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Death of Sarat Rout by Ashok Nanda – a deep, engrossing read – Book Review.

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  • Post last modified:May 27, 2024
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Author: Ashok Nanda
Publisher: Notion Press

Writing Style


A deep, powerful read with a gripping narrative and brilliant characters.



‘The thicker the haze, the louder the voices’

If I had to describe this book in a sentence, it would be a rich, immersing book that takes us on a rollercoaster ride.

Set in 1960 with a vibrant backdrop of villages in Eastern India, Death of Sarat Rout by Ashok is a deep, engrossing read that takes us back to the time when Brahmin communities were considered powerful, where there were whispers of all the secrets when traditions were kept on the top when we feared god and breaking the rituals. In this book, we get a sneak peek of rural life, mystical beliefs and ancient rituals along with various temples and their importance, the rituals each temple has. Through the eyes of Pahali, we learn about the death of Sarat Rout which created tension in the village. How it happened, when it happened, whom to ask? There were many questions but no one dared to ask. Curious Pahali observed the happenings in the village and all he could do it see and understand.

With a rich, gripping narrative and an intense, intriguing plot, this book is no less than a rollercoaster ride. With Pahali we see life in a village which is difficult and good at the same time. The mystical beliefs they have are interesting to read. With each chapter, we learn about the people in the village and how each of them has their take on the death of Sarat Rout. Here we see the importance of the Brahmin community.

Ashok’s writing style is immersing and captivating keeping the readers invested in. With Pahali’s observations, Ashok makes the readers curious about the sequence of events and what can happen next as they observe village elders exposing hidden contradictions and cultural suppression.

It has ghosts and superstitions, birth and death customs, temples and their importance, family and their worries, it has it all. It’s a bit slow-paced story with too many details which readers may find a bit heavy but Pahali’s curiosity keeps readers going. The characters are well-developed by the author, each of them with a different, determined personality making space in the hearts of the readers.

The climax of the story is intense and dramatic making it a perfect end for the readers as it reveals many things about the death of Sarat Rout. The part I enjoyed the most. Ashok Nanda paints a perfect picture of life in the village where power, caste, money and customs matter the most. He portrays the emotions well.

A deep, powerful read with a gripping narrative and brilliant characters.

Also Read: A heartwarming read – Tales of Tender Moments by Ishita Tavadia – Book Review

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