Book reviews

Book review: Circus Folk & Village Freaks by Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal

Title- Circus Folk & Village Freaks
Author- Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal
Publisher- Vishwakarma Publications
Format- Hardcover
Pages- 156
Genre- Narrative poems
Publication date- 20 Sept 2018

Ratings- 4.2/5

Book blurb:
Sanyal explores the absurd and the bizarre with witty undertones through tales of transmogrification of men to monsters, animals to women, speaking truths of various lives and their travesties. A texture of swift worldly-wisdom underscores the focus on freaks, but often leaves an invisible message of a reverse lens on the rest of the world.

Meet the beautiful people of the Circus, and the freaks who live in the Village next to them. Mangled, jangled, misunderstood, all find place in the rich tapestry of this book.

Siamese twins separate to lose half a heart each, and find snake-man and tiger-taming lovers. A man bitten by a crocodile becomes a God, and a Devadasi woos the entire countryside with her culinary artistry.

Fates intertwined lead sometimes to tragedy, sometimes happy summits of fame. A clown finds his place in Hollywood and mute animals break unspeakable chains. A twisted man falls in love with a mirror and a white man is unmade by the Indian sun.

In this book are tales for every season and every reason. Tales of human depravity that take innocent lives, and of a murderers’ insanity that follows, a fitting revenge by nature, red in tooth and claw.

These stories are told in the form of narrative poems in rhyming couplets.

Look inside and you will find, you have been to this Village. Surely, you have been to this Circus too.

Book review:

“Circus Folk & Village Freaks” is a collection of 18 tales in the form of brilliantly penned poems. It is a amalgation of myraid of emotions into few pages. This whole book beautifully depicts the fact that humans are ordinary yet bizarre and the people born with slightly different features are considered as freaks.

Tale of a boy, Murali who eats metals, two sisters affixed with one heart, a mustachioed woman, the man bitten by crocodile who turned into deity. From murder, feminism, homosexuality to racism this book has it all. Each of them were extraordinary and it’ll definitely make you ponder is that even possible! Lives of all the characters revolve around the circus all abundant by their families. Even the circus master had his own secret of shattered soul.

The tales are exactly that the title proclaims. Also, I loved the illustrations added to each story. Use of highly rich vocabulary and rhyming couplets with abrupt plot of each tales this book overall gave me an amazing experience.

Thanks to @aparnasanyalwrites for sending over the review copy.

Link to the book.

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