Book Review: “The Strange Case of Billy Biswas” by Arun Joshi

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Author: Arun Joshi

Published in: January 15th, 2008 by Orient Paperbacks

Pages: 176 pages

This is my second book I read from this author, and I had more difficulties reading this than reading The Foreigner. Nevertheless, this novel depicts some great and inspiring topics. The main plot of this novel is that a man, Billy Biswas in this case, disappears suddenly. Then, however, his friend meets him again, 10 years later, in a tribe. Disgusted by the civilized world, Billy Biswas decided to run away without telling anyone about it. This story reveals a lot about going “back to the roots”, about love, friendship, family, and the world we live in. This novel somehow reminded me of Into the Wild which I have only seen the movie from, but yet was so much inspired by it. This book began quite interesting, but at some parts I got bored very easily.

That’s actually the only critique point about the book. The characters in this book however mostly seemed quite flat. The most important characters were Billy and his best friend Romesh who was also the narrator. This narration style is similar to the one in The Great Gatsby, in which the narrator tells about the protagonist who seems to be an extraordinary person. Of course the story of the novel is quite another of that in The Great Gatsby.

Final rating – 3,5/5: If you want to read a tribal novel from an Indian Author in English, than this one is the best fit for you.

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