Moonrise from the Green Grass Roof
Author: Vinod Kumar Shukla
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: Literary Fiction
Blurb (as on Goodreads):
There were a hundred games the children played with the sky. Each question that arose in a child’s mind was a game. ‘Where is the moon?’ they asked if they woke up in the middle of the night.
There’s a pygmy mountain at the edge of the village. Near the top of the mountain is a mysterious hole. If you toss a stone down that hole, it will keep falling until you return to hear it hit the bottom.
There’s a second-grader named Bolu in the village school. He only speaks while he walks. If you want to speak to him, you must walk with him. And then there’s the moon, rising from the green grass roof. It travels with Bolu and his friends wherever they go.
In this book, light as pebbles skimming across a pond, Vinod Kumar Shukla speaks of the wonder of a universe in which, however, separate we seem, we are inevitably joined as one.
Moonrise from the Green Grass Roof by Vinod Kumar Shukla has been translated from Hindi by Satti Khanna. This is one book, that I wanted to love. The cover and the blurb, both point us towards a world full of magic and innocence. A world full of questions and the possibility of the unimaginable. However, this book failed to impress me on a lot of levels. Here are the 5 reasons why I DNF’d this book (It broke my heart):
- The plot confused me so much. There’s a constant switch between events, past and present.
- The translation was poor and (maybe) failed to catch the essence of the original text (written in Hindi)
- The poetry in between the plot makes absolutely no sense. It’s flat, emotionless and badly rhymed.
- There’s a philosophical air throughout the plot, but It feels more like words, a series of questions heading nowhere in particular.
- This is supposed to be a magical realism kinda book, at least that’s what the blurb and the initial chapters suggest, but the dialogues are so disoriented and the magic sounds more like random dreams rather than reality. Same goes for the overall description of the backdrop and the characters.
Do you have a book that disappointed you so bad?