Book Review – Land Where I Flee by Prajwal Parajuly

Finally, I’ve completed Prajwal Parajuly Daju’s book. Okay, so here goes the review.

I am totally amazed by the writing style. Brilliant is the only word that comes to mind. The manner in which he constructs sentences is admirable – magnificent. No wonder he used to teach creative writing lessons abroad. Its such a unique style that you can only applaud, not emulate. He plays with words so wonderfully.

However, I must say that his language borders towards flowery in many places – like showing off your vocabulary. But the impeccable writing style somewhat compensates for the unnecessary usage of big words. I know, comment on flowery language coming from someone who has done the same in his debut book is not warranted, but I’ve learned my lesson now, so maybe its justified.

The setting and plot is unique. The characters are peculiar, and sometimes I felt too screwed up. It might be possible, but for everyone to be psychos like that in a single family is a bit too far fetched in real life, I think. I felt Bhagwati was the only one for whom I felt for a bit, but the heinous thing she does in the end spoiled it. The ending is decent but still not satisfactory. Prajwal Daju could have done a better job. Yet, the few surprises were good. Agastya’s behavior after meeting the girl was kind of sick though.

I didn’t like the usage of Nepali words, especially in dialogues without explanation of its meaning. At least it should be explained once. If the novel is solely meant for Nepali’s, then it’s okay, but other readers will never understand those words, and thus, the dialogues (sometimes, maybe, from the context they might be able to guess, but not always). Also, the usage of foul words so many times (especially by Prasanti – the Nepali word for buttocks and men’s pissing pipe) truly disgusted me. Perhaps, it’s because of my nature, but I still feel it was cheap to use such words in an international novel.

Ruthwa urinating in the basin was another nauseating scene which could have easily been avoided. One thing is undeniable; this novel should be rated ‘A – Adult’. There are so many sexual references and lewd jokes that children, or even early teenagers, should be kept far away from it.

One more thing that I wish to say is this novel lacked emotional depth. Not one of the scenes moved me. The jokes were forced, too. You smile at the witty writing sometimes, but there are no laugh-out-loud moments anywhere. The writing style amazed me, but I never felt deep emotion (happiness, sadness) anywhere. However, I did feel irritated occasionally because of the vile nature of most of the characters.

On the other hand, the characterization was superb. Despite none of them being likable, they were well etched out (good back stories). Everyone was given closure. Me, being a Nepali, loved the Nepali flavor of the novel. In short, this novel already is critically acclaimed and loved by Nepali speaking people throughout the world which is very natural. I just feel Prajwal Daju should create a next novel which international people will be able to understand without difficulty.

3.9 stars from a debut author to my accomplished and supremely talented senior hailing from the beautiful town of Gangtok, Sikkim and also from the same school – Tashi Namgyal Academy.


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