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The Deceivers (Indian Trilogy #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  130 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The story shows how British officer and colonial administrator William Savage comes to know about the thuggee cult, infiltrates their society, learns their ways and code of communication, and destroys them by capturing or killing their key leaders. During his travels with the thuggee he almost falls prey to the cult's ways as he comes to experience the ecstasy of ritual ki ...more
Published (first published January 1st 1952)
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The novel is set in India during the height of the East India Company's power. Our protagonist is an officer in the EIC, and he learns about the thuggee cult's operation in the region he's responsible for. So he set out to find and crack the cult, accidentally ends up in Kali's service, mayhem ensues, and somehow he makes it out alive. I don't want to say much more than that. The history seems pretty good, though I'm no expert on India's history so it could all be crap. The writing is engaging, ...more
If you can manage a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief (that a white Englishman could pass as an Indian and that an extremely widespread violent underground religion could exist for centuries without being exposed), you'll enjoy this book. Briefly, it's about the alleged cult of early-mid 19th century Kali worshippers who inveigle travelers into becoming the victims of ritualized killings, and the British officer who stumbles onto them and attempts to expose and destroy them. There is a fac ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 3Ms, Chrissie
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Adaptation of John Masters' 1952 novel set in India during British imperial rule.

After I've watched this fantastic movie (thanks Bettie!!), I'll give 5 stars for this book.
Feb 05, 2010 Murray rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of gripping yarns
This was out of print when I last looked. One of the best "gripping yarns" ever. Accurate? I'm not sure, but a real page turner.
THE DECEIVERS. (1952). John Masters. ****.
Masters (1914-1983) set all of his novels in India – the place where he was born and ultimately spent his career years in until retirement. Then he moved to the U.S., where he actually began his writing as a second career. This is his second novel, after “Nightrunners of Bengal,” and continues the saga of the Savage family in India. William Savage, the protagonist, was an employee of the East India Company, and had responsibility for the organization an
Aug 09, 2007 Kay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adventure lovers
It wasn't until I came back from my first visit to India that I realised how John Masters had shaped my understanding of that vast, complicated, demanding country. His voice was the one I heard when I travelled through Chennai and Mumbai, Kerala and Goa.

I read The Deceivers at 'an impressionable age' but even so, when I revisited it in 2002 I was still impressed by how Masters shapes the idea of the 'outsider' later encapsulated philosophically by Edward Said of blessed memory, into a narrative
I enjoyed this book greatly. It was a story that compells the reader to not to put it down and read on.
The plot is the following: William Savage stops a woman from committing szatí and because of that he meets with a man who shows him a murder. Slowly he learns about the world of the deceivers as he tries to collect enough imformation to stop Kálí's servants.

The characters were great. I loved Husszein's simple reasons and loyality, I admired Mary's strenght and I really hope to grow into a
This book follows William Savage on an adventure fraught with danger, both physical and moral. Not the most quick-witted British Collector, Savage goes up against a nebulous cult of 19th century highway robbers, closely based on the Indian Thugs of those times.

Into this adventurous melodrama of thieves and murderers, Masters mixes dramatic tests of our hero's character. He even takes us on a Dostoevsky-like adventure into the mind of a man who has experimented with evil power and is slipping ove
Reading 1959 reprint of Orange Penguin series number 1085
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Masters was the son of a lieutenant-colonel whose family had a long tradition of service in the Indian Army. He was educated at Wellington and Sandhurst. On graduating from Sandhurst in 1933, he was seconded to the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) for a year before applying to serve with the 4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles. He saw service on the North-West Frontier with the 2nd bat ...more
More about John Masters...

Other Books in the Series

Indian Trilogy (4 books)
  • Nightrunners of Bengal (The Story-Tellers)
  • The Lotus and the Wind
  • Indian Trilogy: The Deceivers, Nightrunners of Bengal, The Lotus and the Wind
Bhowani Junction Nightrunners of Bengal (The Story-Tellers) Bugles and a Tiger: My Life in the Gurkhas (Cassell Military Paperbacks) The Road Past Mandalay: A Personal Narrative The Lotus and the Wind

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