The Strange Case of Billy Biswas by Arun Joshi

It’s been a day since I finished reading the book. Though I am short of time but I am sitting down to write this review before I come out of the spell cast by this novel. Or maybe I will never come out of this spell for I, myself don’t want the magic to diminish.

This novel was recommended in a reading club and instantly I was drawn to it. There are many books in my ‘to be read’ books but this one did not end up there. I simply ordered it the very same day. I was intrigued by the title, the reviews on Goodreads and certainly drawn towards it.

It is a short novel of 176 pages but the writer manages to lure you into the world of Billy Biswas with his vivid writing and descriptions. Getting hooked to the story is inevitable.

There is a shade of normal and abnormal in each one of us. We suppress the abnormal and continue to live a normal life though we are normal only on the surface. Billy Biswas is just the opposite. He is ready to experiment the abnormal but unfortunately Billy Biswas, the weird anthropologist disappears when we he goes on a field trip to the tribal areas of Chambal.

While his friend Romi, an IAS looks for him in the interiors, the author describes these pristine places with great detail so much so that the reader unknowingly becomes a part of the journey. Together they step into the wilderness, watch the moon rise and bedazzle the treetops. The Chandtola hill takes on many hues as the narrative touches upon the supernatural.

The narrative unfolds in quick succession, afterall the author has written a thin book to narrate the unique story of Billy Biswas. It is hard to predict the pace of the novel and it also makes you traverse into the unknown. It is a thought provoking book. Though it describes the inner tussles of the protagonist, it resonates with your own feelings. Also, the author often talks about the energies in the atmosphere which are hard to define yet difficult to ignore.

This is the first time I have a read a book by the Sahitya Akademi Award Winning Author, Arun Joshi. Needless to say that I’ll be reading more of his books in the near future.



  1. Excellent review. Idea of concealing abnormal and surfacing the normal, a tendency of most humans, is quite fascinating.
    U write very well. Thanks for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s