Monthly Archives: February 2022

Book Review: ‘Rajkonya’ By Prachet Gupta

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Storytelling is an art and not all people are capable of it. Storytelling in written form is another art and not all people are capable of it either. No, I am not talking about writing skills, composition, crafting clever sentences or ideas. Instead, even if you possess all the skills and talents, you may not be able to tell a compelling story in a convincing way. Yes, it demands enormous craftmanship to catch the attention of the readers within first few sentences and then hold it long enough so that they would sit back and let the writer make an attempt to entertain them. This is even more important in the present age of instant gratification and limited attention span. But what if you are bestowed with great talent of pen and imagination to yarn a story, are able to arouse the interest of the reader not just for the first few sentences instead for the first couple of paragraphs, and in fact are able to entertain and keep them amused for the first few pages, and yet fail to make use of that opportunity and lose the interest of the reader as fast as it was aroused. Such is the case with the novel Rajkonya (Bengali) by Prachet Gupta.

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Book Review: ‘Madhumoy’ By Sunil Gangopadhyay

Most of the stories we come across are set on a basic formula — there is a straight narrative, i.e., the storyline, and then there are fillers, events and details which complement the narrative. In other words, the narrative serves as skeleton for the story, and the details put flesh on that skeleton to create a complete story. While reading Madhumoy (Bengali) by Sunil Gangopadhyay, I felt a slightly different style of composition. There is a core idea, which Sunil wants to communicate. To convey this idea in fiction rather than non-fiction, he yarns a narrative — a very rich, involved and complex storyline. Finally, there are details to make the narrative seem authentic, realistic and something close to our own everyday experiences. The composition is thus very complex, and if you analyse it in the aforementioned manner and are able to recognise the three ingredients, then you would be able to appreciate this work in all its beauty. Fortunately, it is not difficult.

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