Blurb (from the jacket):
A small band of cats lives in the labyrinthine alleys and ruins of Nizamuddin, an old neighbourhood in Delhi. Miao, the clan elder, a wise, grave Siamese; Katar, a cat loved by his followers and feared by his enemies; Hulo, the great warrior tom; Beraal, the beautiful queen, swift and deadly when challenged; Southpaw, the kitten whose curiosity can always be counted on to get him into trouble… Unfettered and wild, these and the other members of the tribe fear no one, go where they will, and do as they please. Until, one day, a terrified orange-coloured kitten with monsoon green eyes and remarkable powers, lands in their midst—setting off a series of extraordinary events that will change their world forever.
The Wildings is the most imaginative and accomplished debut by an Indian novelist in years.
My take on the book:
My read shelf was growing with more books I had received for reviewing than the book I had read of my choice. So I had to read some book of my choice and feel lucky to have selected this one.
Recently I have come to know of this new Literary Award, just about 4-5 years old, which had a pretty interest story to it. Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. Who is Shakti Bhatt? What is the prize about? Who is running the prize? What is in store for the winner actually!?
I must say, you can't find about the prize on Wiki, as yet. The only place is at this blog...
I was stumped to find out that the prize was given out by Jeet Thayil, the renowned author of Narcopolis. I was further stumped to find out that he was Shakti Bhatt husband! Man, the very moment I had developed a fetish for Shakti Bhatt winners, like previously as for Booker Prize winners, and also pledged to read and review all the books of SBP in the days to follow!
In addition to being the winner of SBP, this book had almost been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize, 2013.
When I first received and held this book in my hand, which that side-view of the evil-grinning cat, there something peculiar about it. I turn over, and the back-cover is awesome, too.
I notice the book is from Aleph Publishers. I don't our blog has much exposure to the books from these publishers. To say least, I have found almost all the book on their catalogue very fascinating. Hope we will get the chance to read and review those books...
Coming back to the book, I opened its cover which had a very artisticly flowered first page. That was a pretty good welcome page. That is when the black covers of the book caught my eye and I thought the book had been defected during the delivery process. As I ruffled through the pages, I couldn't believe my eyes that the book was so full of those black and white illustrations, which were more of artistic value than illustrations. Well, I will assure you that having illustrations, this book is no children's book. Like the old saying going, Everything that is white is not milk.
As I ruffled, even the smell of the new paper was so thick, I was drowning deeper into love with this book.
I read through the book and now I try to form a basic pattern which it follows. I can't tell anything about the story other than that it is about cats. Well, who doesn't love cats? Their cute, little furs. They OCD of licking their paws, cutely, again. Their alertness. The pretty cat-fights, etc, etc. In short everything about them is cute. Even if you hate them, you can't hate a story that is so cutely and frankly spun around them. Even I who am a dog-fiend loved this story so much.
In short, you read this book. You must read this book. There might be few people who might hate this book, yet they have to read this book. Like a praise printed on the front-cover - The Wildings is a beautiful book in every way: beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, and beautifully designed.
Title: The Wildings
Author: Nilanjana Roy (Author), Prabha Mallya (Illustrator)
Series: The Wildings, #1
ISBN (edition I've read): 9789382277484
Read between: 03-04-2014 to 06-04-2014
Publishers: Aleph Publishers
MRP: ₹ 295