Today, it’s another review of a book on this year’s Women’s Prize long-list. It’s Deepa Anappara’s novel, Djinn Patrol On The Purple Line.
Today, it’s a review of Djinn Patrol On The Purple Line by Deepa Anappara and it’s one that I’m a bit conflicted on… but first, what’s it about? Here’s the synopsis:
We children are not just stories. We live. Come and see.
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.
I finished this a few days ago and it’s one that I’m still not sure about. On one hand, I thought the narrator Jai was charming and his voice was distinctive and I also enjoyed it because I don’t usually read books with a child narrator so I enjoyed that aspect of it. It’s also an important story to share but on the other hand… I’m not sure if I liked it that much, either.
It took me a very long time to get into this book. Pretty much half of the book was very slow to me and I found it hard to get into the actual story of the novel. There were numerous times that I DNF’d it and put it down but I’m glad I stayed with it – especially as the second half of the novel really picked up for me and I found the ending satisfying and worth the work in reading it.
Three weeks ago I was only a schoolkid but now I’m a detective and also a tea-boy…
Overall, not one of my favourite’s but I’m glad I stayed and persevered with it as it was worth it for the ending. I thought this would be on the long-list but for me, that’s it. I’m glad I read it and I’m glad this story is being told. I really liked reading about Deepa’s personal experience with the story of the novel after reading it which gave it a much wider context for me. I’m also in love with the cover – those colours! Just glorious.
Have you read Djinn Patrol On The Purple Line? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!