Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Reading The Last Song of Dusk


When my colleague Yashoda Timsina headed for New Delhi before Dashain to participate in a seminar, I gave her a list of three novels: Alchemy of Desire by Tarun J Tejpal, The Last Song of Dusk by Siddhartha Dhanvant Shanghvi and The Garden of Earthly Delights by Indrajit Hazra. The first and the third novelists are also journalists working with Tehelka and The Hindustan Times respectively.

Yashoda managed to bring only The Last Song of Dusk because of her busy schedule. So far so good. I was much impressed by Shanghvi's unorthodox write ups in India Today, Hindustan Times; his knack in coining phrases, ability to write blatantly and unconventionally– often challenging society's traditional notions. This made me a big fan of this Gujarati boy who shot to fame at the tender age of 26. He was twenty six when he published this novel that later won Betty Trask Award given to debut novels.
Late poet and essayist Dom Moraes in his one of the last review pieces that appeared in Outlook called this novel "a weak dose of LSD" playing with the acronym for novel's title. For me, Shanghvi tells a gripping tale of love found, love lost, and love regained.


I don't have much to sayabout it, am not a reviewer. It's a moving story of Vardhaman, Anuradha, Nandini and Shloka. Music is an integral part of story, so is the Magic Realism. This technique of storytelling originated in South America but mastered by Shanghvi's predecessor Rushdie is impeccably handled by this prodigy. I am desperate to read his second novel.

Without further dwelling much into detail, I would like to borrow a quote from Amy Tan's blurb in Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies: "This is the book you will catch a next man and say 'read this.'"

Here's a beautiful review by Indian blogger Aranyi.

Check also this and this.

2 comments:

neppal - Supporting nepali blogosphere said...

[..]Deepak Adhikari has a made a review of the lastest book he is reading - The Last Song of Dusk by Siddhartha Dhanvant .[..]

Anonymous said...

Readin good boooks feels really good .