Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Flight of Pigeons

Author: Ruskin Bond
Pages: 135
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books
Rating: 2.5/5
Challenge: Orbis Terrarum 2009: Country - India

I decided to kick off my Orbis Terrarum Challenge with this book. I dont know why I bought this book, but for some reason it was in my book shelf and I just decided to give it a shot. The book is by Ruskin Bond, an Indian author of British origin. So I decided to tag this with "India" for the challenge.

A brief summary of the book:

Based on true events, A Flight of Pigeons is set in Shahjahanpur, a small town 250 miles east of Delhi in India, during the revolt of 1857 (Sepoy Mutiny) against the British. The story is narrated by Ruth Labadoor, a young British girl, whose father gets killed as the revolt spreads to Shahjahanpur. She and her mother Mariam with a few other surviving members of her family get forcibly abducted by Javed Khan, a fiery pathan who brings them to his house where he expresses his desire to marry Ruth. Mariam manages to persuade Javed Khan to wait for the outcome of the revolt to be decided before marrying Ruth. What happens to Ruth, is what follows.

Ruskin Bond is a very well known author with a lot of books to his credit. This is the first book which I read of his and if you see my rating at the top (2.5 stars) you'll realize that I was pretty disappointed with this book. It just did not appeal to me. I never got involved in the book, it was more like reading a short story in the newspaper and keeping note of all the facts and events. It neither created any emotions in me nor could I empathize with the characters. The length of the book also played a factor. It was just 140 pages and even before I could get into the story, it was almost over! Ruskin Bond's style of storing telling is very plain and simple...sometimes it good to be that way but then it is very important to have the characters etched out well and enagage the readers into the story.

Ruskin Bond might be a very well acclaimed author, I dont deny that at all and I cant judge based on just one book that I read, but this book just failed to strike a chord with me and I'd probably not recommend it highly.

This book is supposed to have been made into a Hindi movie(Junoon) which was quite good, starring Shashi Kapoor, Nafisa Ali and a few others. Probably in this case, the movie would help me appreciate the book?! Need to watch it sometime...

If you have read this and you have a totally different view, drop in a line. I'd love to discuss and know what I missed out here!


One Swede Read said...

It's so disappointing, isn't it, when a book you look forward to reading turns out to not appeal to you at all! At least it was only 135 pages... :)

/Eva - fellow OT-er

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rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read A Flight of Pigeons by Ruskin Bond. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.