Friday, March 22, 2013

Book review - "Talespin" by Sanjay Chopra

"Talespin" is a wonderful book of short stories by author Sanjay Chopra. 

Most stories aren't of the twist-in-the-tale variety but they rather engage well with the reader on the basis of narration. This in no way takes away from the fact that the stories are a compelling read. Take "Turache?", the first story in the book, for instance. Describing a fictional account of the meeting between a young Alexander and King Darius III in 331 B.C., the story nicely sets up the kind of good narration one can expect from the rest of the book. It's the story of a powerful personality and the words are able to convey the force of the mighty Greek emperor.

The war-stories are never too far away, case in point being "Men of the Horse" and "Awake", but the one which impressed me the most was "Bata shoes" (as unlikely a title as any for a war story). I loved how the author was able to capture the emotions of pride and nostalgia a son felt to a place which he was only connected to by memories of his father. More than a 'war' story, I'd like to label this one a 'father-son' story, although the theme of patriotism too does come in.

Right towards the end come three relatively dark, but extremely interesting stories. I loved the compactness of "The Contractor" and "Betrayal" was eerie. But my most favourite of this trio has to be "A Sound Idea". It kept me guessing as to what the outcome of the story would be. I loved the macabre ending. Spine-chilling, is the word.

The most heart-tugging story, however, has been kept for the last. For an extremely short story, "The Day Tina Was Born" will at least bring a lump to your throat, if not a tear to your eye. This story is pure emotion.

It was great fun reading "Talespin" and I must thank 'The Sunday Book Club' (#TSBC) and the author for the book give-away. I wish Sanjay all the best for his future endeavours and look forward to reading his next book.