Tuesday 28 February 2017

Book Review: Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor

Title: Swimmer Among the Stars
Author: Kanishk Tharoor
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: 14 March 2017
Pages: 256
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Short Stories / Literary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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An interview with the last speaker of a language. A chronicle of the final seven days of a town that is about to be razed to the ground by an invading army. The lonely voyage of an elephant from Kerala to a princess’s palace in Morocco. A fabled cook who flavours his food with precious stones. A coterie of international diplomats trapped in near-earth orbit. These, and the other stories in this collection, reveal an extraordinary storyteller, whose tales emerge from a tradition that includes the creators of the Arabian Nights and the Kathasaritsagara, Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, Angela Carter and other ancient and modern masters of fabulist, surrealist and magical short stories. Furiously inventive, beautifully crafted and remarkably assured, Swimmer Among the Stars announces the arrival of a blazing new talent. (Goodreads Synopsis)

I loved the quirky, diverse tales in Swimmer Among the Stars. As a keen linguist, my favourite story was the title piece about the last speaker of a language. However, I also enjoyed the tea room tale, the Alexander the Great mini stories, and the elephant's voyage. There were no duds amongst the collection, only certain tales that appealed to me more than others. This collection is a real masterclass in short story-telling that I highly recommend to all lovers of the form.

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