When I started reading this book, I wasn’t really sure about reaching its last page. I found it tad too slow and something which was going over my head. Hence, I kept the book down, not once but twice. But something about this book was intriguing and one fine day, I thought, I will read this book from cover to cover and I did and I am glad that I did that. A Matter of Rats offers you a fresh perspective to look at a city, that too a city like Patna. Amitava Kumar has focussed on the past, the present and have given the glimpses of future of Patna through his carefully chosen words weaved into an interesting narrative.
This book has almost 150 pages and has summed up a city really well. The prologue, The Rat’s Guide, the prologue is something that you may find a bit disgusting where people eat rats for their survival and consider it as a delicacy. The narrative swiftly moves from the times when Patna was known as Pataliputra to the modern day Patna. The author has focussed on each and every aspect of the city, the goods and the bads about the city. Amitava Kumar has been both very objective and subjective with his insights about Patna. He has no qualms in accepting the fact that he is an outsider to the city now and has been very open about this fact.
Nostalgic anecdotes and stories about people he encounters during visits back to his city, Amitava has poignantly weaved a book which anyone who have its roots in Patna will easily be able relate to. He has vividly painted images through his words that stays with you even after the book finishes. The raw and rustic Patna with its realities is something Amitava has kept intact throughout and after a certain point of time, you just cannot stop turning its pages. Curiosity creeps is and you want to read more, know more about the city which has been overshadowed by politics and other factors.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Aleph Book Company
Genre : Non-Fiction
Price : Rs. 295/-