Title: The Station Master
Author: Indranil Mukherjee
Publication Date: 2018
Genre: Short Stories Based on Memoirs
Purchase Link: Amazon (available as ebook only currently)
I was grateful when first-time author Indranil Mukherjee reached out to me to review his book, “The Station Master”. It is immensely encouraging when new authors are published and I love supporting them. Read on to know whether you should pick a copy of his book “The Station Master” to read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After over 25 years as a software professional, Indranil Mukherjee finally took the plunge to pursue his true passion- writing. He has three books to his name including “Re-Kill” which is a novelette, “The Station Master”, and a novel titled “Off the Pages”, dedicated in part to his idol and favourite author, PG Wodehouse. Each of these is available for sale online and the last two are sold as paperbacks as well.
Indranil can be found at www.indranilmukherjee.com, where he regularly posts updates on life, the universe, and everything.
This book narrates ten incidents from the life of the author’s brother-in-law, who worked in the Indian Railway Services, in the State of Bihar. As the Station Master, he often found himself in various quandaries and peculiar situations, that required presence of mind and nerves of steel, making for interesting stories. Through his illustrious career, the protagonist deftly deals with train accidents, smugglers, abandoned babies and much more.
From the blurb, the title and the classification at the end, the book is presented as a collection of short stories, but it doesn’t read like a work of fiction. Without the use of standard plot developments like climaxes and resolves, the chapters are mere narrations of incidents and not stories. That’s not a bad thing, but I’m making a distinction in order to alert other readers. The book will appeal more to people who enjoy biographical memoirs over fictional tales.
Mukherjee has an impressive vocabulary, but I feel he tends to write long-winded sentences, preferring to use fancy words where simpler ones might be more effective. I hope this beginner’s habit will change with time, as will the length of the stories, replete with commonplace and unnecessary details.
Despite the above shortcomings, I recommend the book for the incidents themselves, which are thoroughly interesting, and enlighten the readers about the workings of a government job that many are unaware of. As long as you don’t expect the juiciness of fiction with flair and well-placed denouement, reading them instead as memoirs, you will enjoy them.
The lead character of Manab Banerjee is the central figure on which the book is based. The readers are offered a glimpse of his personality, such as his uprightness in not accepting bribes, his efficacy as a figure of authority, among others, but his character is not as well-etched as it could have been. Personally, I would’ve preferred the author had cut down on the railway jargon, and explored Manab’s character more.
The right editorial team might have properly addressed each of my suggestions. Having said that, I reiterate that Mukherjee is a talented first-time author, and I commend his work. It is not easy to write a coherent and well-researched book and edit the same to perfection on your own, when the subject is so close to home.
I recommend you buy a copy of Indranil Mukherjee’s “The Station Master” to support a first-time writer, as well as to enjoy a glimpse into the action-packed life of an Indian Railway Station Master which includes smuggling, robberies, accidents et al! It is a fast and easy read and will make for a good distraction on your next train journey, or while you’re stuck at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
I will not rate this book as it is the work of a first-time author.
Buy a copy of Indranil Mukherjee’s “The Station Master” on Amazon (ebook only available currently.
*I’d like to thank Indranil Mukherjee for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. The post is not sponsored, but it contains affiliate links. When you purchase a copy of the book through my link, I earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Please support my blog by purchasing through my link! BEAR IN MIND THAT I AM NOT EARNING FROM AFFILIATE LINKS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN, BUT AFFILIATE EARNINGS WILL RESTART AFTER LOCKDOWN.
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