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Extended Audio Sample A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta, by Paul Theroux Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (359 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Theroux Narrator: Neil Shah Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Jerry Delfont receives a letter from an American philanthropist, Mrs. Merrill Unger, with news of a scandal involving an Indian friend of her son’s, he is intrigued. Who is the dead boy, found on the floor of a cheap hotel room? How and why did he die? And what is Jerry to make of a patch of carpet and a package containing a human hand?

He is swiftly captivated by the beautiful, mysterious Mrs. Unger—and revived by her tantric massages—but the circumstances surrounding the dead boy cause him to doubt the woman’s motives and the exact nature of her philanthropy. Without much to go on, Jerry pursues answers from the teeming streets of Calcutta to Uttar Pradesh. It is a dark and twisted trail of obsession and need.

A Dead Hand demonstrates the powerful evocation of place and character that has made Paul Theroux one of the most perceptive and engaging writers today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An abundance of richly drawn characters...Theroux has used his travel writer’s eye and ear and his novelist’s imagination to craft a tense, disturbing, funny and horrifying book around all of them.”


    San Francisco Chronicle


  • “Theroux brings his best gifts as a travel writer to one of his walk-on-the-dark-side fables of masked identity and psychosexual quest…[His] writing is as feline and agile as ever, and his calibration of clue and revelation is nicely meted out…This story will lure you in, from its whodunit setup to its swift, unexpectedly visionary close.”


    Seattle Times


  • “Classic Theroux: loyal fans will enjoy it.”


    Bookmarks


  • “The real pleasure is Theroux’s talent for rendering place and his irreverent comments on everything from the British royals to pop culture, aging, and yes, the venerable Mother Teresa.”


    Publishers Weekly


  • “A novel of extremes—rationality and obsession, humanitarianism and selfishness, ecstasy and heartlessness.”


    Kirkus Reviews


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jo Ann Hall | 2/19/2014

    " I've read the online reviews of this novel (mostly from British sources) and, yes, the reviewers have some points: I also caught a couple of errors, but those really didn't diminish my enjoyment of this. Theroux writes like a mad man, with the same revision speed. However, it's just as fitting that his gift is as flawed as the settings and characters he so lovingly embraces. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Aaman | 2/13/2014

    " Good writing, but predictable plot, and overwrought themes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ginni | 2/7/2014

    " Mystery surrounds an American woman philanthropist; is the beautiful Mrs Unger all she seems? Tantric massage, worship of Kali, and a body in a carpet - OK, but not Theroux's best. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Ted | 2/1/2014

    " I tried twice but just couldn't get into this one. In an ex-pat India, a journalist with writer's block is summoned by a wealthy American woman to help her son's Indian friend who wakes up one day to find a dead body in his hotel room. Really? Sorry, I can't buy it. "

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