16 Apr 2018


Honoured to have read Brahmahatya by this author, I was delighted when they approached me to read yet another of their books.

A Russian boy visits an inmate in a mental asylum in India. The visit prompts the inmate, a writer, to narrate his life story to a nurse in the form of tales. Two friends from childhood, Balaji and Olga, his grandmother’s writings and the Russian fable of The Hedgehog and The Bear Cub are some panels that have shaped his journey. 

The novel grapples with attitudes and feelings, across generations and at various stages of a person’s life. Beneath the surface, this book is really about storytelling – the stories that are passed on from one generation to another, one person to another, secret stories we tell ourselves, stories from different points of view and the way that we use stories to underpin our lives and decisions.
- Back Cover Blurb

It was Dussehra when the strange white boy came visiting.
- First Sentence, Chapter 1

She was just about to step away again from my life when I called out, 'Olga.'

She  stopped and looked back. The other passengers were moving around her personal space. She waited

'Who are hedgehog and bear cub?' I asked.

She stared at me for a long time. Then she said, 'Come to me in Odessa. I will tell you.'
- Memorable Moment, Pages 262/263

SOURCE ... Received with thanks from the author.


MY THOUGHTS ... A book that I essentially liked. I really enjoyed the relationship between the main protagonist and his, childhood friend, Olga, a fascinating character who oddly enough, of the myriad of characters, the one who I felt had the strongest presence. However ...

Though masterful storytelling, I felt the writing wasn't quite as strong, that, for me, taken by themselves the reminiscences of the writer now an inmate in an asylum made for a wonderful story but, sadly, the mish-mash of these reminiscences, the grandmothers writings and the fables combined meant the narrative didn't flow particularly well. 

Still, definitely an author to look out for if your looking for a read that is that bit different, that, like its predecessor, Brahmahatya, has a keen sense of spirituality about it.

* Want to know more about the author, of why he writes? Visit Suko's Notebook for a Guest Post by clicking here. TT


DMS said...

Sounds like an interesting read and it's always great to hear or learn more about authors to watch for. Thanks for sharing. :)

Kelly said...

It sounds like it would be interesting in some aspects, but I'm not sure it's really one for me.

Brian Joseph said...

I think that novels comprised of stories often have an incomplete or mismosh character to them. I think that good storytelling can overcome this however. Ultimately, this sounds worthwhile despite the flaws that yoh mention.

Anonymous said...

I am uncertain about this book.
Although what you said for instance
about how you enjoyed the relationship
between the main protagonist and Olga
piqued my curiosity. As well as that
Brahmahatya is still on my list.

Sherry Ellis said...

Interesting premise for a book. I would think an inmate would have a lot of stories to tell.

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing your thoughts about this story about stories, and for the mention and link to the author's guest post. I hope to read Brahmahatya within the next few weeks or so.