Reading sensible, meaningful and worthy literature has certainly been that impossible cake for me, in recent months, that I cannot have even if I want it badly. I only got to read the books by newcomers, mostly young, who write about love, affair, romance and also a lowly romance that only consists of love being sown or expressed by various parts of the body – usually beginning from lips and ending with genitals. What do I do? Cheap romance is crap and even if they want to depict physical love, there’s certainly a way and they should certainly learn from the author of Janardhan Talbot, Mr Mohan Timmaraju – a man above 70 but with a better understanding of romance than the kids who just blow away everything with the explosive called passion!

Janardhan Talbot is a serious novel. It deals with the theme of first freedom struggle by India, initiated by Mangal Pandey and taken up by many others – kings and queens and the common Indian citizens irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The protagonist of the novel is Janardhan Rao, a young man from south India who has disgust for the British in his heart but also a long-serving ambition somewhere, deep down in his mind to relish the life of an aristocratic and visit the land of Great Britain. Fate brings him close to a British, who looks just like him, Jonathan Talbot and there begins the game. Fortune favours him and he finds himself loaded in a ship that leaves for the tour of the world to finally meet the shores of England. In between, he finds himself close to a few women other than the one he loves a lot, Manga. So, the story takes the readers to different parts of the world and also to the inside of Janardhan Rao’s thoughts.

Mohan Timmaraju has wonderfully pictured the inner layers of the thoughts of his protagonist. He has also depicted the intimate scenes with ease and a delicacy that does not deceive the readers who want to read a novel with class instead of a novel that’s third class!

Language and the overall narrative is a quality job by the debut veteran novelist. The plot and theme come from his personal experiences gathered in his early days – growing up among the people who were freedom fighters themselves and listening to the stories of his grandfather and other relatives who fought the British tooth and nail!

The novel might seem a little unfriendly to the young chaps who have accustomed themselves of reading the novels written by youths who know no plot but just ‘romanticising’ every possible theme. It’s a little slow as well and strictly for the readers who are grown-up and patient enough to let the narrative further at its own pace and author’s will. Still, if a reader wants to taste serious contemporary writing, Janardhan Talbot is for him or her – full of classy excitement and a complicated plot that mostly runs in the abstract… read it!

Get a copy of the novel – click here to buy

review by Abhishek for BooksToRead

Janardhan Talbot - Vol 1
  • BooksToRead Rating


The novel is a contemporary classic. It has class and appeal and both functioning well at the same time together!

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