Blurb: It is the early 1990’s – 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 that 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 encounter the Speaking Ghost itself!
About the Author: Priyonkar Dasgupta began his working as a salesman in Kolkata and currently runs a business of construction. In addition to writing as a passion he is a trained Bansuri player, and as a child had a flair for sketching which shows in the illustrations he made for this book. He also had a brief stint in acting, playing the lead role in the film “Unmourned”, a Documentary based on the Freedom Fighter and Martyr Basanta Biswas who was the prime accused in the 1912 Hardinge Bomb Case and later hanged by the British. The film was telecast on DD National on Independence Day 2005 and Republic Day 2006. During the shooting he toyed with the idea of taking up acting in films as a career, but soon decided business would be more useful in keeping the wolves away from his door while he pursued his love of writing. This is Priyonkar’s first novel.
Review: I finished reading The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur, a fat 303 page fiction book by debut author Priyonkar Dasgupta. The story is about summer vacation and the plans of being happy to explore places and visiting relatives, the story instigates. The book is tribute to childhood days. It made me go back those good old days of summer vacations reminding the stories and adventures of reading Ruskin Bond. The book is about Shoumo and Shoumik who are brothers with Shoumo being the younger one. They go to their Cousin Joy’s place in Rajpur for summer vacations. Based in the 1990’s Rajpur is a sleepy town on the outskirts of Kolkata. It is a story of these boys and their speaking ghost in tale of friendship adventure, love and courage. I liked the setting of town Rajpur with perfect combination of pleasure to keep the readers hooked till the last page. The escapades and misadventures of the tantric and the haunted dilapidated factory were the fun parts to read. The ghost angle made the story very interesting for me. Who is this speaking ghost and what does he want? What more is at stake? I am not spilling beans on what the ghost spoke about, it is for you to read and know. I appreciate the author’s ability to make the story feel real. The end was unpredictable. Special mention to the writing style of the author along with the well narrated events and nicely written characters. The initial chapters were bit lengthy but as the story pace moved on they got along well. The problem for me was definitely the size of the font used and also the size of the book. Apart from that the book was remarkable and reminded me of my childhood days. I am glad I read this book and I definitely recommend it to my other reader friends.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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