02 September, 2016

#BookReview :: The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur by Priyonkar Dasgupta

It is India of early 1990s - the ‘picturesque’ small-town of Rajpur is in ‘full summer bloom’ and there is a definite sense of mystery in the air. Amidst its scenic setting each year a group of boys band together to spend their summer vacations - going cycling to far-off forests, sharing books, discussing everything under the sky and ogling at girls…

But as youth would have it, their curious minds are more inclined to seek adventure and (hopefully!) uncover some mysterious affair. However, unlike their previous vain attempts, this time certain unusual events and the sudden appearance of a curious case of a ghost in their midst seem to hold the promise of some real adventure.

In the pages of The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur rest assured you will soon be whisked off and plunged into a headlong journey of adventure and romance of your own - on a path of discovery of friendship and brotherhood, of life and love – and, who knows, you might even get to encounter the Speaking Ghost itself! 

Shoumo has just stepped into his teens and as such he is starting to see the world in a slightly different light. And his guide in this new found world and freedom is his brother Shaumik who he idolizes. So the prospect of spending a summer with his brother and his friends is enticing and Shoumo feels the need to not only fit in with the gang but also earn their approval. The adventure that awaits the gang at Rajpur is not what they had expected, but one that they willingly embraced, taking us readers for a ride along with them.

The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur is a perfect book for youngsters. It reminded me not only of my own adventure craving days of the teenage years, but also the experiences of going on an adventure with the Famous Five or the Secret Seven. The character development of the boys has been executed to perfection. It was so easy to picturise them and slip into their minds as the story progressed. Each boy had a clear and unique voice and their little nuisances made them stand out from the others in the group. The author has kept the plotline simple and uncomplicated, making this a light hearted read. The narrative and language compliments the plotline by keeping things dainty and light. The only ‘fault’ that I can pick with this book is probably its pace. The book could have been 30 odd pages shorter if the pace of the narrative had been tightened a bit.

Pick this book up for a ride back your own childhood as it is surely going to make you reminisce – the skinned knees to the innocence to the mischievous pranks… This book is also ideal for a few hours of undiluted fun and entertainment.

Review Copy received from The Tales Pensieve

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