I received the book, ‘The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur’ by Priyonkor Dasgupta as a review copy and would like to thank him for the same. It is a coming-of-age adventure and romance novel.
It is the early 1990s – the ‘picturesque’ small-town of Rajpur is in ‘full summer bloom’ and there is a definite sense of mystery in the air. Amidst its scenic setting each year a group of boys band together to spend their summer vacations – going cycling to far-off forests, sharing books, discussing everything under the sky and ogling at girls…
But as youth would have it, their curious minds are more inclined to seek adventure and (hopefully!) uncover some mysterious affair. However, unlike their previous vain attempts, this time certain unusual events and the sudden appearance of a curious case of a ghost in their midst seem to hold the promise of some real adventure.
In the pages of The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur rest assured you will soon be whisked off and plunged into a headlong journey of adventure and romance of your own – on a path of discovery of friendship and brotherhood, of life and love – and, who knows, you might even get to encounter the Speaking Ghost itself!
Shoumo is travelling to his aunt’s house in Rajpur house for the first time visits his aunt’s with his brother, Shoumik, who visits her every year dusting summer vacations. Here he meets Joy, his cousin, who is in the twelfth class and his friends, Tonu and Pinku. The older boys follow their yearly summer vacation routine of going cycling, reading books, going to video game parlours, watching horror movies, riding atop buses. Shoumu wants to be a part of the group and they feel he is a baby but still they include him, albeit a little reluctantly.
During these adventures, they go looking for a tantric, and Pinku sees a person lying on a bed with a skull for a face and red bloodshot eyes and Shoumo feels that he has been pushed by someone.
The story has been written in first person from Shoumo’s point of view. It is filled with boys’ adventures and has been written in simple language. The characters are similar to our childhood friends. The flow is good but the pace could have been better. At times, I felt that the descriptions were lengthy and could have been shortened.
All through the book, I was waiting for the ghost. At some parts, I felt that they were the desi famous five. And at places, I felt that he was describing his own childhood vacations.
But overall, the book is a nice read, something that took me back to my childhood and the summer vacations we spent with our cousins.
Disclaimer: I received a free paperback of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.