BOOK REVIEW: Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra


Publication Date: August 15, 2021
Format: Kindle
Genre:  Coming of age

Publisher: Self Published
174 pages
Buy:  Kindle 


I grew up in a housing society in Mumbai (then Bombay) that overlooked a slum colony, beyond which lay a notorious area which I refer to as the ‘other’ side in this book. The ‘other’ side held a deep fascination for me with its colorful, busy alleys bustling with activity, people and mystery.
There was one particular young man in that area that had become a figure of childhood folklore of sorts and we knew him only by his nickname. He had achieved a high level of recognition, given the issues he stood up for and the scraps he got embroiled in. I saw him just once and identified him instantly from his notorious group as he stood with an air of confidence outside that modest eatery, where he hung out with his peeps every evening. My only recollection of him was that he had a chiseled face, which bore a disturbed expression, and that he looked angry. Even though he didn’t live in the area and was educated, his fierce expression and restless body language somehow made him fit right into the unsettling character of the ‘other’ side.

I visited the area years later, and was surprised to learn about how life had completely turned around for him and his current vocation. His unique journey revealed him to be an unreasonable and fearless man, and I admired his resilience and goodness of heart despite the cards that life had dealt him. I felt compelled to tell the surreal story of this angry young man.

The names and professions of the characters of the book have been changed to protect the identities of the real people who have been referenced for this story, as have the locations and timelines. Parts of the book are inspired by true events, the rest is fiction.


I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This can be found on kindle unlimited for free. 

I loved this book.  I wasn't sure what to expect but it grabbed me from the very beginning.  This is a coming of age story in India.  Raghav comes from the good side of the tracks but is attracted to the pull of the poorer side.  He doesn't fit in at his school, as he isn't rich enough. When he saves a young boy from angry mobs he quickly finds friends in the slums.  As he gets older the pull of the "wrong" side keeps luring him back.  

Now searching for a job he is struggling with his father who doesn't trust him and is constantly belittling him and his desire to find something that inspires his soul.  When he finds a young girl by the side of road next to her dead mother he can't help but feel compelled to help. His friends think he is crazy and keep telling him it isn't his problem but he is determined to help.  What happens next is a series of missteps and drama that ultimately leads Raghav to realize where his life should be headed.  

Whats interesting is the ending which brings things around and back into focus.  Its not just a coming of age story but a story of compassion, of taking care of others and finding your way.  Of not letting circumstances hold you back and how being kind can go a long way.  I really enjoyed this book.  I think it will stick with me for a while. 

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