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By: R H Young

Dhanmondi Road

Pages: 220 Ratings: 5.0
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The year is 1973. The Bangladesh war of independence is over but the country remains in chaos. Gareth McKinley, a young Australian, arrives in the country to work on a project set up to care for destitute children. He quickly learns that living and working in a post-war environment can be dangerous. A crisis emerges when some children involved in the project cannot be accounted for. Does the explanation lie in a mysterious letter that seems to have been sent from Dubai? Dhanmondi Road sensitively captures the atmosphere of a country in turmoil and charts Gareth's progress towards increasing self-knowledge and -awareness in ways he could not have dreamed of before setting out on this journey.
R H Young is an Australian who has lived in England since the 1990s. He lives with his partner in East Sussex. His background is in social work and university lecturing. This is his debut novel. It is based on his experience of living and working in Bangladesh in the 1970s.
Customer Reviews
10 reviews
10 reviews
  • Anonymous

    Fascinating. Well written, thoughtful and powerfully evocative this novel takes you back to a barely remembered time in recent history and through its depth and colour creates an immediacy which makes compulsive reading. One of those books that come out of the blue and makes you think "goodness, where did that come from". As well as capturing the chaos of Bangladesh the book is remarkable for its insights into the loss of innocence in both childhood and adulthood. A must-read.

  • Jan Harden

    As an expat I am always curious about the books I stumble across that wander the paths of fellow travellers. So it was a delight to discover myself engrossed in the journey of a young Australian as he navigated Dhanmondi Road. The tail end of a barely remembered conflict from the 1970s became startlingly alive as I got pulled into the evocative narrative of the novel. The detail and the pathos made me feel as if I was really there and I guess the loss of innocence and naivety is something we all mourn a little as we get older. Challenging, thoughtful and well written, a great book.

  • Easyreader from Europe

    I read this book a couple of weeks ago and it keeps going round in my head. A captivating journey of innocence in a place and history not known to me, the story was so powerful I've been reading up on it ever since. The detail of the writing really takes you there.
    Bottom Line! Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.

  • Chris Davidson

    With so many new novels published, how do you pick out the ones you should read? Well, I was lucky and found out this is one of them. Alongside a deceptively easy reading style, there are several, deeper layers of interest. To start with, it's a good read. After putting it down, you don't want to wait too long to find out what happens next. Alongside following the twists and turns of the storyline, the character development is equally absorbing. The way the characters change and develop and the depiction of their relationships with each other is closely and subtly integrated with their developing relationship with and response to the dramatically different cultural and social environment, within which they are operating. This adds another layer to this multidimensional work: the author's incredible eye for detail in building up a colourful background picture, graphically evoking the contemporary atmosphere of the newly emerging country of Bangladesh.
    An absorbing story, complex characters, vivid background colour - there's something to captivate most readers here. For a first novel, it's a remarkable one.
    As well as reading this, look out for the likely sequel, which should be even better!

  • J G's review

    Couldn't put this book down! Quickly became engrossed with the main character, despite not being sure whether I liked him or not! I was fascinated by the vivid descriptions of Bangladesh which created many images in my mind's eye. Cleverly written with the dots being joined in an unexpected way.

  • Karl

    I read it until the end without stopping. It was like I was there. A lovely read and very insightful how fragile times were.

  • Nony

    Dhanmondi Road is the debut novel of the author RH Young. Story is set in 1973 and is inspired by author's experience of living and working in Bangladesh in the 1970s. Gareth McKinley, a young Australian has been traveling throughout Europe with his friend Tom. Later, Tom decided to return to home and Gareth still had the whole world to explore.

    When Gareth got to know from Ian Hennessy that World Alliance of YMCAs in Geneva needs a volunteer who would be able to go to Bangladesh to work, Gareth agreed for it. Gareth got the visa to stay in Bangladesh for three months. When Gareth reached Calcutta, he was shocked by the evidence of poverty among the roadside crowds.

    As the story progresses, Gareth met a woman Tori who was working for an organisation called World for Children. Grab a copy of this book and read the story yourself to know more about Gareth's journey. This is a novel that took me to a different world.

    The post-war conditions, how it made many boys orphaned was all worth reading and astonishing sometimes. Cover of the book is very thoughtful. Plot of the story is so interesting that it kept me hooked to the story. I really loved this story and I am curious to read more of Young's work in future.

  • Ankita

    Some stories has the power to hook the readers from the first page. Dhanmondi Road by the author RH Young is one such novel. Gareth McKinley has been traveling throughout Europe with his friend Tom from University in Melbourne. I really liked the way Gareth accepted the volunteer work on a project set up to care for destitute children. As Gareth explored Calcutta and Bangladesh, he was shocked to see the poverty. His home country Australia, European countries and England all seemed very similar but his journey to Calcutta was his first glimpse of urban life outside of Australia and Europe. The boys who had been orphaned during the war has to be housed and educated. Working in the post-war environment is not that easy. There are lots of challenges lying ahead. Read this intense story that is full of suspense. Narration is flawless. Author has done great work in his debut novel. Writing style is amazing and I enjoyed this well crafted tale. The vivid imagination of author is something I want to appreciate a lot. This is a kinda story that gonna stay in my head for long time. I like to strongly recommend this to my fellow readers.

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