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Book Review: Our Great Escape by Ruskin Bond

Fourteen-year-old Rusty, who is also the narrator of this story, is a student at Bishop Cotton, a premium boarding school in Shimla. He is not like other unruly students who most often play pranks around their teachers. Rusty feels lonely and a little mature than his age because of his parents’ separation. Somehow he finds solace in writing. And secretly he has penned down a story about his school life, in which he lampoons and criticizes all that things persistent in his life as a student. Instead of focusing on writing, he is much engaged into sports like hockey and volleyball. One day he finds Omar, a boy like him. Soon they become good friends and share a good understanding.

To beat the humdrum of banal life, they discover a tunnel which leads to outer part of their school. They often escape to the outside world through that tunnel and there they discuss many worldly topics but mostly about the Second World War and imminent India-Pakistan partition. One day Rusty says that they …
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Book Review: The Ice Boy by Patricia Elliott

Edward and his elder brother Matt return Uffenham after a year to spend summer vacation with their uncle, Hodder. Uffenham is a coastal area, a year ago their father went for sailing on a stormy day, he didn’t return but his boat was found. For the world he is dead but not for Edward. He believes his father is alive and alone on some remote island. So he wishes to find him, others scrape his idea.

One evening Edward meets a mysterious old man who scribbles a message on a piece of paper for his son. The old man wants Edward to relay the message to his son. However, Edward doesn’t know who his son is and where to find him. That same evening Edward also finds Mistletoe stone - sparklingly green pointed from front.
After some days he finds a man being washed ashore. Edward takes him to a nearby hut and offers him his father’s canvas shoes and clothes and then takes him to Newnes sisters up the alley. Since Newnes sisters have magical powers, he gets to know about that the man’s name is …

Book Review: Dust on the Mountains by Ruskin Bond

Dust on the Mountains by Ruskin Bond subtly highlights the grim issues of deforestation on the mountains in the wake of modernisation. 

Bisnu lives with his younger sister and mother in a very small village of Tehri Garhwal. Since the mountains have received scanty rainfall and bare minimum snowfall last year, as a result orchards of fruits and farming in the field have yielded minimum output. The streams and rivers that descend from the peaks are shallow and dry, so the villagers are facing the problems of inadequate ration and fail to obtain any income from the farming-related chores.
To save his family from starvation, Bisnu goes to Mussoorie much opposite to his family’s wish. Since summer is a happy time in Mussoorie and the place is full of tourists from the plain areas. After many attempts he finds a job in a cinema hall as a tea seller during the interval. There he meets two other boys Chittru and Bali. They all become friends and work as per the orders. However Chittru and…

Book Review: The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth

The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth is a novel based on coup d’├ętat and the lives of mercenaries. The setting in the novel is of Zangaro, a small fictional African country on the western coast. A British Mining Company, Manson, owned by James Manson has founded positive results for platinum in the Crystal Mountains of Zangaro. They want to own it but the president Kimba, an oppressive figure, is friends with Soviet Union.

Thus James Manson with his financial expert Martin Thorpe and security chief Endean devises a plan to throw off the current president of Zangaro and to keep a puppet president from their side. This move will help them to devour the platinum mine at very less cost.
Based on a freelancer writer’s recommendation, Endean approaches Shannon, an experienced mercenary who has spent most of his life fighting in the African countries. First, Shannon goes to Zangaro as a tourist and collects the information about military and arms present in the country. The military and a…

Book Review: The Householder by P. Jhabvala

The Householder is one of Mrs. Jhabvala’s major novels. Here she portrays the life of a lower middle-class individual in urban setting. And this she does with fine insight and her portrayal has a credibility that is commendable.

Prem is the householder in the novel. He is an imperfectly educated teacher drawing a poor salary of Rs.175 in the Khanna Private College in Delhi. He pays a rent of Rs.45 which, Prem himself tells us, is more than 25% of his salary. His landlord Mr. Seigals who along with his family lives a happy-go-lucky sort of life. Prem is a second class B.A. from Ankhpur College, a mofussil college which produces graduates who can fill in clerk’s posts in government offices, as his friend Raj has done, or who can become inefficient teachers like Prem. Thus, Prem is an object of great sympathy of the author. In fact he is the hero of the novel.
He cannot perform his duties and fulfil his obligations because of a meagre salary and he has a household in which he often ha…

Book Review: The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand

The Lost Child is a riveting short story by Mulk Raj Anand. A little boy and his parents are on their way to a village fair on account of a spring fair. The alley leading to the fair is alive with a vivid combination of colours and people.

The boy is happy and chirpy and walking between the big limbs of his father, between the long strides. As he can see there are toys in the shops lined along the way. He is captivated by the colourful toys of different sizes and shapes but in his observation he lags behind. So he runs ahead to be with his parents. When he expresses the desire to own one of the toys hanging from the shops, a cold stare from his father breaks his heart.
Suddenly, to break his attention from the lingering toys, his mother tenderly shifts his attention to the swaying muster field, which seems to be full of golden ripples – moving to and fro. The boy enters the field and begins chasing butterflies, black bees and dragon flies. But soon he is called back.
Once they appr…

Book Review: Terror in Eagle Basin by Cliff Farrell

Dan Cameron was one of the toughest law officers around the borders of Montana and Wyoming. He was so ruthless in his job that to an extent he was popular as ‘Dan the killer’ and people feared his presence. However when tragedy thumps him - his bride dies in his arms – shot by one of his enemies on the very first hour of their marriage. He vows to renounce the arms.

Soon he hears about his friend Ed Vickers’ murder and arrives at Rimrock to help Lennie and Tansie, the brother and the wife of Ed Vickers respectively. There he also meets a chirpy and bold woman, Jennifer Spring, who is going to settle down in Eagle Basin, where terrorizing of locals is continued by some unknown gang members.
The prime suspect of the murder is Bart Webb but Dan senses something else and takes up travelling to Basin to discover more as well to hand out justice to the brother and the wife of late Ed Vickers. During their stay at Rimrock and travelling to Eagle Basin they resist some missed attacks on the…