WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
I personally have always believed in the importance of a teacher in one’s life. It is definitely true that a good teacher can do wonders for your academics and personality whereas a bad teacher might just put you off books forever. So, when the book, “The Man Behind the Teacher’s Desk” (which is the story of a teacher) came my way, I was really excited about it.
What is the book all about?
The book documents the coming of age of a young child who was loved and helped immensely by his teacher and who over the course of years, becomes a beloved and selfless teacher himself.
Ani as a child came from a financially weak family. To top it all, his dad was always ill and his mother never really cared about him. The only person who loved him more than anyone else was his English teacher, Kamal Sir.
As Ani deals with the challenges that life throws his way, Kamal sir helps him tremendously in overcoming each one of them. Finally, Ani decides to become a teacher himself and takes on a special challenge. “The Man Behind the Teacher’s Desk” is the story of Ani and his life.
How is the plot?
The plot of the book is pretty straightforward and uncomplicated. It follows the journey of Ani as he comes of age and that is pretty much all of it. Though the single focused plot makes the book an easy read, I would have loved it if there were a few subplots and complexities in the main plot. I would have simply loved it if the plain vanilla kind of plot was embellished with a few interesting elements.
The characters are a decent bunch
The characters were a charming bunch. Ani and Kamal sir were surely my favourites amongst the lot. Ani comes across as a meek but hardworking and selfless guy, a personality trait that is rarely found these days, and therefore was quite a pleasure to read about. I loved how Kamal sir cared so much for his students especially Ani. My heart went out to him when the tragedy concerning Snigdha happened. Raju and Ashis were convincingly evil in their nature and were able to bring the necessary variety in this mix of characters.
What about the author’s writing style?
The writing style of the author was pretty plain. In my humble opinion, it lacked lustre and finesse. More work needs to be done on how the story is told and on making it more interesting for the reader. The Man Behind the Teacher’s Desk was a slow and insipid read with nothing to keep the reader hooked on. Further, there was a huge problem of poor editing which spoiled the reading pleasure for me. Though I generally overlook minor editing mistakes, “The Man Behind the Teacher’s Desk” had too many of them for me to ignore.
Was the climax good?
The climax was the part that I liked the most in this book. The climax was totally unpredictable and out of the blue. I loved how there was a bit of thrill and suspense in the end when Ani is confronted by Raju and Ashis. I also enjoyed the way Ani faces that challenge within the limited time that is allotted to him. In my opinion, the climax gave a befitting end to the story of Ani.
The book is average in terms of the entertainment quotient. Though the characters and climax make the book a decent read, there is still a lot to be desired in terms of the way the story is narrated. The narration was often confusing and poor editing helped little in maintaining the entertainment quotient of the book. That being said, the book provides interesting insights into the workings of schools and educational institutions. Much of what is written resonates with what happens in the real world.
My final verdict
I would rate this book three out of five stars in terms of entertainment quotient.
Pick it up if
Pick this book up if you are looking for a simple and easy read. You may also choose to read it if you are just getting into reading English fiction and prefer content more than grammar. Also, there is a different and unique kind of story being told here – that of coming of age of a teacher, and if this interests you, by all means, you should go ahead and grab a copy.
Skip it if
Skip the book if you cannot tolerate poor editing.
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