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November 2, 2011

Book Review - 54 : Pentacles

Author: Sabarna Roy
Publisher: Frog Books

Pentacles comprises one long story and four short poems. The work provides an interesting, yet intellectually stimulating, stories for the discerning reader. The long story is the best portion of this book, while the short poems even though competent just fill up the pages.

New Life is a long story written from the perspective of a successful adult whose mother had deserted the family for another man. The teenage angst and the scars it has left behind on the psyche of the protagonist are subtly reflected in the character. The different elements and characters of the story are interwoven to produce an intense and compelling story of an adult haunted by the trauma of being deserted by his mother. The work is interspersed with thought-provoking views on issues like love and socio-economic conditions in India. Even though the portions where the author provide his own version have clunky transitions with the main story and divert away your attention from the main story, the story as a whole stand tall because of a sensitive portrayal and inherent sincerity attached to it.

The traditional rhyme and metre dominated poems are on love, loss and longing. Unshackled by the bonds of rhyme and metre, author’s free verses evoke the stark reality of urban life, hitting you straight in the guts. The use of everyday urban imagery adds to the appeal of the compositions. The concrete prison of urban life and the unfulfilled desire to escape to a simple life is aptly brought out in The Tower. The free verses sketch out their life story with its attendant pathos, poignancy and logic. Even though i am not a great fan of poetry, but was able to relate to most of these poems because of the ease with which the author has written them in an almost routine conversations form.

I am going with 2.5/5 for Sabarna Roy's 'Pentacles'. Short, sweet and will leave you more or less satisfied with this variety of literature pieces string together. A quick night read after work is how i perceive this book.

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