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It is India of early 1990's - the ‘picturesque’ small-town of Rajpur is in ‘full summer bloom’ and there is a definite sense of mystery in the air. Amidst its scenic setting each year a group of boys band together to spend their summer vacations - going cycling to far-off forests, sharing books, discussing everything under the sky and ogling at girls. But as youth would have it, their curious minds are more inclined to seek adventure and (hopefully!) uncover some mysterious affair. However, unlike their previous vain attempts, this time certain unusual events and the sudden appearance of a curious case of a ghost in their midst seem to hold the promise of some real adventure. In the pages of The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur rest assured you will soon be whisked off and plunged into a headlong journey of adventure and romance of your own - on a path of discovery of friendship and brotherhood, of life and love – and, who knows, you might even get to encounter the Speaking Ghost itself!
A highly enjoyable and plucky read from the start, there’s a lot to like about The Speaking Ghost Of Rajpur with plenty of forward momentum and a fluid narrative. Dasgupta certainly doesn’t hesitate in its telling as he quickly brings his characters to life. They are quirky, likeable and whilst genuine childhood comradery isn’t easy to capture in words Dasgupta makes it seem effortless. Each of his main characters is wonderfully nuanced with the dialogue between them bringing depth to a backstory that frames the present. It’s compelling and intriguing whilst the co-mingling of paranormal and reality brings a darker element that fuels the imagination. Equally, as important, Dasgupta makes good use of his setting. He places us in the centre of his story and there is a certain elegance to be found in his writing as we follow the obligatory twists and turns that propel us toward a clever and highly satisfying denouement.
Beautifully written, heartwarming and engaging, The Speaking Ghost Of Rajpur is an absolute must read for those who love original coming of age novels. It is recommended without reservation.
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Priyonkar Dasgupta (born 1980) began working as sales personnel in Kolkata (India) and currently runs a business of construction. In addition to writing as a passion he is a trained Bansuri (Indian Flute) player. He also had a brief stint in acting, playing the lead role in the film “Unmourned”, a Documentary based on the Freedom Fighter Basanta Biswas. The film was telecast on the Indian State Television Channel ‘DD National’ on Indian Independence Day 2005 and Republic Day 2006.
About Priyonkar Dasgupta