Book Review | The Amazing Racist

The Amazing Racist
by Chhimi Tenduf-La

Human emotions portrayed right.

When I started this book, I was pretty sure that I am in for new age Indian novel written by a firang writer. But as I dug deeper into the book, I was taken aback by the beauty of emotions that this book portrayed in a very true and humorous manner.


The book is narrated by an Englishman, who is in love with a Sri Lankan lady and is terrified by her father. The narration is pretty simple. The flow of words and language is so smooth that you would not want to keep the book aside once you are into it. The narration helps you draw a clear picture of the racism that exists especially in South East Asia.

Theme and Setting

The book revolves around a couple, who fall in love, irrespective of their races, but the English guy goes to any level to just adjust with his highly racist father-in-law. The struggle shown is inevitable.

The book beautifully takes you through the complicated details of the corrupt administration the South East Asian countries, the perpetual hatred against English because of the brutal colonization, the cultural heritage, the people, the distress of the poor countries and everything, good and bad, about them.

The book also has the sub-theme of extra-marital relationships combined with the concept of a working wife and a husband who chose to stay at home. Though these things are a sin in the society where the book belongs to, the rendering is done very delightfully.

The book starts as a typical love story, giving an enriching character sketch of each and every protagonist of the book.

The story takes a dramatic turn, when a baby is born in the marriage and it brings Eddie and in his father-in-law, Thilak, closer than anyone, even the readers, can imagine. All this while Meneka, Eddie’s wife and Thilak’s daughter, is immersed in her duties towards the war reconciliation.

My Opinion
The book is pretty witty and humorous, as I have already mentioned. However, at places, the humour gets too dark and could have been avoided. The book is a great piece of work and for a debut novel, it is just perfect. The depiction of human emotions, strengths and weakness is uncanny,

However, the book somehow lost balance when it came to sexism. The book might have glorified the concept of house-husband but at a price of keeping a career-oriented woman in a bad light.

I could somehow identify with Thilak. Call me a racist or call me a daddy’s girl, but his emotions were truly what any father’s emotions when it comes to marrying off your daughter to someone from a different land and culture. The depiction is way too good.

But keeping everything aside, the book portrays Sri Lanka so beautifully that you might want to visit that place!

Publisher: Hachette India
Price: INR 399
Pages: 232
My Ratings: 4/5
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