Table of Contents
Ruskin Bond, one of India’s most creative and beloved novelists, has an unrivaled reputation among writers for his books. Believe it or not, he began his writing profession at the tender age of 17, when most individuals are still learning how to string together a few sentences.
His career stretches over 60 years, and his works have inspired people all around the globe. In 1957, his first work, The Room on the Roof, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, showcasing his brilliance as a writer.
His work mostly depicts his life in Dehradun, a northern hill area where he spent his youth. He has written hundreds of stories that youngsters still treasure. He is also the author of several short tales, essays, novels, and expositions.
His writing style is elegant and vibrant, and he creates a vivid image in the minds of his readers. This ensures a strong emotional bond with the characters in his works.
Below is a list of Ruskin Bond’s best books.
1. The Room On The Roof
This novel won Ruskin Bond the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. It depicts the exploits of a young orphaned Anglo-Indian youngster named Rusty. Rusty lives with his local guardian, Mr. Harrison, and is not satisfied with his strict parenting methods.
Rusty, like any other adolescent, yearns for independence and finally flees his home to live with some new Indian companions he meets. He finds India in all its grandeur while with them and marvels at all the things Mr. Harrison had kept him away from. Soon after, he gets a job to teach a little kid the English language in return for temporary housing in a small room on the roof. This book is, without a doubt, one of Ruskin Bond’s greatest works.
2. The Blue Umbrella
The Blue Umbrella, one of Ruskin Bond’s best-known novels, is set in a small town in Himachal Pradesh, India. Binya, a little girl, trades her lucky leopard’s claw jewelry for a magnificent blue umbrella in the story. Everyone around Binya is envious of her pricey item. Ram is a shopkeeper who desires to own the same blue umbrella. This Ruskin Bond book perfectly captures the spirit of heroism and redemption. The Blue Umbrella was later adapted into a film by Vishal Bhardwaj and received a National Film Award nomination for Best Children’s Film.
3. Angry River
“Angry River,” one of Ruskin Bond books, is one of his greatest works. The protagonist Sita lives with her grandparents on a little island amid a river. One day, her grandparents leave for an emergency on their sole boat, leaving her alone at the cabin. The rains become increasingly unpredictable, and a deluge threatens to engulf the entire island.
Sita is being pursued by the Angry River as she attempts to save herself from drowning in the floodwaters. The premise revolves around her battles with the enraged river and subsequent rescue efforts. In 2012, Amar Chitra Katha published a comic adaptation of Angry River.
4. Vagrants In The Valley
Vagrants In The Valley is a timeless narrative of friendship and personal growth. Many consider it to be a sequel to Ruskin Bond’s best-selling ‘A Room On The Roof.’ Rusty’s narrative continues in the novel when he realizes that his treasured chamber is no longer his.
He sets out on a voyage of different houses and friendships, all the while learning about himself. He traverses the magnificent Himalayan mountains in search of information about his history, true parents, new acquaintances, and more. Vagrants In The Valley is a love letter to adolescence and all of its intricacies.
5. A Flight Of Pigeons
A Flight Of Pigeons is a tale about the twists of fate, history, and the human heart, set during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Ruth’s father is assassinated by Indian rebels in the British magistrate’s office, setting the stage for this famous story.
This forces Ruth’s family to seek safety with Lala Ramjimal, a valued companion, and finally flee to relatives in Bareilly. Their efforts, however, go in vain when the clever Javed Khan, a fiery Pathan, kidnaps Ruth and her mother with nefarious motives. In 1978, A Flight Of Pigeons was made into a film named Junoon directed by renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal
6. Book of Humour
A lovely gift from a writer who knows not only how to make us laugh, but also how to laugh at himself. Uncle Ken, Miss Bun, the author’s slightly eccentric grandfather, and Bond himself weave their way through the pages of this wildly eclectic, thoroughly delightful, and completely irresistible anthology, which includes previously unpublished pieces like “Respect Your Breakfast” and “Uncle Ken Goes to Sea,” as well as beloved classics from Bond’s books.
Even the most hardened among us may crack a smile after reading Ruskin Bond’s Book of Humour, which is characterized by the unmistakable charm and subtle wit of one of India’s best-loved writers.
7. Rusty, The Boy From The Hills
Rusty, The Young Boy From The Hills is a novel about Rusty, a shy, creative, and sensitive boy who goes on adventures. He spends his time in Dehradun with his grandparents, where he encounters a ghost in the garden and recreates his grandmother’s adolescence from an old image.
Rusty’s journey from childhood to early adolescence is fascinatingly depicted in the story. The book is a blend of strange but humorous situations that will undoubtedly bring back memories of your youth!
Books written by Ruskin Bond are all fantastic and highly recommended. Some of us may have been reading his books since we were children. Yes, Ruskin Bond’s works are timeless classics. Decide which of his novels you like by reading them. It’s a wonderful pleasure to read Ruskin Bond’s storybooks. Every Bond fan has his or her particular favorites from the books he has written.
Taking some time to read any of his literary works on a hectic stressful day can take you to mountains, woods, friends, animals, flora, and wildlife. You’ll feel more at ease and thankful for the beauty of the world around you.
Q1. Which of Ruskin Bond books were his first?
Answer – ‘The Room on the Roof’, is Ruskin Bond’s first book. It was published when he was seventeen and he also won the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957 award for it.
Q2. What are the awards received by Ruskin Bond?
Answer – He has received numerous awards but some notable ones are Padma Shri, John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, Padma Bhushan, Sahitya Akademi Award.
Q3. What are the advantages of reading books by Ruskin Bond?
Answer – You’ll see that the attractiveness of his stories is the simplicity in his writing style and the vastness of the subject matter. The stories that evolved in Ruskin Bond’s mind who was a resident of the hills and was inspired by the mountain air.