Monday, November 24, 2008

SHORT STORY MONDAY: The Scream by Rohinton Mistry

The Scream by Rohinton Mistry, 35 pages

One of my favorite books is Mistry's A Fine Balance, so when I got the chance to get this book, a single short story, I jumped. His short story collection, Tales from Firozsha Baag was also an interesting view of life in India. This book was originally written and published in 2006 as a limited edition, 150 copies, special fundraiser for World Literacy of Canada. All royalties from the sales of this book will go to World Literacy Canada.

The book is filled with beautiful illustrations by Tony Urquhart. The mixed media pictures were meant to "echo the richness of Indian miniatures and medieval manuscripts illuminations" according to Urquhart. They provide an extra level to the story, since short stories can be so, well, short, having the pictures makes it more of an experience.

The story itself is narrated by an old man, relegated to the front room, to the worst mattress, to the least food of the family. The story is one complete rant, but it has a bit of humor and a bit of pathos of aging as well. A soliloquy on aging, set in India, but really, universal. The elder member of the family becomes less and less influential and important. He is railing against his losses, the family thinks he's a grumpy old man.

Definitely for fans of Rohinton Mistry.


  1. More adult books need illustrations.

  2. Where did you manage to get this book from? It doesn't seem to be for sale here in the UK. A Fine Balance is my favourite book, so I'd love to get hold of this short story!

  3. I've found myself a copy! It does only seem to be for sale in Canada, so I'm really pleased I found out about this book - thank you!

  4. I LOVED A Fine Balance! I will have to look for this book.


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