Sunday, December 10, 2017

Book Review #53: The Goat Thief

Name: The Goat Thief
Author: Perumal Murugan (Translated by N. Kalyan Raman)
No. of Pages: 240
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Juggernaut Books 
Price: Rs. 399/-
Published in: 2017

How did I get it? From the publisher.



Perumal Murugan's stories are altogether of a different league. His style is absolutely unconventional and extremely imaginative. The translator, Mr. N. Kalyan Raman has also done an amazing job.

"The Goat Thief" is a collection of 10 short stories. The plots are ordinary, but the perspective from which they are written is extraordinary. Smallest of details are taken care of in the narrative.

Ordinary events like taking a swim and playing games in a well, having an antique chair at home, a young child crying for her plaything, a leaking toilet pipe, a young boy coming to stay at his granny's place and a goat thief unable to carry out his theft are turned into beautiful stories.

I really enjoyed "The Well","Musical Chairs", "The Nights the Owls Stopped Crying", ""Mirror of Innocence" and "The Goat Thief". In several of the stories I wanted to know what happens next.

I definitely want to read more of the author's work now.

I give "The Goat Thief" 4 stars on a scale of 5.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Book Review #52: Invoked (Hymns of War)

30073280Name: Invoked (Hymns of War)
Author: Karan Bhatia
No. of Pages: 200
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Notion Press
Price: Rs. 200/-
Published in: 2016

How did I get it? From the author.

Krishna is a common man, leading a simple and content life with his wife, daughter and parents. A twisted accident leaves the family shattered and exposed to attacks from the netherworld. The attacks are the small, but integral pieces of the bigger picture.

As the family fights back and Krishna struggles to prove himself as the man of the house, the darkest chapters from his past re-open, unleashing a torrent of pain and desolation. Krishna decides to embark on a spiritual journey to save his family.

Does he succeed?
How does his journey affect the impending war?
Invoked is the first book of the Hymns of War series.

Karan Bhatia lives in Bangalore and works with an international bank. He is an avid reader and a movie buff. In this first attempt at fiction writing, he delves with ease into the dark, fearful world of black magic and rituals with consequences incomprehensible to the mind, with the first installment Invoked of the Hymns of War series.

Krishna's life was a simple and a smooth one. But one death in the family triggers a series of unfortunate events laced with paranormal incidents. Bit by bit Krishna's world is shattered and he decides to take matters in his own hands. But he is not aware that his present and his future are invariably linked his mystic past. 

Durga is a powerful sorcerer following his father's path in mysticism. An old family feud intertwines his life with that of Krishna in unexpected ways. 

It is a well-written book with elaborate yet engaging descriptions. It is an engaging read for anyone who is interested in supernatural powers and beings. The plot consist of sorcery, witches, spirits and science. The author has done some commendable research on the subject of invoking the higher mystic powers and black magic. Apart from a minor mismatch in mentioning Krishna's daughter's age at one place, there are no other lapses in editing.

The author has done a laudable debut job. This is the first book of his "Hymns of War" series.

I give "Invoked (Hymns of War)" 3.5 stars on a scale of 5.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Review #51: Fables From India

Name: Fables From India
Author: Uday Mane
No. of Pages: 168
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Frog Books (An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.)
Price: Rs. 175/-
Published in: 2016

How did I get it? From Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

A King’s negligence costs the Prince his eyes. How will the King make amends?

A farmer is torn between resurrecting his wife and upholding his duties. What will influence his choice?

A jester lives two lives – Masked for others. Unmasked for himself. His masked side brings happiness to everyone. But what brings happiness to his unmasked side?

A magnificent tree bears fruits of different kinds, but the King wants it to be cut down to serve justice. How will the tree defend itself?

An orphan boy is in search of the world’s bestselling book. Will he eventually find it?

A dog struggles to uncurl his tail. Will he break the curse that curled his tail in the first place?

A young boy and his pet lamb are separated from each other. Will their friendship stand the test of time?

Set in the ancient times, Fables from India, is a collection of 22 profound and unheard stories from a country known for its storytelling.

Based out of Mumbai, Uday Mane is an entrepreneur, script writer, and a digital marketing professional. He started his writing career with fables, several of which are featured in this collection. His debut novel, The Helpline, was released in 2014 to rave reviews. INR 5 per book was donated towards child welfare through Rotary club and NGO Vidya. Uday Mane volunteers for Storytelling and English speaking sessions for the underprivileged through Vidya. He is an avid reader and admires the writings of Salman Rushdie, Rohinton Mistry, and Charles Dickens among others. He loves to travel and explore places, watch movies, and collect classic novels. You can connect with him on Twitter: @The_Allegorist

First of all, I feel the book has not been named suitably. The name gives an impression that it is a translated collection of Indian folk tales. It is actually the author's collection of short stories, set in the times of kings and queens.

The stories remind of stories that we have already heard. Most of them, I felt, were not allowed to mature, but were paced and concluded in haste. In several of them, the names/characters and settings were cliches. In others, I felt, the events lost connection. Basically, I feel the book is not an impressive one and there is nothing profound about the stories as claimed in the blurb. But they did have the potential of being good ones. Nonetheless, it can be recommended to young children as a part of inculcating reading habit.

I give "Fables From India" 1 stars on a scale of 5.