Mohan Timmaraju’s debut novel (and he is just in his 70s now) Janardhan Talbot has been published recently. I got the opportunity to read this book (volume one) and it made me over joyous – the theme, the plot, the story progress and also the real-life looking protagonist… everything about the book is special and wonderful. I will share my review of Janardhan Talbot in this post. I hope you will get to know about the book in details and also get inspired to read this serious and interesting fiction by Mohan.
Set against the backdrop of the 1857 Indian independence struggle, the novel opens when India was beginning to feel the clutches of the British empire. A guy named Janardhan Rao, from South India, commits a crime in his teens and is advised to escape his hometown and settle at a different place. He meets a guy, just like him in physique and accent of speaking, Jonathan Talbot. They become friends and begin their studies together. When Jonathan tells about his plans to leave for England, Janardhan is excited but he feels that his Indian identity won’t get him too much from the British. However, events turn their direction and Janardhan finds himself in the place of Jonathan – sailing towards England as Jonathan Talbot. How did this happen and why, you will better know by reading the book yourself. As Jonathan, Janardhan explores different dimensions of life as a British citizen and learns about the problems of being an Indian. He also meets different ladies who fall in love with him but none can stay in his life as his heart beats for one Manga.
Major themes in the novel are the rise of Indian repulsion against the British, an Indian’s exploration of the world and England, a young man’s ambition to achieve everything that he could, a call of the motherland… Mohan has managed to keep his novel engaging and indulging. As a reader, I do admire his skills of sketching the love scenes in a very sophisticated manner and also depicting the internal dilemma in the hearts of his characters in almost a real-life way.
I had no issues with the language used in the novel Janardhan Talbot. It is simple and yet standard. You can read and understand at the same time. Moreover, it also gives a flow to the narrative in the third person. The plot has also twists and turning of events that make the novel very interesting even for the younger readers. There is a lot to read and a lot to learn! I am sure the readers of Literature News will like and appreciate this novel by Mohan.
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review by Akhilesh for Literature News
Janardhan Talbot - Book Review
Though it looks a little gothic at the cover, the novel is interesting, exciting and youthful! I will say it’s a page-turner by all means! Do read this novel if you want to taste Indian English fiction in action…