Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review:The Man Who Tried To Remember by Makarand Sathe

Title: The Man Who Tried To Remember 
Author: Makarand Sathe (translated by Shanta Gokhale)
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Pages: 237
Price: Rs 399
Format: Hardbound
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 7/10
‘The Man Who Tried To Remember’ primarily deals with two things – human mind and the importance of collective against an individual.

Achyut Athavale is a renowned economist and a revered public figure. As an aware social citizen, he has an opinion about everything. He is often invited by institutions to give lectures. One such lecture leads to riot in the city. Pained by the turn of events, Athavale decided to spend the rest of his days in an old age home and to disassociate all ties with his previous life. During his days at the old age home, he murders a fellow inmate, around the time he has lost his memory for a short period. Achyut admits to his crime, but people and circumstances around him collectively work towards proving him innocent.

The beginning is interesting. The narrative indicating the gradual loss of Achyut’s memory is good. The restlessness of the mind has been depicted quite well, more so with respect to a man who loses his memory for some time and the way he tries to recollect in a logical manner using certain technique that he has devised. The narrative moves back and forth in time to guide readers through the story. In this book, the story is not as important as the thoughts and actions.

Honestly, I don’t fancy such subjects yet I fairly enjoyed the book. It is a different kind of story, multi-layered and complex, tipping towards philosophical. It is not a typical page-turner, it requires you to mull over. 

The cover page is interesting. This book has been originally written in Marathi and the narration clearly shows that English is not the language of conception of this story. When a book is translated, it rarely transforms. But I am thankful atleast we are able to read interesting books from different languages through translations.

If you prefer philosophical books and workings of human mind, you might enjoy it much more than I did. 

Image source:


  1. I started reading this book but have left after some 40 odd pages. Guess need to go back to it, was finding it too slow :(

  2. I know what you mean. I found it slow too but I would say it is more philosophical. We are of the category who like things to happen at a fast pace in the book, isn't it? This book is something you read at leisure and ponder about. Besides, I hate leaving a book midway :-(

  3. I also hate leaving a book midway but this one is not only slow but as u said philosophical and that is something that I am unable to read. And imagine I had read a review of this book in some newspaper which said that they wished that the book had never ended :(. After reading that I had given it a 2nd chance. Now I need to give it a 3rd chance :(

  4. Atleast now you know what you are getting into, so your expectations will be attuned :)