20 May 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

My Illegitimate Son by Sanjay Jha (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

2065th BLOG POST

16th Book of 2023

I remember myself reading many books based on politicians in forms of autobiographies and biographies but never expected or imagined a politician writing a fiction story. I am just done reading “My Illegitimate Son” written by the former National Spokesperson of the Congress party whom many of us have seen debating on news channels on prime time. This 184-pages book is published by Rupa publication in the month of May 2023 itself and this is the first review that is being posted on Amazon/Goodreads. I am glad to be one of the initial readers of this incredible story which has been written in the first voice of Louis, a pet dog in a house of a family living in Mumbai.


Well, this has been a unique attempt in writing a book from perspective of a pet animal. I was initially quite doubtful if author would be able to provide entertainment through the story - How many perspectives will he be able to convey through an animal? But Sanjay has dumped all such doubts of his readers by writing not only a story of how an animal enters a family and gets amused by the love and over-excitement of everyone but philosophical elements too. Author’s command on the language is obviously great as he is regularly involved in writing for newspapers and editorials. He has used some great vocabulary in few chapters which helped me learn many new words even after reading for so many years. He has not shied away from using words which helped define the situation or scenario best. This book should be picked considering that you’ll have to refer dictionary regularly hence you can choose to read it on Kindle as well making it easier for you.


The way bonding between 3 different dogs is shown along with their love-hate tales makes us think if they also process relationships similar to us. They also have all the good and bad emotions which makes them be good or nasty to others. The initial chapters were a delight to see how dogs feel when people arrive regularly and adopt couple of them making them leave their friends behind. They also sense how the prospective parents could be and accordingly show their excitement or treat them with complete ignorance so that they are rejected. There was a painful part in the beginning itself when a mother and son are about to be separated. This one paragraph itself gave me the sense about what kind of emotional roller-coaster ride this book is going to be.


The quote in the start of every chapter sets a realization tone for the reader as there is enough for you to introspect about your life. Sanjay has tried giving real life references through a dog’s perspective and you can find him taking dig at current government as well as few personalities from Indian politics. He also makes foreign references using many current affair topics. The illustrations are very beautiful which enables you to imagine the characters of pet animals. Jha has given his own reference through a character called Beard. It was fun reading those parts where Louis describes him.


As mentioned in the synopsis, the story is based on factors such as love, loss, happiness, grief, regret, redemption, life, death, ego, forgiveness, loyalty, acceptance, spirituality, violence, after-death etc. It answers many questions about the way we humans process our thoughts. It tells how complex we have made our world whereas it could be as easy as it is for the animal world. The pre-climax and climax made me emotional and I controlled my tears in contrast to all the chapters which otherwise made me laugh with funny take of the pet on the family he was adopted by. Sanjay has been immensely witty in this book. I never knew about Sanjay’s humor in both- straight and dark forms. Haha!


After reading this book, you will obviously start looking at animals in a very different light. You will understand that they are also processing some opinions about us. The pet lovers will be able to relate with all the tales. They’ll be extra-cautious to not be judged by their pet after keeping this book down. Haha! Overall, it’s a great attempt and something very fresh in the new arrivals. I give this book 4.25 stars out of 5.






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