Skip to main content

Book Review: My Father Drank My Lover and Other Stories by Ashok Banker

A collection of stories that are edgy; stories that might make you uncomfortable but nonetheless will inspire awe in you. For My Father Drank My Lover and Other Stories the author has found inspiration from mythology to the common traits of the citizenry world over; the stories are as interesting as they are shocking.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Father Drank My Lover and Other Stories comes from the pen of the journalist turned author Ashok Banker. He is the man behind the Ramayana series which some people would say laid the 
foundation stone for the country's biggest segment of fiction right now- mythological retellings. 

Coming back to the book, My Father Drank My Lover and Other Stories has 11 stories in it. The book has been published by Pan Macmillan India where these stories have been compiled for the first time (says the back cover. Also I have not come across the stories individually before this)

The book has 11 stories whose inspiration ranges from Indian mythology to the concept of parallel universes as well as life in outer space. The writing is fluid and almost all the stories are woven with extreme care and strong imagination. 

While I found some of the stories like Blood Mangoes where a certain Goddess extracts her pound of flesh in a sinister way- shocking; there are others like the Six-Gun Vixen and the Dead Coon Trash Gang written in the traditional style of ol' time westerners The Quiltbag about a bag that consumes evil worlds highly amusing and entertaining.

Actually shock and awe were two emotions that I constantly felt while reading the book. A story that will probably always stand out in my memory is the one titled Tongue. When I started reading the story I could not comprehend much. I must mention here that I am not a major sci-fi lover, [Horror is another genre that I maintain a safe distance from.] so it took me time to get used to the parlance and other nuances of sci-fi. Tongue is probably the shortest story in the book and as I neared its end I was blown away by the depth of this one story. This is a story that takes place in almost every second household in India. This story dealt with dowry, domestic violence, the (wrong kind of) values we teach our girls and the training we provide them in the name of being a good wife. This story struck a deep chord with me as did another one called The Fisher Queen about a man and his faith and what it brings to him.

All in all I could barely put down the book without finishing it up. My initial reaction to the length of the stories or number of pages each story takes up was that they run longer than what would ideally be a short story but as I read on I realised that it was a useless bias to hold against any story at all.

The stories in the book are varied and man are they meaty! If you share a special love for the short story you will like most of the book. These stories will for sure jostle you out from your comfort zone and leave you asking for more.

*********************************

Title: My Father Drank My Lover and Other Stories
Author: Ashok Banker
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Sci-fi, Short story, Fantasy
Paperback: 326 pages 
Price: Rs 399
Publisher: Pan Macmillan India
Language: English
My Rating: 4/5

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A case for non-fiction or better understanding of kidlit

If you are a parent there are more chances than one that YOU have handed your child a book to read. Or you have chosen to bring home the books that you think that she might like to read. If any of these hold true then we are almost alike and no this is not an article that tells you how wrong you have been all along in bringing your child the books that you choose. This is just a few of my thoughts on this very subject
that I gathered today morning as I wrote an Instagram post.

Let me begin at the beginning.
Today my soon to be 4, son sat down with a book and was at it for good 10-15 minutes. No, it wsn't a tome. It wa a small picture book on trucks. My friend gifted him this book on trucks on his first birthday. The chap was fascinated with it from the moment he got it. You could flip pages and see bright pictures of different types of trucks and then you could open little sliding screens to find out men in uniform who drove a certain kind of truck.

Unsurprisingly his first words …

Reusable cotton pads: My first experience

I had been trying to bring changes for a sustainable living for a while now and using reusable cotton pads for Aunt Flo's monthly visits was an idea that appealed massively to my senses. After searching here and there I found a Kolkata based manufacturer- Shomota- who were also involving women from underprivileged background in manufacturing these pads as well as sharing the profit from sales to make these pads available to girls and women in interiors of West Bengal. BONUS point- I have also come to realise that sustainability is more efficient and worthwhile if you choose local. Also the fact that we are dumping non biodegradable waste on the planet and that is equal to some sort of violence in my head and I have been brought up on the beliefs laid by the Arya Samaj movement, I needed a better option than the mass marketed sanitary pads. I looked and examined a few option that I realised were available to me before making up my mind on the reusable cloth pad.

Why I chose cloth p…

Of new resolutions and newer authors

The year has started on the right note. I have already read two authors whom I had not read before falling hard for the one being hailed as Japanese Steig Larrson- Keigo Hagashino.
That is what got me thinking about new year resolutions  (I know we are done with the first quarter) which I haven't made in years. So here is a list of authors that I would like to sample this year.
-
1. Manu Joseph
2. Pico Iyer
3. Anthony Horowitz
4. Margret Atwood
5. Toni Morrison
6. Chimamanda Adichie
7. Jo Nesbo
8. Neil Gaiman
9. Terry Pratchett 10. Alice Munro
But I also realise the futility of making a list like this as there are just so many authors, poets, writers and just so many works coming to fore everyday. A book group might help, you would think but let me tell you that it complicates things further. New recommendations, fantastic and not so fantastic reviews, pictures, blog posts and what not really makes matter well,complicated.
All said and done, it is but human to try and so I shall …