While I was writing my 4 non-fiction books, which were intended to ‘contribute to building a bridge from where I came to where I am’ (as suggested by the spirit world), I decided to learn to write fiction. After a time, I put together the best of my experimental writing which, unsurprisingly, turned out to be bi-cultural in approach. Two avid but critical readers, who had influenced my first memoir ‘Destiny Will Out,’ encouraged publication.
REVIEW in Writers Voice, June 2112
I recently had the chance to read ‘Pithy Perspectives’ by Raja Arasa Ratnam.
Raja has lived a most interesting life and proved to be a very valuable addition to Australia since he arrived here over six decades ago. His time here spans the period from White Australia to the Multicultural Australia of today. Raja is 82 years old and lived for four years under the Japanese Military. He has held a variety of leadership positions during his residence of more than 60 years in Australia, Raja has tried to impart some of the wisdom he has gathered over the years to you, the reader. Details for some of Raja’s work can be seen on our FAW Bookshelf.
This in an interesting book of 20 or more short stories to really engage the mind. Each story actually has a good opening and dramatic ending. The stories have a wide ranging background; crazy, frightening, weird, some really lovely, some making fun of human ambitions, and cross-cultural issues.
The last story is really quite intriguing – it is so different – and will have you feeling really wonderful. I say no more.
It is a very clever book – a real smorgasbord for the reader – one to sit back and really enjoy. Raja Ratnam is one writer who relishes his craft and has a special ability to impart his knowledge and experiences in written form in an enjoyable way.
The book is available as an EBook in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Keep a lookout for Raja’s latest book also, ‘Musings at Death’s Door.’ Trevar Langlands, State President (NSW), Fellowship of Australian Writers Inc.
Review by US Review of Books
reviewed by Maria A. Hughes
“Memory is not a function of age but of significance.”
Ratnam conveys his insight into multiculturalism, human psychology, spirituality, what it means to be human, and the unknown in this collection of bite-sized, esoteric short stories. The reader is not bogged down by heavy-handed philosophical or religious quandaries. Ratnam’s stories are peppered with various forms of intelligent life, including djinns and sentient animals, lending a mythological bent to reality. They especially lend themselves to fans of science fiction, the fantastical, or even the odd.
There are stories that speak to the frailty and limitations of the human spirit while others are of curiosity and redemption. Some are full of hilarity as they jest over the human condition while others are frightening. The stories are whimsical, engaging, unpredictable, a little weird, highly imaginative, and will appeal to a wide audience. They often end on an unexpected, dramatic note, keeping the reader at guessing the outcome.
The last story, “Of Mice and Morality,” is perhaps Ratnam’s best piece. It is captivating, thought-provoking, poetic, and will leave the reader feeling inspired by the end of it. The author has truly written a smorgasbord of stories which will appeal to a wide array of people. Pithy Perspectives is perfect for the person who desires to read something that is intellectually stimulating but at the same time entertaining, easy to understand, and short enough that the book can be read and enjoyed in snippets.
Review of ‘Pithy Perspectives’ on YouTube
This truly is a smorgasbord of short stories. With 21 wonderful short stories to choose from, I decided to skip about and read in no particular order- simply because I could due to the way the author crafted this book.
‘Grounded’ quickly became an early favorite as I liked the interaction of the characters but dear Rueben in ‘The Boat People’ reminded me much of the delightfully browbeaten Richard in Keeping Up Appearances on PBS.
‘Nothing Fishy at the Seaside’ was another story that stood out as I liked the idea of the story and it made my brain work double time.
The last story, ‘Of Mice and Morality,’ was captivating, thought-provoking, poetic, and left me feeling inspired by the end of it.
After much debating, I find choosing a favorite from these delightful gems is a task that is far more difficult than it seems. While they are stand-alone stories, they flow nicely together when read one after the other.
The author managed to take an eclectic mix of stories and create a book that one can read a little at a time or in one sitting with the same outcome – a true pleasure to read. The stories are engaging, unpredictable, a little weird, highly imaginative, and will appeal to a wide audience.
If you appreciate exceptional short fiction like I do I’m sure you’ll enjoy this 5 star collection. It’s available on Kindle at a very affordable price.
Review by William Potter of Independent Author Network