Book Review: Long Island Iced Tea - Ram Kamal Mukherjee

Long Island Iced Tea by Ram Kamal Mukherjee is a collection of stories where the reader is transported into a real and symbolic place at the same time, in which life, love and lust mix in seductive alchemy.

At the centre of the events there are the stories of characters with their sufferings, love, along with romantic shots of realism intertwined with their ability to love unconditionally, braking and fed by very strict rules of etiquette and morality imposed by society.

The characters fight and often get lost, looking for the warmth of the sun and flies on the wind even when it is torn from the rocks where they grew up. A world in which the ruin is always around the corner, a final and terrible destruction in which being in existence is weaving a miraculous journey between life, love and honour, when often the three are irreconcilable.

The author really possessed the rare gift of emotional and dramatic intensity, to open an entire world in perspective around simple actions. I devoured the book through the pages, although every now and then I had to stop because, in some passages, there was such strength of emotion that I seemed to hear it all first hand.

In the novel everything flows before the eyes of the reader while waiting for the main characters, and in the hope that they reach their destiny. The pace is incredible and is especially striking, because the events are linked and mentioned as pearls that flow through your fingers, memories of a recent and distant past that are loaded with light and shadows, halftones that are symbolic of a sad and cruel twilight.

The feelings have weight and enormous responsibilities, and are the intimate motor of everything, but I have not found a single step that is too sentimental or even remotely cloying.

The author portrays a whole society with a non written code, where people are bound in ironclad way to duties to the family of origin and the one acquired through marriage, but seeks to reconcile, where possible, a soul impetuosity, a fragility and delicacy hardened by fire.

The protagonists here are highly intelligent, attentive to signals of their world and are locked in the cage with hierarchies and prestige, who see and know how to pretend to not see, who can swallow bitter pills without crying but despair for other nonsense. In this world the characters dance in their roles.

The author has managed to distil the deep spirit of the story and make it incarnate in the image, and at the same time wrote an endless story, which does not fit in the pages that preserve and loses nothing of its charm though its plot. The finale was a real thrill and it was a pleasure to read this story that was so beautiful.

Format: Paperback ♥ Publisher: Leadstart ♥ Pages: 154 ♥ Published: 7 November 2016 ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-9352017669