The Land of the Wilted Rose

AUTHOR: Anand Ranganathan
Genre: Novel / Fiction
PRICE: Rs. 195 (I got this from Blogadda)

image courtesy: amazon

EXCERPT: (on the death of the previous Maharaja and the description of his death) " ...even smothering becomes pleasant when the tool is a goose-down pillow enclosed in the finest Tutticorin silk 

One question that comes to my mind after reading this book is what made the author write this or for that matter the other 3 in the series. I suppose the author was trying to create a parallel situation with role reversals, with the Indian Raj ruling over the world and the British being imprisoned and turned to slaves. The whole point in doing so was maybe to make everyone realize how painful being imprisoned in our own land by foreigners is. Sadly, I could not empathize with the condition of the British anywhere in the book. It is not that I think it serves them right but its that I couldn't feel their pain through the book. The author has missed in evoking a sense of loss that the subjugated feel.

I had a really hard time finishing the book. The 156 pg size of the book can be deceptive as it demands a lot of time to comprehend and re-read certain portions. The narrative in the beginning makes no effort to catch the reader’s attention and begins with a painfully slow pace which continues throughout the book. I personally felt that the author has gone a bit too much trying to describe the situation and the conditions of the people living in Britain. 

The use of Hinglish makes matters even worse as it took me a very long time to comprehend certain terms or sentences which were Hindi written in the Roman script. Take an example- “Hooo-hoo-which-baa-wa-wa-wa-hoooaa-throom-hooaah?” It took me 5 readings to understand that it meant, “To which bathroom?”. Apart from it the repetitive use of Anglicized Hindi curse words like “ban-cho” and “caukrow” to replace the usual English curse words made it very troublesome to read. Also, the author paid a lot of attention that every object of daily use is mentioned in its Indian name, like “jooti” , “sherwani” , “kamarbandh” , “baint” , “jaatiwaad” among others. This I found to be a bit unnecessary as their English names could have been easily used. But if the author had intended to giving everything an Indian name, I wonder why the official ranks were excused from their Indian rankings. Why were then they called “Viceroy”, “Colonel” and “Admiral” instead of “Senapati” or “Zameendaar”? 

The first part of the book was dragged beyond need trying to explain everything in detail, every single building, vehicle and object. It is only toward the end of part 1 and in part 2 that the book gains some pace.

The book cover says it is a black comedy and its very evident that this is a very satiric work. The name suggests a Gandhian figure, Jack Riley trying to free his country from the clutches of the rulers i.e. Indians. The whole idea of a 17 year old Maharaja (who thinks he is aging!!) is a banter on the social system. The book reminds me of Mulk Raj Anand’s Coolie  in its description of the suffering English but it lacks Anand’s empathy and sensitivity as I find it turning bitter at certain points. The book could have been made more interesting and far better had the narrative and choice of words been handled better.

MY RATING: 2 / 5

This review is a part 
of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. as always,brilliant review swarnali! :)

  2. I was tempted to apply for a review as well, but I'm glad I didn't. Seems like a work of pretension than passion. Thanks for the nice review, Swarnali.

  3. @Arpi_thanks a lot,you always come up with the sweetest comments :D
    @UCV_ I found it very forced. Not going to read the other three!!
    @Aish_I had applied for this long back and the name really sounded nice.But a lesson learnt again-never judge a book by the cover.

  4. appreciate the way review justifies the rating, and points out specific difficulties associated with the text. Sign of an In depth and well analyzed comment, this review is brilliant.
    I would like u to reply this comment, with an explanation of what exactly is this blogadda thing? :)just curious to know about the same.

  5. @Pulkit_Thanks you so much,you made my day :D
    Blogadda has a book review program for its members (any blogger can be a member). If you enroll for the book reviews program,they'll let you know whenever a book is available for review (its generally around 2-3 books,each with 10-20 copies in a week). If you are interested,you need to apply for each book separately. A random selection later,if chosen,they'll let you know by mail.If you wish to receive the same, they'll send you the book for free. You are supposed to read and write a review of the same within 7 days of receiving it. Hope I could explain it.

  6. You sure did and that program is really cool :)

  7. @Pulkit_yeah it is...but try to apply to every book available..the probability of getting one is higher that way :P

  8. I really need to covet time for books!

    So many books to read!


  9. “Hooo-hoo-which-baa-wa-wa-wa-hoooaa-throom-hooaah?”

    ReslllyyyA!!! hahaha!!!!

  10. @Priyanka_yes its that terrible!!

  11. Ah, the pain a reader goes through, I totally understand - judging the book by cover *Hugs* :D

    Coming to the point, really good review! :D You have helped a lot of readers by pointing out the actual fallacies in writing. I will skip it most certainly. :D

  12. @MSM_*hugs back* Thanks a tonne!!


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