Just read Krishan Partap Singh’s Young Turks as a part of the South Asian Author Challenge. Back cover says “pure Jeffrey Archer” and its not off the mark. The story itself has elements of Kane and Abel and the its a political thriller like many of Archer’s books. The story just flows with hardly anything superfluous or underdone. The transitions between the incidents sometimes reminded me Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series also. The language is very simple and yet the story assumes an intelligent reader. So in terms of story telling, this is a very well written book at par with the very best.
The story itself is very Indian. The characters are very real and I love the way they grow with the story. Each of the main characters adds layers in their personality as the story unrolls. One can easily identify with young men in school to a Indian Muslim’s dilemma to several kinds of politicians in the story. In fact, the background of the PM and his choice of words brought up the face of someone I know almost every time. There is a lot of research by the author in real incidents, real people and real trends that comes together in the story. Thus, when he builds the story on top, the mix of fact and fiction reads very genuine. The pace is fast and a lot happens within the span of a few years but it all reads very credible thanks to Singh’s style of writing.
In all a great read and highly recommended. Krishan Partap Singh is a revelation and I’ll be looking out for any books that he writes. In fact my next book is his Delhi Durbar.
S Krishna is running an interesting challenge to encourage people to read books by South Asian Authors. South Asia means India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. One can sign up for a challenge level which is measured in no of books and then can review the books on one’s blog. Thus, it becomes a great way of discovering new books and authors.
The challenge levels vary from 3 to 10 books in the calendar year 2010. In order to qualify for the challenge two conditions must be met:
1) The author must be of South Asian descent. It doesn’t matter if they’re third or fourth generation, or are only half South Asian – I’m pretty flexible on this issue.
2) The book must be about South Asia in some way. It doesn’t have to be set in South Asia, as long as it’s about the culture or history in some way. On the other hand, it can be set in South Asia and not be about South Asians.
I think its a fantastic way to discover new books and also to discover more of South Asia. I’m signing up to read 10 books that qualify. I’m adding two more requirements of my own:
- At least 2 of 10 books that I read have to be in Hindi
- At least 1 book each by Authors from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
- I’ll also read at least 1 book each of authors from Nepal and Bhutan. After all, they too are part of South Asia. This is in addition to the 10 that make it by S Krishna’s requirements.
- No re-reads. I think it defeats the purpose
My current list has the following:
- Krishan Partap Singh: Young Turks. I’m intrigued by the tag of Indian Jeffrey Archer
- Krishan Partap Singh: Delhi Durbar
- Captain Gopinath: Simply Fly
Rest to be discovered in time.