The entry begins:
The Thing About Thugs is a novel about how we construct our identities and see others, wrapped in the colours of a crime mystery located in early Victorian London. It sets out, however, to narrate the crime from the perspectives of the underclass of London – tinkers, gypsies, Indian ayahs, Asian sailors, ex-slaves. As such, it does not see crime as an intellectual game – a mystery to be solved – but as the source of disruption, threat and punishment. The real mystery in The Thing About Thugs revolves around who will pay for the crime and how. That, obviously, is all I can say without spoiling the fun.Learn more about the book and author at Tabish Khair's website.
I have been asked who I could see filling the main roles if The Thing About Thugs were turned into a film. Being brought up as much on films as on books, I cannot resist the experiment. Here is my list:
Qui Hy is an Indian ayah (nurse: many were taken to England to look after returning children and then abandoned there) married to an Irish ex-soldier-sailor. She is from Punjab, and as such quite fair. A feisty, thickset woman, she is the ‘detective’ of the novel. I could see her being played by someone like Kathy...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The Thing about Thugs.
My Book, The Movie: The Thing About Thugs.