Image via Ballantine Del Ray
17. The Devourers
The Book: The Devourers by Indra Das
The Story: The Devourers is a combination of historical fiction, fantasy and horror set in India. Safe to say, there’s probably nothing like it on your bookshelf already. The story is set in both modern India and Kolkata during the Mughal Empire. The book follows Alok, a college professor and historian who meets a stranger who claims to be a shape shifter (or werewolf). The two develop a friendship of sorts, and the stranger asks Alok to transcribe a story for him. The rest of novel follows these two stories: one of a Nordic shapeshifter, and one of a woman in Northern India.The twisted tale uses Indian folklore to explore topics like gender, rape and love.
The Adaptation: The story is gory, and it is explicit. This is likely one for HBO, or maybe a very brave network channel. Reviews call it “brutal,” “vicious” and “unsettling.” However, they also call it rich, enthralling and “the queer feminist genderfluid South Asian anticolonialist own-voices shapeshifter fantasy novel you didn’t know you were waiting for.”
It might be tough to watch (did I mention it was gory and explicit?) and tough to pull off, but it could be done. Hannibal was the goriest show imaginable, and it was done in such an artistic way it didn’t feel gratuitous.