Title: The Tower Of Silence
Written By: Phiroshaw Jamsetjee Chevalier ‘Chaiwala’
Edited and with an Introduction by: Gyan Prakash
About Gyan Prakash (Few lines from the book) –
Gyan Prakash is the Dayton-Stockton
Professor of History at Princeton University. He is the author of several
books, including the acclaimed Mumbai
Fables (Harper Collins, 2010).
Cover Price: Rs. 299.00
Something about the book (from the book’s cover):
Sexton Blake is back in the game.
In this rousing tale of revenge and
detection, an airplane swoops down recklessly over a Tower of Silence in Poona
to photograph the heap of bodies and bones inside, desecrating the resting
place of the parsi dead. The Zoroastrian world is shaken to its core. Soon
after, the editor of the English magazine that published the photo, the pilot
and the photographer are under attack by the dapper Parsi vigilante, Beram. He
chases his quarry from London to Liverpool, Manchester, Burma, Bombay and
Poona, using clever deceptions, disguises, secret cellars and deadly poisons.
It is up to internationally renowned detective Sexton Blake to save his fellow
Englishmen from Beram’s determined attacks.
Tower Of Silence has a publication history as thrilling as the tale it
holds within its covers. Historian Gyan Prakash of Princeton University
stumbled upon part of this unpublished manuscript in the British Library. He
diligently scoured a number of Mumbai libraries before he found the missing
pages. Now readers can experience the thrill of witnessing Sexton Blake,
favourite detective of yester-years, return to the world stage to face his
greatest challenge yet.
I must have mentioned it over and
over again in numerous book reviews as to how much I love reading stories set
in the early 1900s. Hence, when Indiblogger
came up with a number of books from Harper Collins for review, I had
to apply for The Tower Of Silence
after reading the blurb about it. So when I finally got my copy, I devoured it
in a day!
The book is about the Parsee
community in the 1920s. It revolves around an incident when a picture is taken
of the Parsee Tower of Silence, which
in turn sets in motion a chain of events that bring about the fascinating
battle between a Parsee vigilante Beram and
a world renowned detective Sexton Blake. What
ensues is so interesting that it is hard to describe it in words, unless you pick
up the book for a read. Highly satisfactory, is certainly
one of the adjectives I would use for this book. Un-put-down-able is
another word that does justice to this out of the ordinary yarn.
The book, every page of it, is a
treat. There is not a dull moment in it, trust me. The rivalry and the battle
of wits between Beram and Blake
me engrossed till the very last page. Their characters are beautifully etched.
I couldn't decide whether I liked Beram
more or Blake!
At times in the book I wanted Beram
to succeed in his plans while at the very next moment I
to outwit Beram.
The book gives an insight into the
world of the Parsees which lends the story a remarkable dimension. And the ease,
with which Beram and Blake disguise
themselves or use exotic poisons, though unbelievable, is enduring and never
for a moment did I feel the surprises being stretched.
Anything I write about this tale
and its twists and turns would fail to do justice to the intrigue that this
book is all about!
The only regret I have is that
there aren’t more books about Beram and
Blake, for the book left me wanting for more installments of these great
If you like Sherlock Holmes, trust
me this is the book for you. Perhaps if more copies of this book would have
been published in its time, we would have Sexton
Blake too at par with some of the best fictional detectives!
The book is a quest, a quest to
find the real author and another of the great Beram & Blake. And it’s a quest that ought not to be missed! So
don’t wait further, grab your copy now!