Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The House of Fear

Ibn-e-Safi was a famous Urdu novelist born in India who settled in Pakistan after partition. He was famous for his detective Imran and the Jasoosi Duniya series thathe created.

The English translation from random House carries two novellas - The House of Fear and Shootout at the Rocks. Translated by Bilal Tanweer the book is a big disappointment for me.

The cover looks shabby and the book looks to have been printed on poor quality paper. Mind you the book costs Rs. 195 and is pretty slim.

The first story is about murders occurring in an old mansion. The second one is about a drug-trafficking ring.

Translation is crude with the couplets of Ghalib used in extremely odd circumstances. It would have been good if the couplets had been transliterated from Urdu to English along with the English translations.

The hero Imran is an MSc Phd. from Oxford University and the son of the head of intelligence. He pretends to be a fool and keeps muttering nonsense. This is a facade and his calculating mind solves problems.

Truly disappointed with Random House. I am awaiting Blaft's translations of the Jasoosi Duniya series.

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