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Book Review: Circus Folk And Village Freaks by Aparna Upadhyaya

Book Title: Circus Folk and Village Freaks

Author:  Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal

Format/Language: Hardcover/English

Publisher: Vishwakarma Publications; 1 edition (20 September 2018)

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Book Blurb: Circus Folk And Village Freaks

Sanyal explores the absurd and the bizarre with witty undertones through tales of transmogrification of men to monsters, animals to women, speaking truths of various lives and their travesties. A texture of swift worldly-wisdom underscores the focus on freaks, but often leaves an invisible message of a reverse lens on the rest of the world. ~Rochelle Potkar, Poet and Author of ‘Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Tales’

Aparna Sanyal Upadhyaya is one of those rare people who are just as funny on the page and in a poem as they are in person. I laughed aloud many times reading about the shenanigans in these charming and quirky twisted tales. – Chandrahas Chaudhary, Author of Arzee the Dwarf and Clouds

Meet the beautiful people of the Circus, and the freaks who live in the Village next to them. Mangled, jangled, misunderstood, all find a 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, 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.

Book Review: Circus Folk And Village Freaks

Writing poetry is an art within the art of literature. Many aspire but a few accomplish what is known as success in writing poetry. There are many layers to writing poetry. Many types and many permutations and combinations. Poetry creates an image with as fewer words as possible. This image is a projection of what the author is trying to convey by his words.

For example, in the poem, “The Bazaars of Hyderabad” the author paints a picture of the bazaar that has become the place of social gathering for many people. In the Poetry Compilation, “Circus Folk and Village Freaks”, author Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal paints beautiful images of our society. Her words paint an image of the society I never thought existed. Her thoughts and ideas make it wonderful to read poetry.

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I am not much of a poetry reader but this book is something of a must-read. For poetry readers out there, this may not seem special, don’t judge a book by its cover. The part of the fun in reading poetry is deciphering the hidden meaning like a treasure map. Deeper the meaning, more fun it becomes to read.

Author Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal hits the nail on the head as she writes some of the best modern poetries I have ever read. Some of the poems are so well written, it opens up new imagery to what we see every day.

I don’t want to give any spoilers but I do have to say one thing, a few poems may not catch your attention, but Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal makes up for it with some other poems in this compilation. The poems are either above average, or good. None of the poems are bad. I only wished for a little more depth in the overall poetry writing.


3.5 out of 5

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Have you read Circus Folk and Village Freaks? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments.

Until then, Happy reading!

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Book Review: Circus Folk And Village Freaks by Aparna Upadhyaya


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