Rishabh Bhatnagar’s novel The Great Indian Bust has been in the buzz recently. A Kindle edition of a novel written by a mostly unknown novelist is selling in good numbers and readers are also offering their feedback on the platform from where they buy it. Isn’t it a reason enough that we take a look at the novel and offer our review? The Great Indian Bust is subtitled ‘A Coming of Age Fiction’ and it, in a way, gives away the master key to the readers – can you guess what might be inside? Well, let me share my opinion about this trending novel with all of you.
Is a plot necessary to make a novel interesting? Well, many readers may think yes and some readers might just be happy without a good plot as well. In this novel, Rishabh Bhatnagar has seldom tried to create a plot that actually binds the episodes together and offers a complete view. He just keeps sharing what he felt as a child and then as a teenager. The episodes are sometimes connected and most of the times random and I kind of liked it. It was like an experience of reading that I never did have in the recent past because I have been reading novels that are ‘too organised’ at times and lacks the episodes which might look humanly possible…. and so, The Great Indian Bust is a novel with a plot that could easily give space to any reader’s aspirations to be a part of the novel rather than being an outsider (reader).
The same stands with the theme as well. Generally, we find a theme that appears in the piece of fiction being read as a refrain and constantly peeps from the text to remind the readers what is the agenda of the novel. In the case of The Great Indian Bust, there is seldom an agenda! The novelist has tried to highlight several things, although. However, Rishabh has succeeded at times only. All the other time, you will be feeling like reading a monologue (which it is) in which the protagonist keeps speaking on his behalf and defending himself from any situation that arises. Otherwise, a reader can find aspirations of a growing child and then hopelessness of a teenager in the society as the major issues that appear at times in the novel.
The good things about this experimental novel are the language used and the narrative that it creates. Rishabh Bhatnagar has never gone, in this novel, for a language that is fancy or elite. he has kept things simple and within the reach of casual young readers (his target audience). And thus, there is a communication that takes place (and lacks in most of the modern novels by big names in the industry). The story of Sidhartha Sharma might not excite the readers as a story of any of the celebrities. Sidhartha’s life is simple, a common youth’s life. It might not excite but it will relate and it will evoke memories…
My Final Rating:
I would rate this novel 3.4 out of 5 stars. I liked the attempt of creating something new that doesn’t follow the tail of contemporary Indian fiction. The author, in fact, has dared! The Great Indian Bust will certainly attract the readers. You can get a Kindle copy of the novel from Amazon India. To buy a copy, click the link below:
review by Shubham for Featured Books Blog