Title : The Chronicler of the Hoogly and other stories
Author : Shakti Ghosal
Genre : Short story ; Historical Fiction
Pages : 176
I received this Review Copy from Half Baked Beans in exchange for an honest review.
Four stories. Five crucible experiences.
As Samir embarks on a sunset cruise on the Hooghly, he meets the enigmatic Chronicler who takes him on a two and a half centuries journey surrounding the curse of a fabled pearl necklace, as mentioned by his dying mother.
Spanning between the pandemics of 1919 and 2020, Dipen and Indranil are confronted by tragedies under vastly different societal conditioning and development.
As the capital of the British Raj shifts to Delhi in 1912, Junior Clerk Sujit with wife Bina is forced to migrate. Shanti, born of a forceps delivery gone horribly wrong, comes into their lives.
Suffering severe injuries from a gas explosion, Anjan meets Savio who brings him face to face with the private demons from his past. But past demons do have a way to come into one’s present with life changing consequences. Who is Savio?
The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories is a compilation of 4 short stories which consists of Ashtami, Pandemic, Fault lines and The Chronicler of the Hooghly. These stories will take the readers right back to the history. All these 4 stories have their roots in the olden days Kolkata of British India.
The writing style of the author was very simple but at the same time, it had a vintage tint to it. All the 4 stories were distinct and what made them really interesting was all these stories had some real characters from Modern Indian History. The author has taken certain incidence from history and has interpreted it distinctly through his creativity. And that was really interesting and unique.
These short stories are pretty long, detail and descriptive. This book is not about the stories but it is about the experience it gives and the journey it take us on. Among these stories Pandemic and Fault lines were the best.
Pandemic is a story which spans between two timelines. One talks about the pandemic which took place in 1919 and other is 2020 Pandemic. It precisely spoke about the scenario that took place during COVID-19 pandemic. The work from home scenario how it turned into a disaster to couples who were looking forward to it and other nuances every individual in the world had experienced during this period.
The next story is Fault Lines which talks about a man who has done lots of deceitful things in life to stay on top. He meets with an accident and how all the ruthless selfish acts he did in the past makes an re-entry and torture him. It had a good twist and was really engaging.
The other two stories were’t that great but the way they were written will make the readers want to move ahead with this book. The whole point of Ashtami was unknown and it was pretty blunt but the author had described the olden days Delhi and Kolkata very beautifully. The Chronicler of the Hooghly, was really long and the way the author had thought through about the entire plot of this story was commendable. The story he made out of a simple pearl necklace was tremendous but after a point of time, it felt like the incidences were kind of over repetitive.
On the whole, it was very nice and a subtle book which will take you away from present and shove you into the land of beautiful historic India.
I fell in love with Kolkata all over again. I’m kind of very fascinated about the modern India and it’s history for a very long time. The way the author had weaved a tremendous stories around these historic events were really amazing. Since I have read my History books quite too many times I was able to pinpoint certain events and was able to make the connection. It was really interesting for me.
I loved the journey this book was able to take me on. The writing style of the author had made it a lot more easier to swift through the pages of the book.
My favourites among these stories are Pandemic and Fault lines.
My rating for this book would be 3.8 out of 5 stars
I would recommend this book to people who are very much into history, you will enjoy it. If you are someone who wants to start the habit of reading and want short reads, then you can definitely go ahead with this book.
Do read this book and let me know about your experience below!!
Happy Reading Folks!!