Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Book Review: The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond.

Some snippets of the stunning art inside the book! 

Book: The Room on the Roof

Author: Ruskin Bond

Illustrator: Ahlawat Gunjan

Pages: 171

Read On: Hardback

How Long It Took Me To Read: 3 days or so.

Plot Summary: Rusty, a sixteen-year-old Anglo-Indian boy, is orphaned and has to live with his English guardian in the claustrophobic European part in Dehra Dun. Unhappy with the strict ways of his guardian, Rusty runs away from home to live with his Indian friends. Plunging for the first time into the dream-bright world of the bazaar, Hindu festivals and other aspects of Indian life, Rusty is enchanted … and is lost forever to the prim proprieties of the European community. 

General Thoughts: This book is super special. Not only this 60th anniversary edition an absolute beauty. This is also a signed copy I picked up from Mussoorie when I was in Landour earlier in the year.

This is perhaps one of Ruskin Bond's most well known books and one that most people have heard about and even read. For some reason I thought I'd read this book and maybe I have..but I didn't remember the specifics...all of the little details had slipped my mind. So this felt like a whole new book.


1. This is a fantastic coming of age story. It starts with a very timid and under-confident Rusty and we see him slowly, very slowly but surely come on his own and find his voice and find who he is.

2. The writing is stunning as usual. I feel really stupid even trying to make a comment about Bond's genius, so I won't. But I will say that to think he wrote this even he was 17 is just amazing! The writing is just as seasoned and just as good as any of his later works.

3. Rusty- I loved him. He isn't perfect. He isn't anything special really. But he is a very authentic person and seems real and very human.

4. I loved the Kapoors. Their dysfunction is fun to read about to see how they work well even in their dysfunction.

5. Rusty's friends were my favourites though. All of them Suri, Ranbir and Somi and of course Kishan who goes on to become a brother of sorts to Rusty.

6. The thing I loved best however in the book was feeling of alienation Rusty feels with his own people-- The Europeans and how he longs to join in the colourful and chaotic world of the bazaar and the Indians. He feels love and camaraderie and kindness from the Indian that he never fully experienced with 'his' people.

7. The art in this book was just darling. If you plan on reading this book, I highly recommend you get this edition of the book. You will love it. It definitely adds to reading experience and who doesn't love some gorgeous art?

8. This book made me want to run to the hills..but then all of Bond's work makes me want to do that.

9. Even though this book was written 60 years ago it is still relevant and just as accessible as it must have been back then.

10. This was such an atmospheric read and the room on the roof just came to life and it was almost a character in itself.

Rating: 4/5

Loved it!

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