city confronts a horrific reality in the disappearance of children. It was in places painful to read but I felt an important novel that deserves a wide readership.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Hamza AJ
  • 12-02-20

A perfect part coming-of-age, part detective story

I absolutely loved this audiobook after having enjoyed reading the book. Listen to it now!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gary B.
  • 25-08-20

Rarely heard voice in literature

Something about the innocence and kindness of the narrator made this very sad story tolerable and even hopeful; forgotten and ignored children are the centrepiece here and I am better for having listened to 'their' story.

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  • Mister M
  • 25-02-21

Slow to begin with, but deeply moving.

The story is disarming as it's told through the eyes of 9 year old child who lives in a slum. They go in search of their missing pals, like real detectives and there are many funny moments. I grew to love the characters especially the smart girls, so full of potential. Its a tale of humanity and by the end of it you forget the term 'slum dweller' - they are people with hopes and dreams like us. My only grumble was that in the audible version many words were mispronounced e.g. Basti was pronounced Baah-sti. It might be better to pick readers who have some knowledge of the words and cultural setting of the story and with an appropriate accent. There were many Bengali references which were mispronounced. It would be good if the various terms were explained too. Was completely hooked by the end, despite a slow start.

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  • Miss st Clair
  • 31-01-21

Fascinating read

I chose this book because I needed a change. It was out of my comfort zone, if you like. I am so glad I did. It was sad, funny, delightful, raw, honest, and eye opening. It took me a while to realise there was no happy ending. It wasn’t obvious because the drama was so understated. Very clever writing.

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  • Az
  • 08-01-21

Very moving story and great performances

I love stories from India, being originally from the subcontinent myself and I really enjoyed this one. It's refreshing to read about marginalised people and have them be fully formed characters. I thought it captured the world from a 9 year old boy's eyes very well and showed his humour and relisience in the face of tragedy. It was very well written and I thought the performances were very good too. My only slight issue was the main actor's accent. A few of the words he said sounded very odd and no Indian would say them that way. But overall I think this is a very engrossing story that needs to be listened to.

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  • knittyboot
  • 18-12-20

Can you stop telling us what to think!

Honestly this book wasn't bad and i would have given it more stars if the author didn't see fit to espouse her political views at the end. Don't know what she has against Trump since he alone has been highlighting people trafficking alone amongst western leaders. The bexit vote wasn't necessarily anything to do with immigration, for me it was to do national sovereignty. I know nobody asked my opinion but she started it. Other than that this was a truely depressing book. Deffinitely a one listen only kind text.

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  • R. Thakrar
  • 14-10-20

An insight to the slums through a 9 year old boy

Interesting take on the dark side of India's poorest communities through the eyes of Jai, a nine year old boy. I enjoyed listening to the story and how Jai applied his own innocent logic and reasoning to the often dark activities he encounters within the book. The audio performance was good and kept me drawn into the characters.