The book market often surprises analytical readers like me with titles beyond the perceived purpose of offering something to read, enjoy, and forget. I have many experiences reading books that remain with me, partly or in fragments, even after I have shelved them on the rack that reads ‘finished’. And one such title, new on the list, is Rover V’s realistic, contemporary, and sensible book The Settled Homeless. The narrative offers us a personality who is an intellectual giant before, after and during meeting Nelly, his student. The protagonist, Dr Theodor Rae, homely called Ted, takes us (the readers) through his extraordinary life in this novel (indirectly).
Noticeable things that this novel highlights, other than Ted-Nelly’s intellectually starving love story, are the struggles of capable persons who are ready to contribute to society with their wisdom (and the system somehow complicates things). It is also remarkable that the novel’s author has brought to the notice of the readers that the problems in higher education are not only India’s problems. It is the same story everywhere.
Linguistically rich, the novel will offer an elevated reading experience. The author’s language, decorated with unknown synonyms at times, will keep contemporary readers busy on their phones (looking up in the dictionary apps). Though I enjoy reading works that challenge the competence of readers’ expertise in a language, many may not find themselves in the mood for a hide-and-seek game. However, if you like a prosaic, out-of-the-box, a little slow-to-unfold, and intriguing story, you should be up for this challenge anyway!
The storyline offers two circles. Ted and Nelly’s love story and the struggles of Ted, the intellectual or Dr Theodor Rae, who finds no satisfaction in his job as a software guy. His craving for life satisfaction continues even after he becomes a professor, keeps busy writing research papers and explores life in different countries. As you may find in the table of contents, Nelly plays a key role in the novel – before and after you begin reading it.
Overall, the novel is amusing, entertaining and intriguing (only when you can cope with the author’s fancy for elevated language). Even the penname of this novelist is more than sufficient to compel many to make their brows – Rover V. Personally, I liked reading it and found many instances gripping. It was a good escape from the mundane of romance and adventure, thriller and mystery, and regular motivational syrup. If you have a fascination for the different, you will like reading The Settled Homeless!
Get a copy from Amazon India – click here to buy it now.
Review by Amit for Indian Book Critics
The Settled Homeless by Rover V – Book Review
- IBC Overall Rating
The Settled Homeless by Rover V is a memoir decorated with fancy colours of fiction. It may attract readers who are looking to add diversity to their reading lists… interesting story and a lingua-rich narrative.
Nice conversation up there guys .. good to see readers and critics indulge in a free play of ideas!
I always respect a reviewer’s freedom to express their opinion. Still, having taken an interest in the book without personally knowing the author, I am somewhat perplexed by several conflicts in the published review.
For example, can a ‘prosaic’ piece be called ‘out-of-box’ (I understand the reviewer meant out of the box in standard English) or ‘intriguing’ in the same breath? Then which one to trust? A word, phrase or idiom will either be already known to the author or searchable; I confess my inability to relate it to relate the situations of a hide-and-seek game. What does the phrase ‘elevated reading’ mean in this book’s context ( to an engineer like me, it means a higher reading in a calibrated instrument)? I also could not find out what emotion was reelected by ‘making their brows’.
Having lived in an English-speaking country and reading literature as my favourite pastime, I found no predicament in following the praiseworthy diction of the book. I am a little troubled about the details of the review comments to reach the reviewer’s contention. I am yet to figure out whether he meant praise for the book or condemned it. Even the rating score did not throw much light on his contention.
More clarity on Amit’s part could have helped those who assess a book by reading its reviews. The book I have already read; I chanced to reach this page, generally browsing through all review comments on this novel on the ‘Net. Whatever your judgement may be, I expected it to be crisply and consistently presented, as I have done on the Barnes and Noble or Goodreads site.
The first line of your comment is the part that one can ignore. The rest is your disagreement in general or your ‘expectation’ to tell ‘other’ readers to ‘fall in line’ or be ‘condemned’. Well, here, we do not do that. A book has many parts. No book can be 100%. No book can have things to be interpreted in the same direction by every reader. I appreciate your time and effort in ‘searching’ this page and reading this review. I hope your appreciation for an unknown author will encourage the readers to read the book. That has been done by the review above as well. At the same time, why cannot a prosaic piece be called out of the box? In my lexicon, prosaic connotes a very wide range of meanings. I call Milton’s Paradise Lost prosaic on many occasions. And I am sure you will be perplexed by that too! Appreciate your reading literature for leisure, I have been studying literature for more than 9 years now and I do have my notions, ideas and a little knowledge that I have gathered over the years to judge a book based on the highs and lows that it offers. On a scale of 5, 3.8 means 76% which is more than ‘very good’ by the Goodreads measure. So, cheers! Read the book if you like ‘out of the box’ or look for another one if you like ‘conventional’.
Thanks for your time! I am happy you took the time! See you around and looking forward for more such interactions about the books you have read by known and unknown authors.