The Scream comes to us from Rohinton Mistry, a wonderful Canadian author who has won many awards in Canada and internationally. I’ve read A Fine Balance and Family Matters and loved them. He is an amazing writer.
This novel is very small, as a matter of a fact, all total only 48 pages. However, these pages contain such a deep story. I now understand how a short story can leave a lasting impression.
The novel is set in Bombay and it tells us a single story of an old man at the end of his life. He is very angry at his family for brushing him off all the time and neglecting him. He feels all alone now and completely misunderstood. He keeps up a steady tirade throughout the book that is at times deeply moving and at other times quite funny.
This little book is also illustrated by the celebrated Canadian artist, Tony Urquhart. The illustrations portray the story beautifully .
I think one of the most important aspects of this lovely book is that all royalties, donated by both authors, go to World Literacy of Canada to help the organization continue its work with women and children in India. What better reason can there be to purchase a book!
This book was released in hardcover by McClelland and Stewart on October 21. You can read more about it and purchase it here. You can also visit World Literacy of Canada here.
I think it is a shame that so many Canadian authors are underrecognized in the US. I don’t know about this one, but I know I’ve had troubles finding some titles in the past. Anyway…
I completely agree that sometimes the shorter tales can pack a lot of punch–sometimes more than a full length novel. This one sounds really compelling and honest. Thanks for sharing!
Hooray! I’m so glad you found this short novel to be meaningful. I’d love to get my hands on it, but it’s a tad bit expensive for a 48 page book. I will certainly keep my eyes open for it, though.
Literary Feline says
I have been meaning to read A Fine Balance as I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about that particular book. This one sounds worth reading as well–and what a worthy cause!
I haven’t read anything by Rohinton Mistry, although I have heard a lot about him. 43 pages in incredibly short.
I haven’t heard of this book, Dar. Sounds like a good one!
It sounds like a very powerful little book. Thanks for the review, Dar.
I’m intrigued. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book for adults that short.
Trish, he is fairly recognized in the US too. One of his books was featured as an Oprah read many years ago and I think that’s what probably got him recognized there.
Joy, yes I think the price is more geared toward raising money for World Literacy so its higher. I’m not sure if libraries will have this or not.
Wendy, I really enjoyed A Fine Balance. It’s one I really wouldn’t mind reading again.
violetcrush, it’s definitelly meant as a short story I’m sure. It certainly is a fast read.
Mary, I did check and it’s availabe through Amazon but I think mostly it has just been available in Canada until recently. Not entirely sure though.
Nymeth, thanks 🙂
bermudaonion, I’ve never read short stories either but both Joy and Trish have told me how good they can be. I can see that now.
Kathleen Molloy says
We’re seeing a trend i publishing to squeeze the story into fewer pages yet few author can pull it off. I’m pleased to see Mistry lead the charge.
Kathleen Molloy, author – Dining with Death
Dar, this sounds so good! Would you call it a novella? I’m always curious about when to employ that term.
I just finished a short little literary fiction piece – 120 pages – by Canadian author Denis Theriault. I got it from Mini Book Expo – they feature a nice selection of Canadian authors I’ve noticed.
Kathleen, thanks for popping in. You know I like a longer story sometimes so I don’t understand the trend to making novels shorter. I don’t necessarily like short stories but I do like a meatier novel.
Shana, I think even a novella might be longer than this one. Yes Mini Book Expo does have a lot of Canadian authors and that’s good because there are a lot of good ones out there.
i loved both his other books – fine balance and family matters.. they are a little dark but enjoyable nevertheless..:)
and it is funny how you just called him a canadian author.. to me, mistry has always been “indian author” though i know he doesn’t live in india anyomre.. i guess when authors start globe trotting, it is kinda tough! guess i gotta start calling him a canadian author coz he’s no longer indian author but falls under the category of “author with indian heritage)..:)
More than the fact that he was born and raised in INdia, i think what makes him more “indian” is the fact that he writes about India in a very passionate way..
anyways, i have never read this one and i cant wait to get my hands on it!:)
Ramya, this book is on the dark side too. I think this is just the way he writes. I have always loved his writing and I agree he writes about India in a very passionate way. I would love to meet him one day.
I’d never heard of this book or author, but I’m intrigued. For such a short book to be so powerful…I guess I’ll have to check it out!
Diary of an Eccentric
Anna, you should try one of his other novels one day too. A Fine Balance is my favorite so far. I wonder if the libraries in the US will carry this book as it is at Amazon. I’d be curious to know that.