Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Book Review- Beastly Tales From Here and There

0753807742 (ISBN13: 9780753807743)
original title
Beastly Tales from Here and There
From the impish to the brilliantly comic, Vikram Seth's animal fables in verse can (like Diwali sweets) be enjoyed by young and old alike. Familiar characters in a new and magical form, such as the greedy crocodile who was outwitted by the monkey or the steady tortoise who out-ran the hare, here take their place beside a newly minted gallery of characters and creatures who are quirky, comical and always fun. Of the ten tales told here, two come from India, two from China, two from Greece, two from Ukraine, and two, as the author puts it "came directly to me from the Land of Gup." This is a book that displays astonishing versatility of the poet who gave us The Golden Gate and All You Who Sleep Tonight. The flair and delight of Beastly Tales from Here and There is proof that Vikram Seth can try on most unusual clothes without in the least losing his unique poetic identity.
My Review-
My encounter with Seth happened way back in 2009 over the poem ‘The Frog and The Nightangle’ which is a part of this book. When I read the poem back then, I thought it was funny.But boy! How wrong I was! When I read it now, I understand how he exemplifies the brutal realities of the world with poetry. The book is essentially a children’s book. I’ll tell you why. He gives those little gems of advice with perfect innocence. When an adult reads the same, his mature mind sees the satire and the real message behind the story portrayed in the book.
The book is a compilation of ten long poems, where the protagonists are animals . Each poem is four to five pages long and has been written with sheer spontaenity. I think the fluidity comes from writing at a stretch, but of course one can’t give all the credit to that. This guy is a genius and has completely won my heart with his poetic abilities. His intelligence and wit outshines in every piece that is a part of the book.
About The Author-
Vikram Seth is the acclaimed author of three novels including The Golden Gate and A Suitable Boy, one of the most beloved and widely read books of recent times. He has also written five books of poetry, an opera libretto, a book of other libretti and two highly regarded works of non-fiction. He currently divides his time between the UK and India.


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