Sukumar Ray’s Habber-Jabber-Law isn’t an easy book to review. Whether a dream, a look at society, or simply “a nonsense adventure,” as the title suggests, it will leave you equally entertained and confused.
What’s Habber-Jaw-Law about? I can’t really tell you, and that’s not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t. It’s that crazy of a read – in a good way.
What I can tell is that it’s a short story about a boy who meets various eccentric creatures one fine day, from a raven who is an accountant to a poet called Shaven Head. The story finally culminates with a nonsensical “defamation suit,” where all the characters make one final appearance in a scene that adults might find all too familiar.
Funny at times, although occasionally challenging to follow, children around the ages of ten should like the craziness that runs through the pages of the book. My six-year-old son, who hardly ever reads, for the first time in a long time, asked me to read the book to him and seemed to have enjoyed it.
There’s enough meat in the book for adults too. The interactions between the characters, how they perceive each other, the final suit subtly hint towards our ever-changing society, and it’s many follies. But the moral, be it for children or adults, isn’t spoon-fed, which in turn, makes Habber-Jabber-Law all the more remarkable of a read.
A “different” kind of story, translated beautifully by Arunava Sinha, Habber-Jabber-Law will make you ponder about the world we live in and also about the oddness of the tale itself.
Book Name: Haber-Jabber-Law
Author: Sukumar Ray (Translated by Arunava Sinha)
Publisher: Talking Cub
Book Type: Paperback
Note: A special thanks to Talking Cub, an imprint of Speaking Tiger, for sending the book. I have written the review on my own accord.