- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Speaking Tiger Publishing Private Limited (10 September 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 938807047X
- ISBN-13: 978-9388070478
- Package Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 82 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Shillong Times: A Story of Friendship And Fear (10 September 2018) Paperback – 10 Sep 2018
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• “The book is leavened with humour. The faultlines between the two communities, Khasi and Bengali, are delineated in superb set pieces that bring out the incomprehension on both sides about the Other’s way of life.” – The Hindu Literary Review'
'• “Choudhury’s versatile style, his facility at characterization, the evocation of a beautiful hill town, and skillful inter-weaving of comic, serious, dark situations, makes him a winner on each count. Shillong Times is a literary multi-course buffet where every dish presents a different flavor yet each contributes to making the spread a highly satisfying meal.” – Open Road Review
• "[The author's] command over his craft shines through" - The Sunday Tribune
• "A brilliant novel with a layered complexity of how human relations can be polarized consciously on ethnic lines, but how, more significantly the world of friendship and love acts as an antidote" - The Shillong Times'
'• "Superb with its delightful fusion of style and content." - Kitaab.org'
'• “Humour transcends into profound insight of the lives and times in Shillong during the 80s” – North East Now'
'• “Every chapter unfolds a new dimension to the story, which makes the book even more interesting. Seeing it form every person’s perspective and narrating the tale in closest reality possible, the author has done a fabulous job by not breaking the flow at any given point. Till the very last page, Shillong Times remains a story of everyone.” - Free Press Journal
‘ Nilanjan’s command over his craft shines through.’—The Tribune ·
‘ Shillong Times is a deft interweaving of fact and fiction, childhood fantasy, history (the partition of the country) and contemporary politics. But more significantly the ‘telling’ of the tale is superb where there is delightful fusion of style and content peppered of course with infantile humour.’—The Shillong TimesSet in the volatile times of the 1980s—in the backdrop of communal tension between the Khasis and Bengalis—the novel begins on a highly promising note. It delves into the heart of the matter right from the first sentence, and is, thereafter, viewed, written and experienced from the lens of a 14-year-old who doesn’t quite understand racial divides.’—Indian Express
‘About “residents”, “outsiders” and whose right it is to live in a particular place, this is also the moving story of friendship that transcends all barriers. With humour and profound insight, Choudhury marches his characters straight into the reader’s heart.’—Hansda Sowvendra ShekharSee all Product description
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The book slowly picks up pace and the events thereafter are portrayed with the right measure of reality which makes it a compelling read. The underlying uncertainty further grips the reader, making one pine for their favourite character and for all to be well in the end, but as is life the ending will be bitter sweet for most.
The book poses many raw questions relevant current times where immigrants are considered "a huge problem" by many powerful world leaders, the book's basal, raw question being "Till when is a person or his family, residing in place an immigrant? Is it one generation or many? Is it not enough to be love the place, respect its nature, live in harmony with its citizens and build its infrastructure for it to accept you? Ultimately is a peace of land greater than all human relationships?"
Overall the book is one of the most wholesome reads ever!
I know you must have got an idea about how I found out this book, but I still have got to give more information so you can decide whether to spend money on this or not. So, the cover of the book is quite relatable and decent and the book title is just perfect as per the contents of the book. I found the writing style, narration really good and language quite simple and easy to go through, and fast-paced.
I have never been to Shillong, but the book took me through the imagination as I have known the place for many years. Debojit Dutta is the main character of the story. It's the story of Shillong becoming a battlefield and the boiling tensions between the Khasi and Bengali communities. The old neighbors, friends become outsiders and the relationships go through harsh times (as the blurb suggests doing its job pretty well.)
So, what happens after the above happens? Well, you will have to read the book to know about the same ;)
Overall, it has been a good read for me. I Just want to point out one thing that could be improved and it's the editing of the book, a few spelling errors to mention. Hence, I highly recommend you read the book once and share it with other people too who you think would find it a good read.
The introverted yet itching to break free Debu, the outwardly rebellious yet inwardly vulnerable Clint, and the vivacious Audrey all play well against each other. Their budding friendship however may not stand a chance as stray incidents of violence rend asunder the tenuous peace that had existed.
The book sparkles with strongly etched characters, with just a little bit of Bengali stereotypes thrown in with tongue-in-cheek humour - Calcutta as the veritable Eden, Gurudev Rabindranath as the epitome of music and culture, and fish! Many a youngster will chuckle at the depiction of Debu's parents.
The book starts out at a leisurely pace, inviting the reader in, and picks up pace as it proceeds past the halfway mark. The second half moves briskly along, picking up tension and gravitas.
Certainly a read that deserves to be read.