08 August, 2018

#SpecialFeature - #Review :: Anon. by Bhavani Iyer

*** Special Feature - August 2018 ***

About the Book:
Welcome to Calcutta of the sixties and the seventies.

Meet Debottam, the genius vagabond son of a wealthy zamindar.

Meet Urbish, the ambitious dreamer whose father is a fisherman.
Walk with them through the red earth of Shantiniketan.

Visit the jazz clubs of Park Street.

Experience friendship redefined by two people who have only one thing in common writing.

But one is willing to kill to write and the other is willing to die.

Anon. Short for Anonymous.

After all what’s in a name?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

My Review:

Going into Anon. by Bhavani Iyer I had no idea about what to expect. With two acclaimed movies (Black & Raazi) under her belt as the screen writer, I guess all I was expecting was entertainment. Other than that, I kept an open mind about the book.

Anon. sets up the story of two friends in the backdrop of 60’s in Calcutta & Shantiniketan. Urbish and Debottam had nothing in common if their background was to be compared. One came from an impoverished family while the other was the son of a Zamindaar. Their friendship is held together in place because of their love for words and interest in writing. Even then they are only willing to go to two very different extremes to fulfill their dream. Will their friendship stand the test of time? Will either of them be able to fulfill their dreams?

I cannot but help deviate from my usual reviewing style and instead of commenting on the characters first, I’d like to shake things up and talk about the author’s style of storytelling and language. It is beautiful. I had heard a lot of stories about Calcutta in 1960s and 1970s thanks to my mother. So while I already had some idea about the city in those times, the author’s language and narrative made the city come alive in my mind. The little nuances about the society back then really helped me ‘live’ through the story with Urbish and Debottam. The author’s language is impressive and she has this style of describing things with simple words that create a very realistic picture in the reader’s mind.

The characterization in the book has been done to perfection. Each of the two protagonists got ample time and development and their oddities only made them feel more real. Urbish and Debottam are such clashing personalities that they provide the readers with quite an entertainment. If Urbish is calm wind on the summer evening then Debottam is the storm that hits hard. They kind of complement each other in a way and balance each other out. The supporting casts got enough of the limelight to make their contributions to the story. I quite liked Moyna too.

The book was an emotional one that got me so caught up at moments that it actually left me with a slight hangover. I loved almost everything about the book. If I had to nit-pick something about the book it would the climax of the book. I kind of felt something was out of place or just that it wasn’t a hundred percent of what it could be. I’d recommend this book to anyone and everyone with an interest in contemporary fiction.

About the Author:
Bhavani Iyer started her career with Advertising as a Trainee Copywriter with a leading ad agency, iB&W Advertising. She then moved to journalism and had worked as the editor for the film magazine Stardust. She made her screenwriting debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black. She has collaborated on the screenplays for Bhansali's Guzaarish, Vikramaditya Motwane's Lootera and the Indian version of Fox's hit show 24 (Indian TV series). She has also written the critically acclaimed Raazi, a spy drama that has been lauded for its sensitive depiction of cross-border espionage set during the India-Pakistan war of 1971.
She lives in Mumbai with her boyfriend, three dogs, and a cat.
Anon. is her first novel.

3 Paperback copies of Anon. up for grabs for Indian Residents

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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