July 01, 2017

Book Review: Rafflesia- The Banished Princess by Gautam


Author: Gautam
Publisher: Frog Books
Rating: 3/5

Who doesn’t like to live in a cloud cuckoo land? Who doesn’t like the fairy tale endings? And why shouldn’t one like such stories? There are plenty reasons for liking the impractical and irrational life, for one cannot find the same contentment in reality!

‘Rafflesia’ revolves around a similar concept where the protagonist admires the life of Rafflesia (a banished princess’ story) and desires to become like her- live in a world like her's where there is no one to pierce the delicate bubble of happiness. But soon he is exposed to the flip side of the coin- the side characterized by the blasts of winter. Life isn’t a bowl of cherries and this realization comes down heavily on Appu, for his belief in fairytales lets him succumb to the facade of make belief.

The storyline is good; it portrays the bond of friendship between Appu and Rahul. But on the same lines, the desperate attempt to make the title look relatable to the plot is very evident. The author doesn’t refrain from mentioning the name of the book time and again in the chapters. The story oscillates between the past and the present life of Appu and the narration brings out essence beautifully. Barring the grammatical errors and incorrect vocabulary (for an instance: incorrect use of the word vowed), the setting and the atmosphere of the story are overwhelming.

The story lacks connection. The monotonous descriptive paragraphs could have easily been skipped and the page count could have been reduced. With a misleading blurb and cover, the story offers something that is not even remotely related to what the first impression might be. Nevertheless, the positive aspect of the book is that it makes the readers realize that every cloud has a silver lining and it is these fairy tales that come to our rescue. We have to learn to dream and believe. The book also stresses the importance of friends in life. ‘Blood is thicker than water’- the story proves this adage wrong as the relationship shared by Rahul and Appu surpasses all doubts.

Overall, I would like to congratulate the author for his debutant work.

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Book Courtesy: ARUDHA

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