Murder is committed for its own sake in the three fictional episodes of The Book of Destruction. In ‘The Gardener’, the narrator learns from the thug Seshadri that he has been selected for assassination for no reason but the pure purpose of killing. A discotheque is bombed out of existence in ‘The Hotelier and the Traveler’. In the third episode, leading the narrator to an elaborately staged orgy and sacrifice, stitched clothes escape from a tailor’s shop and soar down the streets to take over bodies.
The cruelty of killers and the wretchedness of victims are shifted to the margins as the novel focuses on the act of murder. In his inimitable style, Anand takes the mesmerized reader on a journey of three stages—the practice of killing, the sacrifice of the victim and the sacrifice of the sacrificer—before bringing the story of destruction to its finale.