Books have always been my sacred sanctuary where I often found refuge from the drudgeries of the sapping lifestyle. Though I started reading young, I was never a ‘Fan” Sort of person who’d drool over some author and would devour all of their novels, rather I was more of a “Whatever I get hands upon, I read it” reader.
Still, the early years marked an everlasting impression on the type of genre I’d be liking in my future years.
So, recently reading the list of authors by a Twitter friend made me think of enumerating my own writers who made me see the world through their eyes.
- Robert Louis Stevenson: Nothing beats a terrific Treasure Hunt to pull a young lad of 10 years into the fantasy world of reading and Treasure Island had all the right gradients. Well, a lot about the book but what enchanted me was the way RL developed the plot and a teen was in the middle of the adventure. The lure of the name was enough for me to pick up his other book “Kidnapped”. He didn’t disappoint the adventure-hungry me. Another one of his novel which earned a cult status is
“The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” is among my favourite and needs a separate article for itself.
So I recommend the author for the young readers who want a perfect launch pad into reading.
2. Enid Blyton: Once again another Children’s writer who wrote so much that she became synonymous with the Genre until Rowling usurped her from the throne. Adventure, camaraderie, and ingenious ways of solving puzzles in an English setup always gave me the feeling that I have settled myself on the English moor in an English summer.
- PG Wodehouse: What will you do if you found yourselves in the shoes of Bertie Wooster with the Mighty Jeeves ( forgive the pun) with your steward. The early version of Siri or Alexa, Jeeves would make you fall for all his demeanour and problem-solving tactics and leave you with sympathy for the Wooster.
If you are a fan of English humour, which might not make you laugh like Gabbar but will enable you to have a slight curve of your lips that will linger on till the very end of the novel or maybe longer. The humour in his writings lies in the situation which unfolds rather than the dialogues. His omnibus of Jeeves and Wooster and Life at blendings are awesome and also his Public school series of novels.
4. J.K. Rowling: Well, what to write about her when the whole world has been enchanted with her works. When I got my hands on her books, I was already in college and had read a lot of classics and English authors to the point, Potter mania hadn’t gripped me. Still, I didn’t want to be left out and hence I started reading her and within 2 days first three were completed.
The way Rowling evolved the story connecting all the dots from Philosopher’s Stone to the deathly hallows was a remarkable feat for the series which was spread over a decade. Though I have not read the spin-offs until now, I have read original books, seven times each, which can show how much I Like the genre.
5. Jeffery Archer: To say as the Veeru says in Sholay, ” Inke novels main story hai Drama hai, emotions hai, romance hai aur twist hai”. And many a times twists are such that one has to read the last line to know the answer.
He knows how to keep readers engage and one thing that makes him my favourite is developing a story with parallel lineups and then merging all of them
His best book for me has been Not a penny more, not a penny less, Ken and Abel, but others like First among Equals, a twist in the tale, red herring and many others are a delight to read.
6. Frederick Forsyth: Well, we all got gaga when Mr Tharoor used “exasperated farrago” in his tweet, this gentleman used the phrase in his novel years back. A master writer of the espionage genre, Forsyth wrote with such a dexterity that would place you in front of a projector and him managing the reel. His ability to create multiple plots simultaneously might let you feel you are reading 3-4 books at a time. Being himself an armed force veteran the researches and tactical strategies described in his novel feel almost real. “The day of the Jackal”, his propellant to the fame has been said to have a perfect plan of the murder of the French President at that time.
7. Robert Ludlum: Though the Bourne Series has won worldwide accolade due to its cinematic adaptation, the novel has much greater elements and is ten times better than the movie. The espionage genre in hands of Ludlum makes an unassuming, simple man take up the task. Research filled novels though the much straighter plot, it was a delight for people who didn’t want to strain themselves Remembering so many things. His legacy, however, was ruined by the Ghostwriters who wrote along with his name and produced tasteless junk.
8. Munshi Premchand: A Hindi writer at last in the list, but let me be clear that the list is unordered and I am writing about whoever comes to my mind. Born as Dhanpat Rai, Munshiji was a writer of masses, such prolific he was in his writings that in a very short life of 56 Years, he published more than 300 short stories, 14 novels, many essays and all these when he managed a loss-making printing press and faced numerous British Sanctions. Munshiji’s stories are mostly set in the rustic environment of the-then India and speak at length about the social evils prevailing at the time. Unlike others he brings you closer to the reality of the land, India was. His unabashed portrayal of love, greed and nationalistic and religious fervour astounds the reader and give them an instant connection with the colourful past we all have.
Godan, rangabhoomi, karmabhoomi, nirmala are few of his novels, and his short stories collection is published under the name Mansarovar and has about 10 volumes.
I should call it a day as this list is going to be longer than I thought. It would be better for me if I divide it into parts.
I hope this list will encourage the new readers to read and indulge in the hobby which is fast receding into oblivion due to the onslaught of newer means of mental gratification.