Book Title: The Baptism of Tony Calangute
Author: Sudeep Chakravarti
Total Number of Pages: 208
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Publication Date: 20 April 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
The Baptism of Tony Calangute tells the story of Tony Calangute, the owner of Happy Bar, and his fiery cousin Dino Dantas, self-appointed guardian of Aparanta, the mythic, idyllic Goa of old. Their tale begins in the sleepy seaside village of Socorro Do Mundo, where time holds little meaning. For some time now, the world and several of Aparanta’s own have been engaged in a feeding frenzy on the natural treasures of this land of plenty. Chief among the poison-mongers is Winston Almeida, supreme thug, land shark and political aspirant, who will stop at nothing to appropriate and plunder all that this creaky, corrupt paradise has to offer. For this he has allied with Sergei Yurlov, a Russian drug lord; the Princess, a tantalizing Brazilian transsexual go-between; and PI Fernandes, her Goan policeman lover—and their alliance is blessed by Number One, the political overlord of Aparanta. Standing up to them are Tony and Dino, who are determined as ever to preserve what they can of their homeland. In prose that is partly lyrical, part brutal satire, yet always passionate Sudeep Chakravarti evokes the essence of a paradise on the verge of losing its soul.
REVIEWED BY SOHINEE DEY
‘The Baptism of Tony Calangute’ was my first book from Sudeep Chakravarti. His previous non-fiction ‘The Bengalis: A Portrait of A Community’ was well-received by the readers and is now a bestseller. There’s something about the writing style of this author that kept me hooked to the book. His prose is lyrical, a hint of satire with a smooth flow of words and not to forget, the amusing characters.
The blurb does give an idea as to what is this book all about. It’s like a teaser, where the author leaves enough information and leaves you wanting to read the book and find out rest of the story. The black and white minimalistic cover goes well with the story and also the storyline for it sets the mood of the book.
At the heart of the plotline is Tony Calangute, the good guy and the owner of Happy Bar and his cousin brother Dinos Dantas. The book is set in a village called Succoro Do Mundo. Tony and Dinos cares about the place they live in and wants to keep it safe from the villains that flocks in and out of their land Aparanta, now known as Goa.
After Chakravarti’s writing style, the next most interesting part of the book was the language that he has used. Goan English and the supposed colloquial slangs and phrases has been used to make the narration much more interesting. Some phrases were fun to read while others made less to no sense since I am not used to Goan English and haven’t researched much either.
There are so many factors working in this book that it is hard to talk about all of them at once. A reader would know all these factors once he/she is faced with the storyline. There are many sub-plots and many characters which helps in the progress of the story.
‘The Baptism of Tony Calangute’ makes for a fun read and at the same time explores some of the sad moments that comes into play while trying to protect one’s land.
I would definitely recommend this book to every reader out there.
POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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