Saturday, 3 September 2016

Book Review #63 : The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur

Author: Priyonkar Dasgupta  
Publisher: Thought Balloon Books

Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction/ Adventure

The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur is a beautiful story about childhood, friendship, courage and the magic of adventure & innocence.  This beautiful story immortalizes summer time. And undoubtedly it is the children who enjoy the summer’s the most, for they have a month long vacation to explore, indulge and invite trouble! Also who can forget the great bonding time with cousins during vacations?

The novel is thought provoking and portrays the world, situations and circumstances through a child’s point of view.  Mystery, a child’s perspective of situation and the world are well woven.

I would like to comment on the cover of the book. The cover of the book gave me a very happy go lucky feel that extends to being a horror story too. Just like any comic book cover, we read in the childhood!  

The story is set in a small sleepy town of Rajpur, not very far from Kolkata.  I liked the setting of the book – the town Rajpur has just the perfect combination of amusement and mystery to keep the readers hooked on right till the end. The characters Shoumik and Shoumo are brothers who land up in Rajpur at their Cousin Joy’s place and thus the story unfolds. They spend their time chasing mysteries and weird rumors of tantrics and ghosts. And in their quest for adventure they find themselves in the middle of something far more frightening, unlawful and gruesome.

The writing style is easy and has a natural flow, the events are well narrated and characters well structured. The novel has a breezy feel to it and it’s primarily due to the writing style. The author successfully manages to take the reader through a fun filled adventurous childhood ride. The characters are nice with most of them being the typical notorious boys with a kind of notoriety most of us can associate with our childhood. We find a lyrical note in it where the imageries and metaphors are beautifully used.

The escapades and misadventures were fun to read and I especially enjoyed the parts which involved the tantric and the haunted dilapidated factory. The ghost angle makes the story and the plotline very interesting. What truly amazed me was the author’s ability to make the story feel so real. The climax was absolutely brilliant and unpredictable. It was finally like the icing on the cake.

This novel reminded me of all the good times spent in vacations and schools lazing around, indulging all sense whether it is food, friends or adventure. A journey back to sleepy afternoons where adults were not privy to children's worlds of make believe and wonderful motivations. An attempt to lead, an attempt to make friends, to be curious.

What I liked & disliked -

- What strikes the chord of the 90's kid mostly is the notable lack of gadgets encumbering our lives now. It helped us look at people's faces instead of screens. Nostalgic for sure.

- Great use of language, but more often the author has used very long sentences which may not go well with the readers. It acted as a speed blocker for me. Many sentences need to be fragmented.

- Amidst, minor punctuation errors, the story is one that helps you reminiscence the jazz of childhood.

- Incredible description of every place they visit and each person they meet. However, the book could have been 30 odd pages shorter if the pace of the narrative had been tightened a bit.

- Editing is above average, but some words have been used needlessly. They could have been skipped. Like 'Cousin Joy' each time instead of just Joy.

- Another issue I had with the book was the font size as it was a bit too small for my liking.

VERDICT: People of all the ages would love to read the story, so go grab the book and be a part of these young children’s voyage through it all! Kudos to the author for transporting me to the best phase my life. Thank you!

Rating: 4/5

P.S: I won this review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.


  1. There are books that capture our souls and take us in that world. Your review is as engaging as the book, I am sure, Aayesha:)

    1. So good to know that, Vishal.

      Off to your post :)


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