Book Review: An Obedient Father

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I needed to force money from Father Joseph, and it made me nervous.

The book opens with the above appalling line which is just peek into the realistic world of Akhil Sharma’s book. An Obedient Father is a debut novel of author Akhil Sharma.


Akhil is an Indian American who moved United state at the age of eight. Sharma studied at Princeton University, where he earned his B.A. in public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School. He then won a Stegner Fellowship to the writing program at Stanford.He then attempted to become a screenwriter, but, disappointed with his fortunes, left to attend Harvard Law School.Akhil use to work as an Investment banker in New york before he turned as a full time writer. Currently he works as an assistant professor in the creative writing MFA program at Rutgers University-Newark.

As the name suggests the book has strong and bold content not for weak-hearted people. The novel revolves around the protagonist Ram Karan who lives with his widowed daughter, Anita and granddaughter,Asha, in tiny an apartment of Delhi’s poor area.

It portrays India in different light. It focuses on the crimes that takes place in a country and it’s take by the people who are involved in such crimes. The book takes you through extreme emotions one being of hatred towards the people who do crime and another of sympathy when they are stuck under their own plans.

It describes the tension that existed at the time of Indira Gandhi assassination and how it must have effected the overall political scenario of India. It gives very detailed insight of Indian city life, its religious beliefs, and government functioning. He explain the city atmosphere so flawlessly that a person who has never been to India could imagine the busy street life of Delhi.

The writer was compared with the likes of author Dostoevsky’s and Gogol. You will surely found their influence in his writings as Sharma confessed reading these writers work extensively. The book has a sarcastic approach which when taken in same light makes it an interesting read.

The book is not populated with good guys and bad guys, instead it is filled with evil victims and pitiable villains.”

The author won Folio Prize for fiction in 2015 for his second book, The family life.

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