Author: Shivdutt Sharma
A mango ensures the birth of a son…
Ghosts hoot and cackle in a forest…
A tiger strikes terror in the heart of a village…
A boy experiences the first stirrings of desire…
On trips back to his hometown, memories appear, cling, and then fade away like the mist in the Himalayan foothills. Tracing the pangs and pleasures of growing up during the time of missionary schools, wind-up gramophones, hand-pulled designer rickshaws, maharanis in their imitation castles, busty film stars of the black-and-white era – a lone, all-brown boy in an all-white American school comes to grips with his coming of age.
Fast-paced and furiously funny, The Hill Billy zips up the otherwise tranquil, languid, laid-back life in a hill station that hasn’t quite got over the hangover of its British past.
My Book Review:
One of the first things that hits you as you open this book is the style of narration. The way the author tells his story just takes you by surprise. The writing has a quality of polish and panache that you usually come to associate with seasoned novel writers. I was quite literally blown away with the narration style.
The book is a memoir of author’s childhood. In the book he takes you from Silakot, Pakistan, where he was born to the hills of Mussoorie, India. There nostalgia is the book is so prominent, after reading it, even you start missing those slopes and the hills.
The characterization in the book is also class apart. I quite enjoyed how the author introduced a character and then went on to say how this particular character went on to live their lives. Then we are introduced to another character and we see their story. I felt, this unique take on writing kept making each page a page turner. The simplistic, yet beautiful, nature of the book sets it apart from all others.
All in all, this is definitely on the the top reads of this year.
Cover : 3/5
Title : 4/5
Blurb : 5/5
Creativity in Story line: 5/5
Character Complexity: 5/5
Narration style: 5/5
Overall : 4.5/5