The Short story genre is as old as language itself and has always enthralled readers. Be it the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, Anton Chekhov, Tolstoy, Somerset Maugham, Guy De Maupassant , Saki , the twist- in- the tale stories of O’ Henry or the short, succinct, crisp stories of Ernest Hemingway, stories of different hues have been engaging readers’ attention and offering them literary feast since times immemorial .
The very first thing that the readers find arresting about the book, ‘Bring Out The Tall Tales’, by Santosh Bakaya and Avijit Sarkar is its very aesthetically designed cover, which reminds us of the cartoons of the celebrated illustrators, Mario Miranda, and multi-talented Avijit Sarkar-the co-author.
The book is divided into two sections, the first section has sixteen eclectic stories — spooky, surreal, humorous and romantic — by Santosh Bakaya, and the second section has 13 exclusively humorous stories penned by Avijit Sarkar. Each story is intriguing, and different from the other. Some of them in first segment are absolutely riveting, like ‘When Night fell’. They are full of suspense making the readers sit on the edge of their seat, waiting for the mystery to unravel.
The four humorous stories by Santosh Bakaya really tickle the funnybone. In ‘In the Forest of the Night’, she has very convincingly dealt with the inane chatter that invariably takes place at any site where a mishap — big or small — has occurred. ‘At the Railway Crossing’, ‘No Hanky Panky’ and ‘Dacoits All’, also manage to raise quite a few giggles and grins, making the reader marvel at the deft usage of words, rich vocabulary and sudden turn of phrase.
Writing about humour is a serious business and the humorous stories created by Avijit Sarkar in the second section are very incisive and witty. His tongue-in-cheek humour is infectious and is bound to leave the readers with an unending smile.
‘The Urn’, a dark comedy, is a delectably written story, replete with skilful usage of homonyms and puns to make the reader burst out into giggles. Peopled with some absolutely funny characters, all the stories are sprinkled with rib-tickling dialogues which have the potential of leaving smiles on the readers’ lips.
Through his stories Sarkar also taken digs at the social media, art, and social etiquette. His ‘An Abstract Afternoon’ is an absolutely hilarious piece, Wodehousean in impact. Both authors have dealt with the five characteristics of short stories remarkably well; the characters have been very consummately delineated, the setting, plot, themes and conflict very subtly handled. The illustrations have been impeccably done and add to the overall impact.
Book: Bring Out The Tall Tales
Author: Santosh Bakaya and Avijit Sarkar
Publisher: Authors Press
Pages: 286; Price: Rs 400