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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book Review : ‘The Amazing Racist' by Chhimi Tenduf-La



When I began writing the  review of 'The Amazing Racist', I was at a loss for words. Not because I had judged the book, but because I could not stop laughing. But then, you must be wondering whether I was laughing because it was that funny or because it was that bad (Because I am like that).

Okay, now for the review. Eddie Trusted is the main lead. A bemused school teacher, who has just moved to Sri Lanka from England to teach at an international school. Second lead is Thilak Rupasinghe, the strict would-be father-in-law, who decides to walk in and rip the reader apart. (I only meant with 'laughter', what did you think?) A top lawyer, counsel to the former President, he tends to be a dominating dude, yet you cannot miss his softness towards his daughter and definitely ‘anti-white’ man, by the way. So, that’s where you ‘think’ Eddie’s out.  The third lead is Thilak’s daughter Menaka, giving us the spice, which we would need through the book, wait till you read it! 

Then of course, there is Menaka’s brother, and also her cousin Gayan. And Jimmy Walsh, the Keanu Reeves look alike, who is Eddie’s boss. They are a mess, the characters are, but this would not be half as interesting as it is, without them.

Hero loves heroine, wants to marry her. Faces opposition from soon to be father-in-law. But heroine is steadfast. The reluctant hero is very taken in, due to heroine’s beauty, and reluctantly pushes forward. Heroine’s father, Uncle Thilak agrees, though with a lot of hesitation. The hero's parents come to SL, and we get to see a wonderful wedding.

War plays a part as with its end, the hero and heroine welcome a daughter. With formula powder and functional dispenser, Kiki in a baby bag lives up to her name. A year old, she has to make do with only a father and grandfather, since mother is busy with post-war reconciliation efforts. She had always wanted to reunite the races, anyway.

So, our hero is now daddy. We will call him that. So, daddy got so busy caring for the child that he had to leave his job. Whereas, Uncle Thilak, the amazing racist, performs the role of grandfather with élan. He was the one who beat cancer, while continuing to smoke and drink, so this would seem simple enough.

The twists and turns in the story come at all the right moments, and though they did not hit me, as unexpected, they did leave me with a thoughtful sentiment. The politically incorrect humour, right from its wittiness to its profound approach was present through the story. Oh, he does mention his wife and daughter (for real), in the book too!

Chhimi Tenduf-La
Chhimi Tenduf-La’s story seemed kind of personal to me, and I think his interview would tell me, if I am right (Wait and Watch). He does manage to reel in the heterogeneous cast of characters, in simplicity and treat his emotions with the necessary humour. I would say, go give this book a read for sure. Also, Tenduf-La does leave me with a want to go see Sri Lanka, more than ever.


Author: Chhimi Tenduf-La
Genre: Fiction
ISBN : 9789350099124
Publisher: Hachette India
Price: Rs 399 /-


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