Sunday, 16 April 2017

Book Review: A Gathering of Friends by Ruskin Bond.

Book: A Gathering of Friends

Author: Ruskin Bond

Pages: 257

Read On: Hardback

Publisher: Aleph Book Company

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: The twenty-one stories in the book are the greatest pieces of fiction written by Ruskin Bond. Chosen by the author himself, from a body of work built over fifty years (starting with his award-winning first novel, The Room on the Roof, and ending with Tales of Fosterganj) this collection includes well-known masterpieces like ‘The Night Train at Deoli’, ‘The Woman on Platform No 8’, ‘Rusty Plays Holi’ (from The Room on the Roof), ‘Angry River’, ‘The Blue Umbrella’, ‘The Eyes Have It’, ‘Most Beautiful’, ‘Panther’s Moon’, as well as newer stories like ‘An Evening at the Savoy with H.H.’ (from Maharani) and ‘Dinner with Foster’ (from Tales of Fosterganj). Taken together, the stories in A Gathering of Friends show why Ruskin Bond has long been regarded as one of the pillars of Indian literature. This is a book that will delight his legions of fans as well as those lucky few who are new to his fiction. 

General Thoughts: I read this book on my recent holiday in Landour. Because why not read Ruskin Bond in his town! I am all about the little joys in life! 

Things I Liked: 

1. This book like every other Ruskin Bond is endlessly comforting and lovely. And I read it in the perfect setting and I really enjoyed my time with this book. 

2. If you are someone who hasn't read a whole lot of Bond, this book is a perfect place to start. To sample some of his work and then delve into more if (and you will) like it. 

3. This collection has a good mix of short-stories and excerpts from his full length novels, which is a good thing be. 

4. Also this book is chronologically pleasing. In the sense it covers the writer's entire career duration from the very beginning to recently. 

5. I found it fun to see what the writer himself loves best among his very extensive body of work. Always a good thing to know and see if his favourites line up with yours! 

6. I have read a fair amount of Ruskin Bond's work and so most of these stories were a repeat read for me, yet it didn't irk me one bit. It felt like visiting old friends! 

7. Even though I've read so much Bond, I still learnt something new...I found out that a lot of the characters in his stories---like his grandfather (who is one of my favourite people in his book) is not real! Whaaat?!!! I thought he was fully real! But he is pretty much entirely fictional! I was a little bit bummed but it is always nice to learn something new. Also several of his quirky aunts and rogue uncles who make regular appearances in his books are also fictional! :( 

Rating: 4/5 

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