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Dden death of a girl in a neighbour’s kitchen In the next story he has to lock horns with an old enemy who has vowed to kill him with an innocuous but deadly weapon And in ‘Picture Imperfect’ Byomkesh Bakshi unravels a complex mystery involving a stolen group photograph an amorous couple and an apparently unnecessary murderAvailable in English for the first time in a superb translation these stories will captivate every lover of crime fiction young and old alik. Delectable stories The selection of stories was good We get to know how Byomkeshbabu gets to meet Ajitbabu and Satyaboti Some stories even have links in subseuent stories which only serves to tickle the senses even further A very good companion to curl up on the bed with a tea on a cold and lazy afternoon I felt that Sreejeet Guha did a much better translation here than in her later work The Menagerie and Other Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries It felt that the translator tried to mirror the words of the author as closely as possible which is always a commendable thing in translations so the readers of the translated works can get as unadulterated stuff as possibleA must read and so if you re a fan of Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay

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Picture Imperfect and Other Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries

Classic tales of crime detection featuring Byomkesh Bakshi the master inuisitorWritten long before Satyajit Ray’s Feluda series Saradindu Bandyopadhyay’s Byomkesh Bakshi mysteries heralded a new era in Bengali popular fiction Set in the old world Calcutta of the Raj these stories featuring the astute investigator and his chronicler friend Ajit are still as gripping and delightful as when they first appearedByomkesh’s world peopled with wonderfully delineated ch. This is the first book I read for Diverse Detectives Month Or rather the first three books I decided to start with a book which had a collection of Byomkesh Bakshi mysteries After finishing one book I decided to read another and then another I think there are only three translated collections of Byomkesh Bakshi mysteries in English Now I have read them all The three books I read were Picture Imperfect The Menagerie and The Rhythm of Riddles The first two were translated by Sreejata Guha who was probably the first to translate Byomkesh Bakshi mysteries into English twenty years back and then continued translating other Bengali classics into English The third book was translated by Arunava Sinha who is the current doyen of Bengali English translators The first book had seven stories the second one four and the third one three that is fourteen stories in all The first collection mostly had stories from the first part of Saradindu Bandyopadhyay s career from 1932 to 1937 The second collection had stories from the second part of his career from 1952 onwards The last story in the second collection was written in 1967Byomkesh Bakshi was one of the first Indian fictional detectives The first Byomkesh Bakshi mystery appeared in 1932 and the last one in 1969 There was a break of fifteen years between 1937 and 1952 when Saradindu Bandyopadhyay went to write screenplays for Bollywood but he came back and continued from where he left off While reading the stories it is hard not to spot similarities between Byomkesh and Sherlock Holmes the way the character gets introduced first the way the narrator Ajit and Byomkesh become roommates There is even a police officer similar to Lestrade who creates problems for Byomkesh Sometimes Byomkesh wakes up Ajit in the middle of the night or early in the morning to go out on a mission He doesn t say Wake up Ajit The game is afoot though However as we read stories we discover that the two series diverge because Byomkesh and his friend Ajit are uintessentially Indian and Bengali In many stories at some point we can make a list of suspects and typically the culprit is one of them But it is hard to guess who Saradindu Bandyopadhyay almost never cheats by bringing an unknown character from outside the main cast and declaring he she is the culprit Which us a wonderful thing There are beautiful humorous passages in many of the stories and though things get lost in translation which is one of the essential aspects of humour that it gets lost in translation the humour typically peeps out through the translated English sentences and is a pleasure to readSome of the stories in the book are short but others are long while some approach the length of a novella I liked the stories from both the time periods but I think I liked the longer stories than the shorter ones In one story which runs to than a hundred pages called The uills of the Porcupine Byomkesh Bakshi and Ajit come only in the beginning and in the end The middle which is the biggest part of the story features a young couple who are newly married and describes how their relationship evolves If we remove the mystery aspect of the story it almost reads like the story told in one of my favourite Tamil movies Mouna Ragam I wonder whether Maniratnam just lifted Saradindu Bandyopadhyay s story maybe from its film adaptation made some changes to it and called it Mouna Ragam If that is true then it will be one case of a famous Tamil movie being a copycat of another I feel sad just contemplating on it The longest story in the book is The Menagerie which runs to than 150 pages It has a complex plot with many murders and suspects and an ending which is hard to guess It was made into a famous movie by Satyajit Ray and I want to watch that sometime I enjoyed reading these three Byomkesh Bakshi mystery collections It was interesting to read about India of a different time and about this famous detective or truth seeker as he called himself and how he discovered the truth about strange happenings and how he brought bad guys to book with a little help from friends There is an acclaimed TV adaptation of the Byomkesh Bakshi stories starring Rajat Kapoor I think I have watched one or two episodes of it I hope to watch it properly one of these daysHave you read Byomkesh Bakshi stories What do you think about them Which ones are your favourites

