The moving shadow review Electrifying Bengali pulp fiction.

This book is pure magic!! I had never enjoyed reading crime and horror stories this much. This book is easily one of my favourite reads of 2018.

It’s an anthology of crime and horror stories written by prolific writers like Satyajit Ray, Premendra Mitra, Muhammad Zafar Iqbal and Gobindolal Bandopadhyay to name a few. The stories are selected and translated by Arunava Sinha.

This book has everything you need to fill in your quota on crime and horror. Corpses who disappear, seductive women (intelligent femme fatale) implacable detectives, betrayal and human desires are beautifully blended in this book. My favourite story has to be ‘The Secret Agent’ by Vikramaditya. The twists and turns in this story are difficult to guess and I was making notes while reading to see if my guess is true or not, but alas, I was proved wrong. The titular story, The moving shadow, packs a punch and I was like, ‘I didn’t see this coming!’

Just like the title, ‘electrifying Bengali pulp fiction’, the stories did have an electric pull on me. I was glued to the book like a moth to a flame. I have lost count of the number of times I have gasped and shouted ‘Oh my god’, which included shouting in public as well, did I tell you that I disrupted a badminton match while reading this one? All of the stories kept me on the edge of my seat and I am so happy I could read this anthology. I finally read a story by Satyajit Ray and now I want to explore his works more. The translation is done with brilliance and never did I once feel that it was missing something. India has such talented authors and now that these clever stories are translated, read this book will you? The cover is so bold! It reminded me of the 70s for some reason!

Thank you Aleph Book co for the review copy. Picture and opinions are my own. You can get a copy of this book for yourself here.

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