The Wildings: Reviews, in Junglee

(For The Wildings website, go here; to order a copy, go here.)

Reviewer, hard at work.

What the reviewers say:

(Mostly) Ayes:

“A few pages into Nilanjana Roy’s The Wildings, you’ll wish you had whiskers and could mew. The world as imagined by Roy in this remarkable debut is filled with marvels, not the least of which is the feline social media network which makes Twitter look witheringly banal. Roy is a cat-, cheel-, mouse- and mongoose-whisperer and this is the animals’ story, unhampered by human interference.”

Deepanjana Pal (@dpanjana) in DNA India, August 26, 2012

(Read the whole thing)

“This is a warm, imaginative and well-paced book. It is superbly produced too, with Prabha Mallya’s lovely illustrations sharing page-space with text, or even (as with two small butterflies watched by an enthralled Mara, or a swooping cheel with his wings spread out) weaving amidst the words. Both writing and drawings pay tender attention to the many elements of the natural world. Though the cats are the main characters, many other creatures move in and out of the narrative: three zoo tigers and a langur whom Mara befriends during her virtual wanderings; a stately mongoose who speaks the generic tongue Junglee, which all animals can understand; an Alsatian pup mistreated by his human owners; warblers and squirrels, bats and mice.”

Jai Arjun Singh (@jaiarjun), Tehelka, August 2012

(Read the whole thing)

“Roy’s style has the even, unfaltering omniscience of a master narrator with a deliberately underscored presence, and the book should appeal equally to adults, older children, and readers of fantasy and adventure and well as the category known as literary fiction. Shining through, however, is her wonderment at her subjects, a wonderment lovingly conveyed in the way they are etched. The Wildings is above all a love paean to cats; that it also happens to be a marvelously-spun novel that could well become a classic in its own time is almost secondary.”

Sharanya Mannivannan, Sunday Guardian, September 3, 2012

(Read the whole thing)

“The book weaves a fast-moving plot. Like all good literature, its scope is universal, an allegory that explores hunger, survival, parenting and freedom. This world will remain invisible to readers unless they tap into their noble inner cattiness—a big ask for some adults. It is also possible that some nuances of the tale may elude younger readers. But Roy’s achievement is intense. She has looked so carefully at the feline world, at the way they wash and move and speak, that the reader’s idea of cats will be altered forever. More importantly, The Wildings is the creation of a fully formed imaginative world that carries great allegorical resonance. Roy is, in essence, a moralist.”

Divya Guha, Open Magazine, September 2012

(Read the whole thing)

“If a debut novel can be equated with a cat’s first kill, The Wildings is as perfect a strike as Mara’s. Gripping, humorous and truly immersive, it is well worth a sequel.”

Saibal Chatterjee, Sunday Indian, August 2012

(Read the whole thing)

Nays:

“Journalist Nilanjana Roy sets herself a tough task in her debut novel The Wildings, which starts out to be a grownup book about animals, with splashes of heroic fantasy, traces of sci-fi, and yet an adventure for all ages… [Prabha Mallya's] gorgeous pictures provide tantalising suggestions of what a different book this could have been, perhaps with reduced text and a co-authorship for the illustrator.”

Angshuman Chakravarty, Time Out, August 2012

(Read the whole thing)

Bloglove: (from, most appropriately, a Manxcat)

Somehow, I knew that Beraal was going to make an impact on me. A feisty young queen, she oozed charm, grandeur and strength. And tis a cat we talk about! Wildly engaging and foxy, “The Wildings” by Nilanjana Roy. She’s named the book rightly so and has created a band of characters with such mystique, you immediately become attached.

(Read the whole thing)

Fancy That Manxcat, August 2012)

Parodies:

The kitten took a big breath. “It is my Bigfoot — she’s called Nilanjana, by the way,” she finally said, “I heard her say she is writing about us in a book.” “Impossible,” Beraal spat, “you must stop it immediately. Your Bigfoot once wrote a column – that is something they post because they can’t speak Junglee,” she explained to Southpaw – “that led to other Bigfeet messing about our affairs for weeks. No,” she hissed, arching her back “it must be stopped.”
Qawwali turned to address the cats, “I heard it on the Junglee web that the last time a Bigfoot called J K Rowling wrote about our kind, it caused so much interest in the animal kingdom that the unicorns went into hiding and haven’t been seen since.”

Kishore Singh, The Business Standard, August 29, 2012

(Read the whole thing)

One comment

  1. Malavika Karlekar · · Reply

    Enjoyed reading others’ responses to a recent addition to my `favourites’ list; however, hope some oldies review it too!

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