Review Picture Imperfect and Other Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries

Aracters and framed by a brilliantly captured pre Independence urban milieu is fascinating because of its contemporary flavor In the first story Byomkesh works undercover to expose an organized crime ring trafficking in drugs In ‘The Gramophone Pin Mystery’ he must put his razor sharp intellect to good use to unearth the pattern behind a series of bizarre roadside murders In ‘Calamity Strikes’ the ace detective is called upon to investigate the strange and su. This translated book contains the first few stories of Byomkesh with the first one The Inuisitor introducing the detective and his accomplice Ajit to the readers One also comes across the event which leads Byomkesh to meet his wife Satyaboti in one of the seven short mysteries Notable ones are The Gramaphone Pin Mystery The Venom of the Tarantula and Calamity Strikes


10 thoughts on “Picture Imperfect and Other Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries

  1. says:

    Good detective stories Enjoyable

  2. says:

    This is the first book I read for Diverse Detectives Month Or rather the first three books I decided to start wit

  3. says:

    I bought this book for reliving the sheer thrill of those good old days when serial such as Byomkesh Bakshi used to be shown on DD and were the staple diet for growing kids like me The translation of stories from Bangla is

  4. says:

    I absolutely loved this collection of mysteries about Byomkesh Bakshi Not only were the stories engaging and uite charming I felt that I learned a number of new things about Indian life I had my phone right next to me so that I could look up the meanings of a number of words that I wasn't familiar with from food to housingI am most appreciative to a dear friend from India who sent me this copy I will be looking for Byomkesh myst

  5. says:

    This translated book contains the first few stories of Byomkesh with the first one 'The Inuisitor' introducing the detective and his accomplice Ajit to the readers One also comes across the event which leads Byomkesh to meet his wife Satyaboti in one of the seven short mysteries Notable ones are The Gramaphone Pin Mystery The Venom of the Tar

  6. says:

    Among the many mystery books that I have read I will rank Byomkesh Bakshi at par with Sherlock Holmes The problem the pursuit of the solution and Byomkesh's ability to come up with the answer is completely mesmerizing As the

  7. says:

    They have tea multiple times in each story I WANT TO HAVE TEA IN KOLKATA ALL THROUGH THE DAY YAAR

  8. says:

    Delectable stories The selection of stories was good We get to know how Byomkeshbabu gets to meet Ajitbabu and Satyaboti Some stories even have links in subseuent stories which only serves to tickle the senses even further A very good companion to curl up on the bed with a tea on a cold and lazy afternoon I felt that Sreejeet Guha did a much better translation here than in her later work 'The Menagerie and Other Byomkesh

  9. says:

    Never Judge A Book By Its CoverThis book was a gift and it stayed on my shelf unread for a year because the cover looks really boring and I also thought that this might be the old fashioned type BUT am so happy it proved me wrongThe

  10. says:

    The best tale was kept until the last Picture Imperfect Shows the authors growing grasp of the genre and increased complexity of the plotting

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