These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape

by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm

Read this in about 4 minutes
Samsa woke up from sleep one day and found himself to be turned into an eight-legged bug. The novella by Fraz Kafka began a sensation. Then began multiple retellings of the same story. But I haven't read anyone like 'Home Coleoptera' inspired by 'The Metamorphosis'. 
'These circuses that sweep through the landscape is a beautiful collection of short stories that show us the extraordinary in life. All comprising of beautiful endings this one is a good book in he said genre. 

Cover page 

The cover page comprises of illustrations taken out of different stories in the book. The illustrations compliment the stories inside. The simple composition is subtle relevant graphic. The white cover just says what the book is. A simple writing with the complications of a circus. 
I liked the cover. It is a book I am glad to have received a physical copy of. 

Characters 

The stories consist of very distinct characters. They are interesting to read about. 
Mr Ghosh had won most of his prized possessions in contests. 'When it came to contests, he had the willpower of a bull.' Early on in life, he realised that all he had to do, once he had filled the form and cut along the dotted line, was send he entry and then simply will the prizes his way.' He believes he can achieve anything if he wills it. It does not exclude his wife either. 
There is a woman who is obsessed with shopping. So much so that she gets stuck in a shopping mall only to find her way out of the mall after months together! 
Diana is in love with a musician who is dead. No, she is not a fan, she is really in love with the dead musician. 
There are other brilliant characters in the book. One can read the book just for the stories of these characters but there is so much more to the book! 

Content 

The collection consists of some whimsical and some realistic stories. Some dark with funny bits and some complicated ones, this book is a cocktail of great stories. Extraordinary heady cocktail. These stories are out of ordinary just with their subject.
The author writes about a man who can win any contest with his will power. He tried to turn his wife into a bug just so that he can teach her a lesson. 'Homo Coleoptera' is inspired from 'The Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka but a lot different from it. 
In 'Cotton', a woman on her birthday decides to bake herself a cake and in the process realized that she is made up of cotton. 
In 'Sandalwood', a housewife is asked by husband to leave their family because he just realized that he is gay and he would like to spend the rest of his life with the gay partner. The children do no want to give up the comfort of their large house and decide to live with their dad. The psychology of the woman is explored in the story with again a great ending. 
'Drinks at seven' and 'These circuses that sweep through the landscape' are also well-written stories with surprising ends. There are several others worth reading.

Language 

The author is an amazing storyteller. The style of writing is extraordinary. The concept is interesting and it is carried out well in the narration. The story flows smooth like honey. The pace is viscous. 

Good points 

The cover page is subtle yet memorable. The characters are one of their own kind. The stories inside are beautiful. They are meant to read and reread and relish from time to time. He narration takes the cake away. The author has a way with words. 

Bad points 

Some stories were better than a couple of others. But as is always the case in a collection, I do not hold it against the author. 

Overall 

It is the first and a wonderful collection of short stories that I have read this year. A great beginning for the genre. 

Whom do I recommend this to 

This book is for those who like short whimsical tales. Those who like out of ordinary endings are going to like this one too. 

Quotable quotes 

One evening, after dinner, he decided he would do it. He would use the full night of his willpower to shrink his wife. She would be his in every way. 
I'm in love with Dean Martin, I repeat. I am not a crazy fan, do you hear? I do not live in a room plastered with his posters. I love him. Now can we drop the subject of men forever? 
The things you hear about nowadays, all this new-fangled technology is beyond me, I tell you. In another twenty years we'll be flying around our houses, not walking. Human ingenuity is a remarkable thing, really. 
I laughed. Laughter came easily to me that morning. Looking back, I think in some weird way it felt like foreplay.
I received this book from the publicity team in exchange for an honest review. Opinions here are my own, completely uninfluenced.  

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com