Skip to main content

Book Review: The Lost Gold by Kaushik Yegnan

The Lost Gold by Kaushik Yegnan is a brilliantly penned down general fiction with sub themes like war days, human aspirations, history, family allegiance and legacy, and a few more. As the one gets into this novella, which claims to be an hour’s reading, cross-cultural backdrop begins amusing. The novella has a timeline that stretches from 1920s to 2008. Such a lengthy time frame, and surprisingly it gets covered in just 51 pages, probably the author knows how to put sweeps and back stories credibly. To be more precise, flashback narrative technique has been used to make the most of it.

Coming to the story, it first revolves around a family named Kaufmanns, in Germany. Stephan Mathias Kaufmann is a scientist and due to his good work, he is close to Fuhrer Hitler. This is the time when the ground for WW-II was shaping up, especially in Germany. Stephan has only one child Andrei, he is shy and aloof, spends most of his time chasing butterflies in the backyard. His father wants him to follow a path of glorious career through academics, a career like scientific research. However, that didn’t happen. Why? May be because of Jesse Owens and Hitler?

The event of 1936 changed Andrei’s life drastically; he was so much captivated by the long jump sports that gradually his orientation shifted to that game instead of following his father’s commands or academics. That is one aspect of human aspiration, not necessary that getting a fit into the lineage is the best suited one. Here this child silently revolts against his own father to travel on some other path.

The book is short but the intensity of the ambience built around from time 1920s to 1940s is remarkable. Especially in the year of 1940, what led to cancellation of Olympics and how many lives got affected by it? This novella conveys that part magnificently. The author has talked about unspoken anguish and the lost gold medals. These themes have a lot to do with the Olympics events covered in the book, especially the 1940 and 1980 ones. The journey and the allied sports glory from Andrei Kaufmann to Andy Kaufmann was terrific.

The author’s fast-paced narrative brings out the core of human psychic related to life goals and aspirations. Not only this, but the blending of other aspects and themes are also covered nicely, for instance the suppression of Jews, the rising of Hitler in Germany’s household chores, aftermath effects of WW-II and generational suffering about hidden pain and anguish. The best part of the novel is when it revolves around war days, the story of that maid Bretta not only going to make you uncomfortable but also break your heart in the absence of compassion.

It seems that the author must have done tremendous research to pen down a novella almost tangential to the war days in Europe. He succeeded in putting credibility among each character and overall setting. However, on a flip side, the author could have stretched this novella to a size of a full novel, filled with spies and love stories. In the end, it was his choice. Well, still it reads like a good one.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming.

This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for village…

Book Review: A Village in Garhwal by Ruskin Bond

There is no one better than Ruskin Bond to give you deep insights about the life in the Himalayan foothills. He lives in Mussoorie and thus knows the up and down of the hills, nearby and the farthest. You must have read many Ruskin Bond stories on the lives and culture of the Himalayan people living in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Well, this short story, A Village in Garhwal, takes you into Manjari village of Garhwal region. The author spends four days in the village, he was taken there by one of his friends Gajadhar. This village Manjari is located twenty-five miles away from Lansdown, a famous tourist place and center of Garhwal Rifles.

It takes two days to reach this village from the author’s native place. One needs to travel first by bus from Lansdown and then walk for five miles. The village is situated up the Nayar River – a tributary of the Ganges. One morning the author wakes up to the loud vociferous sound of Cicada. This sound reminds him of factory buzzer. The author …

Story Summary: The Accidental Tourist by Bill Bryson

The Accidental Tourist by Bill Bryson is a short story that highlights the importance of having suave and elegant manners at the time of travelling. In this story, we see that the narrator almost flies over 100,000 miles every year because of his job’s nature. So, we can say that the narrator is an accidental tourist, though he doesn’t enjoy travelling but still he has to because of his job. However in his own words he says that he is sort of a confused man who often forgets the roads and gets into wrong alleys or gets trapped into self-locking doors. In this story, he takes us to some of his awry travel experiences where he did some crazy things, though unwittingly.
Most of his experiences are based around airports or inside the flights. On one instant, while flying to England from Boston with family for Christmas, he forcibly opened the zip of his bag, as a result it broke down and all the stuff littered on the ground. This made him embarrassed and the people around him.
One day in…