Title: ‘Soliloquy of a Small-town Uncivil Servant
Author: K. K. Srivastava
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
*NOTE: I am extremely grateful to Rupa Publications for sending me this book. However, this does not at all hinder my honest opinions regarding the book. This is a spoiler-free review. All opinions are solely mine.
‘Soliloquy of a small town uncivil servant’ by K.K. Srivastava does not tell you a full story with the beginning, middle, and end. Instead, it is a collection of parts and anecdotes from the life of the writer.
The book is written in first person and opens the readers’ minds to a wide array of perspectives on various themes of life. Be it literature or the world, the author has brought forth his views on many things. The book cannot be considered as a collection of opinions as what it does is bring into light “an arduous journey into his past”. As the back of the book says, it is a “semi-autobiographical” work.
The book has a gripping beginning. However, the middle started becoming a bit too chaotic. I appreciate the ideas the various incidents bring forth but they could be presented in a clearer way in terms of sentence structuring and the narration in its whole. The book has a very philosophical bend to it and I love the ‘lessons’ we get to learn aided by what the author has to say about the events narrated. I definitely recommend this book to those who are looking for reads that are unique and insightful.
As I said, the beginning is amazingly gripping but I remember losing a bit of interest towards the end. Nevertheless, it is an unforgettable book which makes you question and reflect upon various social constructs.
There are a few grammatical errors in the book but nothing too major. I do like the cover of the book. It has a rustic feel to it- an image of the small city Gorakhpur where the author grew up.
The book is sprinkled with lovely lines and here’s one of my absolute favourites:
“I reflect back, it was my classroom and there was a chair in it, beyond repair. It was like the lot of us, about sixty- we were beyond repair.”
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