The Adventures of Feluda - The Criminals of Kathmandu
Author: 
Satyajit Ray
age group: 
12+ yrs
Number of pages: 
89
Publisher: 
Puffin
ISBN: 
978-0-14-333572-6
Price: 
₹99.00
Themes:
Kathmandu detective adventure
Genre:
realistic fiction, mystery

The irrepressible Bengali detective Feluda is back with an action packed adventure. When a client approaches them to solve the puzzle of a mysterious impersonator, Feluda’s enquiries embroil him in a murder investigation where the client himself is the main suspect! Since all clues point to foreign climes, the detective sets off for exotic Kathmandu accompanied by his faithful chronicler, Topshe and author, Jatayu. In Kathmandu, the threesome find themselves dogged by suspense and ambush at every turn. A winning streak at the casino and Jatayu’s LSD induced hilarious misadventure make for a night that none of the trio will soon forget. Who is behind these vicious attacks? Is the murder merely a symptom of much bigger malice that plagues Kathmandu? Do the criminals of Kathmandu hold the key to the mystery or is there a more sinister, familiar force at play?

This book was written at a time when it was politically correct to write about a detective who smoked Charminars (a type of cigarette), when Kathmandu was a sought after ‘foreign’ country and a haven for hippies who roamed around in a drug induced haze. For adults, this book is a nostalgic trip to a simpler time. For the young reader, it’s an introduction to multi-talented Satyajit Ray’s writings, maybe for the first time. Gopa Majumdar has done a commendable job with the translation where much of the original text and humour shines through. One would imagine however, that reading this book in Bengali would give it that added energy and flavour that only the subtle nuances of the original language brings to the narrative. That this book continues to appeal to today’s young reader is proof of the enduring charm of Ray’s Feluda.

This book is a wonderful mystery book but has passing references to the drug LSD and of course, Feluda smokes. If as a parent you are particular about these references as inappropriate for children, stay away from the book. If you can get past that, then the roller coaster pace of the book makes for a fantastic adventure read.

Reviewed by Priya Bhasker