Sunday, June 17, 2018

Book Review “Tales of Man Singh, King of Indian Dacoits” by Kenneth Anderson

A lost in thoughts turban wearing dacoit riding through Chambal valley carrying a gun in its cover and a colophon boasting the of Man Singh’s exploits promising to be the complete account of his legends, I decided to take a break from fiction and explore Man Singh through the words of Kenneth Anderson.

Book Blurb
A single man who was pursued by 1,700 policemen of four states for fifteen years! A man who ruled the Chambal ravines and roamed 8,000 square miles, leading the police on a wild goose chase every time they plotted to nab him! Loved by the underprivileged and feared by the rich, he was eventually shot dead when cornered by a company of Gurkhas. Read the thrilling tales of his adventures and the legends of a man who was called ‘Raja’ because of his generosity and large-heartedness.
Overall Verdict:- A could-have-been better one time read

'Tales of Man Singh' is a collection of stories of Dacoit Man Singh which describe some of his exploits, his background and ultimately how he died.

To start, the well written foreword sets a good mood for reading and increases the expectations for what’s to come. The stories themselves are disconnected and there is no specific timeline as to when they are happening. You are able to read from one page to other but it lacks the elements that makes you immerse in the experience.

The book is written in first person perspective. Personally I felt the character of Man Singh could had been better portrayed. The choice of tales are taken from a period once he had been established as the king of dacoits, with the exception of last chapter which deals with how he became a dacoit and how he died. Mostly, he’s shown more a leader/judge than that of a dacoit, who swoops in to give judgement and move aside for someone to execute it. Even though the books title is Man Singh, we find that most of the tales consist of support characters, their background story, wherein Mansingh appears to be their conclusion.  

Personally, I felt that the last chapter could had been introduced earlier. It would had perhaps given a better justification of the fear and respect of Raja Mansingh which the author makes tremendous use of. In comparison of the rest of the book, the last two tales are written well.

My overall rating would be 3/5.

Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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