Himalayan Revelation by Pankaj Misra

Title-The Himalayan Revelation
Author-Pankaj Misra
Publisher-Power Publishers,Kolkatta
Price-425 INR
Source-Review copy via Tales Pensieve

To be very frank,I had neither heard about this book nor it’s author until I chanced upon the Tales Pensieve page, which said that this book was up for review.Without a second thought,I grabbed the opportunity to review this latest novel.The Himalayan Revelation is PankajMisra’s debut work and is an attempt at historical fiction by this first time author.

The Plot-VijayaNagaraempire,one of the most prosperous Hindu kingdoms in South India is attacked by Sultanates.But before conceding defeat,it’s ruler manages to hideit’s vast treasures,somewhere.Centurieslater,Gaurav-a happy go lucky guy who is on a holiday to Leh stumbles upon something which changes his course of life from then on.

The Characters-The protagonist,Gaurav is a fun loving guy who has a passion for history.Then there is Natasha,his colleague turned lover (who has a doctorate in history and is also the consultant of Genesis 3D,the firm which employs Gaurav).There is also KunchenLama,the most revered-multifaceted spiritual healer and Tibetan doctor.There are quite a number of othercharacters like Tony Chacko,the C.E.O of Genesis 3D and Meesha,the C.E.O of Heritage Consultants to name a few, but none of them are well etched out and as a result,the reader doesn’t feel for any of them.

The Language and writing-This is the weakest part of the book.The English is pretty basic(even painfully bland at times)not to mention the numerous grammatical errors which make their appearance at regular intervals.What is more jarring is the author’s attempt to sound ‘cool’ by the throwing in the names of the many gadgets,motorcycles,cars(and what not!)at disturbingly regular intervals throughout.If you are able to overlook all these,you might be able to enjoy this novel to a certain extent.

What I liked the most about the book:
1)The concept and the story line-At a time when most of the ‘desi’ first time authors are resorting to safer subjects like ‘campus romance and similar stories catering to the  young urban readers’,Pankaj Mishra deserves a pat on his back for choosing the much more difficult historical fiction genre for his debut novel.Author definitely has a unique story to tell and the way he linked the present with the past was actually quite interesting.I particularly liked the way the story ended.
2. The book design:Thebook design was quite decent .The font (size) is also o.k.
3.The book throws light into a largely forgotten chapter in the Indian history.

What I didn’t like:
1.The language and the writing-A good dish tastes best when it is served well!Though there is an engaging story over here,it is presented in a pretty mediocre manner.TheEnglish is really bad(with plenty of grammatical errors and weird looking sentences!) which makes the book quite a difficult read.It’s the kind of book which you feel like putting down multiple times but you simply can’t as you badly want to know what is going to happen next to the protagonists!
2.The length of the book-I honestly feel that the book could have been a good 50 pages shorter.The sex scenes between Natasha and Gaurav were cringe worthy and could have been easily done away with!
3.The tone of the book-The author seems to be confused about his  target readers.The writing is pretty mediocre and the book reads like children’s literature most of the time.Some of the incidents in the book are too childish and hardly convincing.
4.The Pricing-At 425 INR,I definitely believe that the book is over priced(but I simply can’t complain as I got a review copy for free via Tales Pensieve!)

Verdict-On the whole,’The Himalayan Revelation’ was a passable one.It had a decent story to tell but was let down by bland writing.Rating-2.5/5


The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on http://thetalespensieve.com/reviewers-sign-up/">The Tales Pensieve

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