Simply put, A Cripple & His Talismans is a messed up book. I know “messed up” is not a very literary term, but it fits. The story jumps around from the main story to memories of the character’s past to things that seems to be from a past life. There are also memories and events that I’m not sure were real. You could ascribe it to the mental trauma of losing an arm or you could say there is a mild streak of urban fantasy running through this book. It’s almost surreal. This is definitely not what I would deem a light read.
Initially, you are made to feel sympathy for the main character. After all, he lost his arm. Especially after the impact of the first chapter. Then your feelings change. His memories reveal aspects of his life you did not expect. Do you still sympathize? Do you hate him? Did he get what he deserved?
Anosh Irani did an excellent job. My feelings were so confused after reading this book. Thinking about it now, they still are. It makes it difficult to write about. I definitely enjoyed the book. I recommend it highly, but the faint of heart should be wary. Such a fantastical novel deserves so much more. Maybe I just need some more time to think about it. Maybe I need to read what other people have to say about it. If you like good literature and want to support a young (and fairly handsome) writer, get this book.