Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Review - The Land of the Wilted Rose

THE LAND OF THE WILTED ROSE
AUTHOR: Anand Ranganathan
Genre: Novel / Fiction
ISBN-13: 
9788129119216 
NO. OF PAGES: 154
PRICE: Rs. 195 (I got this from Blogadda)

image courtesy: amazon
EXCERPT: (on the death of the previous Maharaja and the description of his death) " ...even smothering becomes pleasant when the tool is a goose-down pillow enclosed in the finest Tutticorin silk 



SWARNALI SPEAKS: 
One question that comes to my mind after reading this book is what made the author write this or for that matter the other 3 in the series. I suppose the author was trying to create a parallel situation with role reversals, with the Indian Raj ruling over the world and the British being imprisoned and turned to slaves. The whole point in doing so was maybe to make everyone realize how painful being imprisoned in our own land by foreigners is. Sadly, I could not empathize with the condition of the British anywhere in the book. It is not that I think it serves them right but its that I couldn't feel their pain through the book. The author has missed in evoking a sense of loss that the subjugated feel.

I had a really hard time finishing the book. The 156 pg size of the book can be deceptive as it demands a lot of time to comprehend and re-read certain portions. The narrative in the beginning makes no effort to catch the reader’s attention and begins with a painfully slow pace which continues throughout the book. I personally felt that the author has gone a bit too much trying to describe the situation and the conditions of the people living in Britain. 

The use of Hinglish makes matters even worse as it took me a very long time to comprehend certain terms or sentences which were Hindi written in the Roman script. Take an example- “Hooo-hoo-which-baa-wa-wa-wa-hoooaa-throom-hooaah?” It took me 5 readings to understand that it meant, “To which bathroom?”. Apart from it the repetitive use of Anglicized Hindi curse words like “ban-cho” and “caukrow” to replace the usual English curse words made it very troublesome to read. Also, the author paid a lot of attention that every object of daily use is mentioned in its Indian name, like “jooti” , “sherwani” , “kamarbandh” , “baint” , “jaatiwaad” among others. This I found to be a bit unnecessary as their English names could have been easily used. But if the author had intended to giving everything an Indian name, I wonder why the official ranks were excused from their Indian rankings. Why were then they called “Viceroy”, “Colonel” and “Admiral” instead of “Senapati” or “Zameendaar”? 

The first part of the book was dragged beyond need trying to explain everything in detail, every single building, vehicle and object. It is only toward the end of part 1 and in part 2 that the book gains some pace.

The book cover says it is a black comedy and its very evident that this is a very satiric work. The name suggests a Gandhian figure, Jack Riley trying to free his country from the clutches of the rulers i.e. Indians. The whole idea of a 17 year old Maharaja (who thinks he is aging!!) is a banter on the social system. The book reminds me of Mulk Raj Anand’s Coolie  in its description of the suffering English but it lacks Anand’s empathy and sensitivity as I find it turning bitter at certain points. The book could have been made more interesting and far better had the narrative and choice of words been handled better.

MY RATING: 2 / 5


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

29 comments:

  1. Great review!! Looks like they took an interesting plot idea and messed it up. A dragging satire - I know I'm definitely staying away!

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  2. i ll skip this one ... i normally stick to my romance and thriller and mystery when it comes to books

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    1. I love thrillers too...but this book sounded really interesting but it was seriously terrible!!

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  3. Its sounds like a terrible read!!
    Won't be reading this one for sure...

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    1. Keep away from this one. Dead boring!!

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  4. i do like how the book cover portrays it as a dark comedy.

    and thanks again for giving me that blog award!

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    1. The cover is what attracted me,but sadly the story and narration doesn't do justice :(

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks for the tag...will do it soon :)

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    2. I am so sorry...I cause I caught you unawares by suddenly tagging u like this...I had read your book review for a calendar too crowded and I have been reading you blog since then regularly. I do remember posting a comment on that too but nevertheless......please don't mind I didnt mean to offend you at all.....Thx...

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    3. I am sorry...I guess I caught you unawares by tagging you like this out of the blue. I read your book review on A Calendar too crowded and I have been reading you blog since then regularly.I didnt mean to be offensive at all. I am sorry once again.

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    4. Hey bits absolutely okay. thank you so much for reading my blog. its that you came out of nowhere and I was a little surprised. that is all..thank you again. I hope you'll continue reading. i would love to hear your opinions on the same :)

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  6. oops...got it ;) !
    btw, feeling great to be your new follower <3

    http://bongsbelleza.blogspot.com/
    Love,

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much...you made my day by filling up spot 40 on my followers list :D

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  7. This book is getting bad reviews all around!

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    Replies
    1. Did you read the book?? You liked it??

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  8. Such a shame it was a poor read! The premise sounds fascinating. I think with a different author yet same plot, the novel could have actually worked. :S

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  9. thanks for the review. Am gonna skip this. I am currently reading secret of nagas by amish. Finished meluha, its really good and i have to start reading lucknow boy after finishing secret of nagas. Try those books, they r great

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    1. Thanks Anju. yeah i heard a lot about those books. gonna check them out after my exams are done with.Thanks a lot for suggesting them :D

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  10. I haven't even heard of this book. No wonder it only got 2 out of 5 from you. At least you read it!

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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    1. Haha the book was terrible. I had to read the book as I had agreed to read and write a review. Else I would have stopped at the second page.

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  11. oh i c..hmmm will surely not pick it up!! thanks for your visit..wanna follow thru Gfc?

    DONT MISS GOLD PLATED CHARM BRACELET Worldwide giveaway
    http://fashionistaera.blogspot.com/2012/03/petite-delights-charmed-bracelet.html

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    1. I am already following you through gfc sweetie...thanks for dropping by :)

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  12. will read this book very soon...you have been awarded and tagged on my blog

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    1. Tell me how you liked the book. And thanks a million for the award :)

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  13. I agree with you ...I find it difficult to follow Hinglish especially if it is bhojpuri or some otheer local language....By the way I liked your honest writing...
    Keep it up and the header photo is really nice and suits your blog and bengal....

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    1. Thank you so much Deepthi. Am really glad you liked the pic :)

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