Monday, September 23, 2019

The Speaking Stone by Ratnadip Acharya (Book Review- 4.25*/5) !!!

Whenever I find that a book needs my attention and not just casual reading, I keep it aside to be read either on weekends or whenever I shall get a quiet time from my schedule at a stretch so that I could complete atleast 100 pages in every sitting. Since two-weeks, I picked up Ratnadip Acharya’s 3rd book titled ”The Speaking Stone” multiple times while traveling to office in the Mumbai local but whenever I got a gap of a day or two, I couldn’t remember what happened even in the last page that I read hence I scheduled it for the Sunday of 22nd September and I completed 200 pages in a day and 100 pages today in 3 hours while waiting for my turn in the clinic.

Ratnadip is one author whom I have always respected for the topic he chooses to write his book upon because it always comes with philosophical tales and wordings which makes you self-introspect and understand the deeper meaning of life. This time with this book Ratnadip has written a completely different book than what he has written till date and I must say though I didn’t expect much with this topic, the story kept me hooked with it which made it possible to complete around 300 pages so easily in just two days. The narration of the story is bit slow but keeps you interested in what would happen next as the book involved two different timelines- one of 1900 era whereas the 2nd one based in 2016-17.

Like every other historical fiction where the book becomes very complicated with its innumerable characters and confusing timelines, Ratnadip has tried his best in this book to keep things as simple as possible. Though his book can’t be called a philosophical attempt this time but it is of the genre which blends suspense, mystery, history, fantasy, thriller into a great fiction story which is again inspired somewhere from a true story. I liked how author choses the idea of exploring North-eastern part of India as it automatically gives reader a sense of adventuring into a new path altogether.

I really liked how author was able to connect both the stories together in the last 1/3rd part of the book. It really becomes interesting by the end to know what exactly the truth behind the stone is that the protagonist takes too seriously which even involves us somewhere in the journey. I liked the chemistry that author develops between the characters- in both the eras. I liked how even in the modern set-up where love is in the air between the two characters still author doesn’t lose the focus from the story and doesn’t purposely insert intimate scenes. And- special mention how well Parul is described in the book. I am in love with this character. Also, each characterization in both the era is done so perfectly that you can imagine the story while reading in front of your eyes in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali kind of set-up.

Talking about the drawbacks, I would say the initial pages should have started with some bang that could have directly drowned the reader in the story rather than the gradual set-up which has been used which takes time to develop interest in the tale. Also, some more editing was needed with 50-60 less pages as it really becomes too predictable and slow at times. One static complain that I have with author is that the Cover Page of all his books aren’t interesting- though we say a book isn’t judged by its cover but such good stories and writing needs a good cover page for the readers to notice it.

Except these little things, I would say, with each book, Ratnadip Acharya is getting better. I rated his 1st book 3 stars, the 2nd book 3.75* and I would definitely give this book 4.25* out of 5 for the kind of suspense and mystery author keeps throughout the book. Kudos!




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