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Review: The Charons is dark but brilliantly weaved

Book Review: The Charons

Rating: Four Stars

Credit: Sharmistha Basu

Sharmistha’s Basu The Charons is no candy floss story where everything falls in place at the end of the day but one that paints the bad and the ugly. Reality can be damaging and this is what the author explores in her take of the dark side of life. The Charons is a story of a small town girl, Urna in Calcutta who moves for better life in Raajsthan but witness the deception of her loved ones. It’s the story of her struggle in a world ridden by corruption and treachery by the ones she considers close to her.


The Charons is not just a story but a sad and dark reality that many of us faces in some far off corner in the world. The system is infested with vultures who conspire to destroy lives. At one glance: Sharmistha Basu has brought alive the turmoil of Urna, an innocent girl who believes in the good side of humans to see her world crashing down. The story boasts of fast narrative, telling the story of Urna as the reader is taken into her far from perfect world. The reader empathize with her character, fate and get anxiety pang. praying that she will get out of the situation. Urna is hounded by the jackals, trying everything to distinguish between friends and foes, usurp her identity to declare her crazy. Ultimately, she holds her might.


I have known Sharmistha Basu as a super talented poet and writer on her blogs. The story, The Charons is a disturbing account of the struggle of a single girl in a big city and hats off to her for taking the less traveled route. Sharmistha injects a flow in the book that makes it hard to put away despite the gory details and the the depiction of the characters from good and evil. Brace yourself: The Charons is not a boring book because of the power of Sharmistha’s writing who injects life and energy, capturing the reader’s attention in telling a story that we must have only heard. The book gains momentum right from the first chapter, capturing the struggle of Urna in fighting deceit and treachery, as she faces the dark moments of life. The labyrinth is described so well and with aplomb by Sharmistha who delivers the message of humanity and reason even if hope fades with time. Her writing is powerful and injects pace in this dark subject of hell when the life of Urna suddenly tears apart. You will empathize with the character and be part of her fight against the evils in the world. The Charons will make you speechless as you enter the world of Urna. In short, it is brilliant writing to depict the life of underdogs, facing the biggest trials in life in this gory depiction of life on the other side.

Powerful lines:

1. Many have mistaken me for a normal Indian woman who will commit suicide or go insane. They failed to realize a big truth, every one does not crawls or lies down to die.

2. After all, its desires which torments us! If we destroy the desire no human being will ever be able to torment us.

3. This mindset delivers me from all the filth and cruelty which they showered on me.

What’s Not!

I find it tough to draw minuses in The Charons since it is a fiction which is closer to reality in this struggle of a lone, innocent women against the wicked and powerful. Still, I’d say that may be The Charons should have gone deeper towards the climax to give shape to the wicked and dangerous manipulators. I would like to see them face their end or be destroyed.

Final Words:

The Charons is a struggle of an innocent woman facing a troupe of powerful and manipulating people, hell bent to destroy her life. It’s a book that every human being or woman must read. Sharmistha Basu makes a big entry with The Charons and is imbibed with superb writing skills and lends credence and belief in the characters that she weaves. True, The Charons is disturbing and dark. But, brilliantly written since it touches every inch of our soul. A must read.

About the author:

Sharmistha Basu has several blogs to her credit at

The Charons can be bought on and

Author’s Bio:



I am the woman who needs a pen (in our era a keyboard to speak), I can assure you if you meet me in flesh I will bore you to death because you will be the one doing all interesting talking, I will be either nodding or adding some really dull comments.

Ever since my childhood I have read as if they are an essential part of my daily diet, had lot of time at my disposal and I utilized that time to read. I became a writer by accident, the courtesy goes to MSN’s reader’s archive’s editor in 2007, s/he pampered my writings so much that I discovered an outlet to express my views, feelings and later share my imagination and true stories.

People become artist/writer when they are super talented or they have something to say, which they cant take to pyre with them, I fall in the latter group, I had a story to tell and that generous hearted editor convinced me that I have the capacity to tell, so I honed my skill for years, dulled the pain that the incident has caused and wrote the story, it is published now, as “The charons” in amazon and createspace. If you are curious to know about me, well five sentences- I am bengali, unmarried, unemployed resident of Hyderabad at present. I live a very happy, quiet, withdrawn life, my friends are all in cyberworld, that suits me better I will say because I am not at all talkative, so I prefer interacting through keyboard 😉

I was born in Tundla, a tiny town near Agra, have spent first sixteen years of my life spending different slices of time in various states of North India (plains)- U.P., Bihar, Haryana, New Delhi… then came to west bengal and settled there till 2014, I live with my younger brother who is kind enough to take care of my worldly needs. If you have too many “whys” in your mind read “The charons” and judge thereafter. You will get a clear glimpse of my life therein too.


Work-in-progress, seeker, and bundle of contradictions. Stubborn and Refusal to grow up and constantly in search of myself, I blurt it out on my space. Drop in and share some love. Indian!!!

51 thoughts on “Review: The Charons is dark but brilliantly weaved

  1. I think I will answer your query, in case your readers too have the same question- you said why did not I destroyed the miscreants in the story, well, because “The charons” has not deviated from truth, it has just shared what has happened in reality, and you know Indian reality is not at all “satyameva jayate” type, here whistleblowers are butchered in public view.

    But I have written another story in which I have fictionalized this drama and at the end of that story I sure will destroy the evil, Believe me!

      1. I will with great pleasure! I will certainly love it if some avid reader (who is always reading contemporary books) reads my books and shares his opinion.

        I will send them to you and ask you questions after you admit that you have read them 😉

        that is my only condition, you will have to give test to get the next one, ok?

        thanks and much love!

      2. well, have sent you two books yesterday songbird sings to sun and the lotus of fire, let me know after you finish them! 😉

        I will confirm here after sending you the books, do confirm so that I can be sure that you got them! my emails are dicey! they claim things but don’t do them! 🙂

      3. there wont be any 10×10 questions on these two, there is nothing to ask in these, I will be glad if you share your views and allow me to add them to the posts that I use to publicize these two. 🙂

        Let me know when you are done with these two, I will send two more. Initial ones are small, quick read things, then longer stories will come.

      4. you wont find another book of mine that is as long as the charons, unless of-course I publish kingmaker, that is a collaboration project and my co-author is really busy with his own works at present!

        my works are micro to short story/small poem fear not!

  2. This is a brilliant review of The Charons and great introduction to the beautiful Sharmishtha. Thanks for sharing.

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