Book Review: Circus Folk & Village Freaks by Aparna Sanyal
Published by: Vishwakarma Publications
Genre: Poetry, Fiction
My Rating: 4/5
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.
As mentioned on the cover, this book is an amalgamation of 18 twisted tales written in the form of poetry. I loved the rhyming of the words (which is kind of rare these days).
Let’s start with the cover of the book. It’s such a pretty cover with all those dark shrubs and bright flowers and that butterfly!
Coming to the contents, I loved the content and the way each tale is woven. Each tale is about a different character – a snake-man, siamese twins separated, crocodile man, dart women, and many more. Each of these characters was either abandoned by family or separated or refused to be accepted because of their unruly characters or behavior or features. One has to read this fascinating book of tales to know exactly what I’m talking about. Some might say a few of them were out of the world, but nevertheless, they were all magical.
One thing that truly stands out of me in this book is the writing style that I earlier mentioned. The usage of words is on point – rich, beautiful words (though I accept I had to Google at times!), and such lyrical.
One should definitely add this to their books to read list if you want to experience a thrilled and unusual world via poetry.