Saturday, July 23, 2016

Book Review: Once Upon A Time in India - Alfred Assollant


Once Upon A Time in India by Alfred Assollant and translated by Sam Miller relates the experiences of its eponymous legend about the adventures of a young French captain, Corcoran, who lives to make discoveries in the world along with his faithful companion Louison, a pet tigress, which is presented in narrative form, rich in detail.


In the mid-nineteenth century, the monotonous atmosphere of the Academy of Sciences of Lyon is broken when a speaker announces that a prize will be given to the man who can find an old manuscript called Guru Karamta, the first sacred book of the Hindus.

The young awe-inspiring Captain Corcoran is willing to look for this document, and so is authorized by the French Academy of Sciences to search out the lost hallowed Hindu text. He is off in exploration of the sacrosanct manuscript, which is alleged to be secreted in central India.

Captain Corcoran's charisma is made of farces, machinations, many escapades and betrayals as he arrives in the midst of the 1857 mutiny and so begins the escapade of his life, as he does not know is that, far from fulfilling his original intention, will become a key player in the conflict between English, French and Hindus.

Once in India, Corcoran's entry in the nonexistent Maratha kingdom of Bhagavpur corresponds with the onset of the Indian uprisings (1857−58), which goes about as a helpful chronicled background to a French driven triumph over the British.

Corcoran is soon occupied from his mission by the cases of a Maratha prince, Holkar and soon Corcoran and his tigress join hands to battle and get the better off the British and even fall in love with his gorgeous lotus-looked princess Sita. In the wake of freeing the Maratha’s and being delegated their pioneer, Corcoran shapes a secular team that is given back to its Indian nationals to stay as a longstanding case of the advantages of French driven imperialism.

Corcoran along these lines offers a prime case of the tenacious yearning in French composition to adjust for the loss of French India, for this situation by making an anecdotal triumph over the British that happens inside a completely fanciful setting.

Captain Corcoran is beguiling to women, respectful to genuine men of their word, passing to privateers and barbarous to the English. He talks a few dialects, can twist an iron bar with his exposed hands, and has adventured his way over the seven oceans with his steadfast companion Louison close by. Faithful just to her lord, Louison can be somewhat disorderly, and there's fallen angel to pay when she misses a dinner as Louison is a five-year-old Bengal tiger.

The sublime Corcoran has been too long overlooked. The author has adoringly deciphered these wild, amusing, shamelessly sentimental enterprises surprisingly so that the Captain and his beguiling Louison can be grasped by another era of youthful and old readers.
Overall, it can be considered a good story, and the interesting thing is that you learn a lot about India of those times. The book will enchant you till the end with an excellent story that has a lot of information which will leave your breathless.


Format: Paperback ♥ Pages: 288 ♥ Publisher: Juggernaut ♥ Published: July 2016 ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-8193237212
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