Saturday 17 September 2011

The Blue Bedspread by Raj Kamal Jha

The Blue Bedspread




Raj Kamal Jha


This book is unique. I’ve certainly never read anything quite like it. Basically, a man’s sister dies. He takes her newly born child home for one night. New parents are to be found the next day. During that night he writes her stories. These are memories of his life, of his sister’s life, through their childhood, adolescence and adulthood in Calcutta The stories are often short fleeting glimpses. They mesmerise the reader. It is a kaleidoscope of thoughts streaming out of the man’s head onto paper. At one point he writes “maybe it’s memory trying to swim to the surface”  - well the waters are turbulent, oft times very murky. Out of sequence, reality and fiction mix, stories disjointed, touched on, left and returned to – the reader is left to make the whole. Some of the stories will make you remember your youth, bring a smile to your face : boy and girl go to the movies and get banned for back row activity! Others will profoundly disturb: the lengths his Princess went to for him and her to be together will stop you in your tracks. If you like your stories linear, then this is not for you. If you like your read to be like looking at an impressionist painting or watching a  dogma movie then this is a book for you.

 ashramblings verdict: If you can read it in one sitting, it is quite magical!  4*


  1. I've often thought about reading this book, but I never got around to it. You've piqued my interest again. Thank you for a lovely review, Sheila!

  2. My pleasure Gaby. Very interested to hear your take on it, please post back a link to your review when you do it.