Book Review - The Yorkshire Biryani
The Yorkshire Biryani, by Vikram Venkataraghavan
The Yorkshire Biryani is a story of 2 English brothers Greg and Harry, living in England with their family of 5, set up in an alternate reality where Hindustan/ India ruled Britain. Margaret and Steve are the parents, who constantly wound up in fights; Daphne is the baby sister of the house; Greg is the oldest of the siblings, but a rebel at home and a kushti / wrestling enthusiast, who later goes on to become a famous Hindustani / Indian actor. Harry is the more responsible one at home, but his life gets messy when he falls in love with a Muslim devout girl, and escapes to Hindustan / India abandoning his girlfriend back home.
The idea of India being the ruler as opposed to being ruled seemed unique and promising. Imagine Chhatrapati Shivaji ruling England! What I liked was that the author gives you a gist of everything before the story even begins and even a peak into the world of alternate reality at the very end, which is very wise because it paints a better picture in your mind. However, I feel the history timeline and the world of Yorkshire biryani should have been placed at the start. The beginning of the book was interesting and sometimes amusing, I don't know if that was the intention of the author or not, but irrespective, it was very light and entertaining. It takes a while for the story to really progress, but once it gets there it takes off at a good pace. It has some dramatic twists, which picks up the story, like for instance, after an unfortunate incident with Steve, Greg goes on a journey to India, to find answers for his father. Meanwhile, the prim-and-proper Harry’s life takes an unknown route, redefining his whole life and personality. The ending surprised me; it is unique as well as emotional.
A few things which I didn’t like or grasp, were that the story of both the brothers didn’t seem to go in a proper timeline, which was a little puzzling, and because of that some parts seemed distorted. Another thing that I didn’t understand was the occasional use of words and phrases (with proper translations) in 2 different Indian languages in some parts, but eventually realized that the story demanded it. You can also refer to his guide on the world of Yorkshire biryani at the very end, in case you get muddled like me. It adds a character to the story and the book in general. And lastly I wish some parts, for example, Harry’s travel quest around India, weren't as elongated as they were.
I would suggest you read the alternate history timeline and the world of Yorkshire biryani first, before reading the rest of the story. Other than a few things I mentioned, as a whole the story, the notion and the writing were entertaining, and I congratulate the author for his great work and efforts.
Vikram Venkataraghavan is an Indian writer, whose ideas are crafted in his dreams, then intensively researched and advanced into a story; born in Chennai (India), living in Tokyo (Japan), he is pursuing a career in Digital Animation. The Yorkshire Biryani is his first e-book.
Price Rs. 66 (E-copy received from Author)
Format Kindle edition
Rating ✮✮✮ (3 Stars)
Love & Peace