Rishabh Bhatnagar’s latest novel The Great Indian Bust: A Coming of Age Fiction has been appreciated widely by the readers as well as popular & the best book review websites in India. It impressed me to read the novel and I read it recently. However, my reading was not influenced in any way by the reviews I have read before getting a copy of this book. My review is based entirely on my reading. I will share what I feel about this book, the author and the future of these two in the writing industry.
Rishabh Bhatnagar’s writing is immature and it has to be so because he is a young person now. However, in his immaturity, lies the mature talent that has the potential to flourish. He has written his experiences as a schoolboy and a child growing up in the late 90s and early 20s era and also in a middle-class society where expectations are always heavier than available resources. The Great Indian Bust, as the title, might not seem to do justice to the novel as much as the subtitle, A Coming of Age Fiction, does. This is indeed a coming of age fiction but with a personal touch. The author has kept the novel limited to the protagonist and has not been successful in bringing any significant message to the fore. However, on the other hand, with a handful of events from one’s own life, the author has been successful to render it into a novel with a considerable number of pages – the narrative has to be praised!
The content is not very uncommon because it lacks the fictitious polishing by the novelist. It has been kept raw, largely, and the readers will notice that easily. Moreover, Rishabh Bhatnagar has also tried to make the language contemporary and nostalgic so that the readers of young age can easily connect with this story and it might ignite the memories… and it does. About his grandparents, parents, kins, friends, love interest and so many expectations – the author has tried to touch vivid aspects of his life hitherto. He has been unable to keep the focus on any one of them significantly and neither could keep a balanced distribution of attention. It all seems random when you read it and perhaps that’s the strength of the narrative, in this special case.
This novel will be special read for every reader who reads it and not because it’s extraordinary but because it’s just an ordinary piece of fiction that lets you relate to it very easily rather than feeling subjugated by the heroics of the protagonist in other contemporary novels by contemporary authors in India. So, my humble suggestion to you all is that you can go for this perfect one-time read in the form of The Great Indian Bust. I am sure you will have many things to remember and many things to share after you finish reading this one. You can get a copy from Amazon India in Kindle version from the link below:
review by Sonu for Book Reviews Lab
The Great Indian Bust: A Coming of Age Fiction
This is a novel that is ordinary and about an ordinary person but will certainly leave extraordinary impressions on the readers… a quality read that can be enjoyed once very well!