Book Review: The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur

The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur impressed me with the title

The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur impressed me with the title. It is one of those titles that promises a good read, if carried off correctly, like I hoped this one would be. The blurb was very exciting and it was with a pleasant anticipation that I began reading this book.

The theme of the cover and the caricatures of four boys, on the cover, summed up everything about the book and it was fitting to the story, a rarity. The author’s artistic streak is quite visible in the visualisation of this cover and the subsequent illustrations in the book. The illustrations are apt and clearly drawn, requiring special mention here. They have become a disappearing trend in any books that are not written for children and were thus a welcome change here.

I have grown up on my own dose of Enid Blyton adventure novels, and I still am fond of children’s books that focus on kids spending summers chasing adventures. This is one of the primary reasons why this book appealed to me. Beginning with one of the most interesting prologues, this book details the story of kids in a sleepy, (okay, picturesque) town of Rajpur.

The book seems to be an amalgamation of the author’s own childhood experiences (which book isn’t?) and inspirations from children authors like Blyton, combined to form an interesting tale. Narrated in first person, this is thankfully devoid of any stereotyping or unnecessary drama. When I began reading the book, searching for the ghost seemed predominant. But as I continued reading, I started noticing the story and the experiences of the boys rather than the ultimate end.

As you read the book, that is abundant with metaphors and memories, you will realise and maybe do actually get to meet the speaking ghost. Only not really wiser to the experience unless you actually look for it and be aware when you do get it. The author has made the sleepy town anything but that! He brings it alive in his descriptions and placing one adventure after the other. It is a rare feeling to be able to travel with the characters as they go through their experiences and once the book has achieved it, the reader would want to know the maximum they can know, at least till the extent the author decides to share it.

I have read many books about kids having fun in summers but this one stands in my memory for more reasons than one – especially the vivid descriptions, the innocence of youth and the adventures that can be understood and related with not only by children but also adults. The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur is a book that will take you back to your childhood. It is a bit slow if it is called an adventure novel but very successful if it is called a coming of age nostalgic tale!

The plot is interesting, the language is mostly error free. But the book is a bit too descriptive, sometimes redundant, sidetracking into additional details that do not contribute to the speed of the novel. The story is a joy to read, if you can get over the slackening pace, and the descriptions so vivid that they could either become added value or speed breakers depending upon how you look at them.

The font, though, is a bit hard to read and for such an interesting story, one of the reasons why I could not read at a stretch. It was a bit straining to read continuously and seemed a bit crammed.

Do not miss this book for it has good value and an interesting story line!

Title: The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur
Author: Priyonkar Dasgupta | Illustrator:Priyonkar Dasgupta
Publisher/ Imprint: Thought Balloon Books
Pages: 304
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Fiction/ Adventure
Rating: 4.00 of 5.00
Reviewed for: Author

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