Book Reviews

Andaman | Ratnadip Acharya | Book Review

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Aksora Publications LLP; First edition (12 January 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Perfect Paperback ‏ : ‎ 441 pages

Book Review

Andaman & Nicobar Islands is primarily famous for its scenic beauty. However, it is also home to the infamous The Cellular Jail, a colonial prison. It has been described as a hell on earth and rightly so. The treatment meted out to prisoners is gruesome.

Andaman by Ratnadip Acharya captures the lives of political prisoners in the early 20th century. The book spans more than 100 years and runs parallelly between 1911 CE and 2004 CE. While the first timeline has an imprisoned priest describing the horrors of living in the jail, the second one shows a young boy (whose name is Andaman) who loses his family to Tsunami and is rescued by a man, Paritosh.

Thereafter, the story unfolds at its own pace and shows how the two timelines converge in the end to make sense.

The title of the story gives an impression that it is solely about the island but well, that’s not so. It has more meaning to it that definitely impressed me. It wouldn’t be an overstatement if I say that Andaman has a very refreshing storyline. I have never read about the cellular jail and so, this book has opened me to some interesting facts from History. It is based on true events and that goes on to lend authenticity to the plot.

It travels from Andaman to Bengal to the forests of Jarawa tribes and more. The vivid storytelling creates a strong impact on the readers. While the language is simple, the interplay between history and contemporary brings us an intriguing story to read and educate ourselves.

At some 450 odd pages, the author has done a wonderful job at researching and executing the story. Each detail is finely covered and the coherence of events is good. However, I did feel that it needed editing to omit some typographical errors and polish the overall narrative. I was not much convinced with the end either. I felt it could have been executed in a better way.

If you are willing to read historical fiction, do check out this one!

Purchase your copy here

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