Ruskin Bond Books for Adults

Ruskin Bond’s tales and vivid descriptions of the Himalayan settings have captivated readers of all ages. Even if you recognise Ruskin Bond as an author of children’s books, his writing skills extend beyond juvenile themes to themes for adults. His mature writings combine sentiments, breezy romance, nature, and human emotions for a pleasant and introspective reading experience. 

Also read: Best Indian Humour Stories For YA

Let’s explore 10 Ruskin Bond books for adults.

1. Maharani

  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Pages: 190
  • Year of Publication: 2017
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

H.H. Neena Rani is the widow of the Maharaja of a fictional place called Mastipur but she is a spoiled, greedy, and gorgeous widow. She lives with her dogs and Hans, her caretaking companion, in a big old mansion in Mussoorie. 

The maharani has visiting admirers whom she dumps even as she drinks too much and fights off her irresponsible sons who are hungry for their fortune. H.H. is an old resident of the town while she has endured seasons, hotel fires, cinema closures, and people leaving the hill station forever. 

Ruskin, her old friend, watches her with disgust. Maharani is a charming, melancholy story about love, death, and friendship. Among books by Ruskin Bond, this one is neither a short story nor a novel, its a novella, with mature theme for adults.

2. Susanna’s Seven Husbands

  • Year of Publication:  2011
  • Publisher: Penguin India
  • Pages: 224
  • Stars: 4 out of 5
ruskin bond books for adults

Arun befriends Susanna, his dangerously gorgeous neighbour. Their age difference does not matter to him. Arun has secretly loved Susanna for a long time, almost since childhood. 

Susanna has a bad habit, she falls for the wrong men. Arun watches Susanna become known as “the merry widow,” a woman who marries and divorces often.  

But, he doubts the vicious tales about the woman he loves. This is a captivating novella about love and death. Saat Khoon Maaf, adapted from the book by award-winning filmmakers Vishal Bhardwaj and Matthew Robbins, is included in this edition. This book too has mature theme for adults as compared to other books of Ruskin Bond.

3. Death Under the Deodars

  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Year of Publication: 2018
  • Pages: 150
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

Mussoorie, 1967. This story has a vast cast to appear more mysterious. This murder mystery is extremely intriguing since the offender is caught without a comprehensive investigation.

“Death Under the Deodars” features eight terrifying short tales. Mussoorie’s Royal Hotel was the scene where something happens. The story follows 70-year-old spinster Miss Ripley Bean who is the protagonist. 

Also read: Best Ruskin Bond books for children and teens

Her common name is “Aunt May.” Despite seldom using her powers, she is a keen observer and a mystery solver. She has resided there since her father sold the hotel to Nandu before his death. 

Miss Ripley Bean never leaves her pet. The story features Mr Lobo, the hotel’s pianist; Nandu, the owner; and the author.

4. A Book on Simple Living

  • Publisher: Speaking Tiger 
  • Year of Publication: 2015
  • Pages: 160
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

Simple diary entries capture the numerous tiny moments of harmony with ourselves, nature, friends, family, and passersby. In these pages, you will see a wild plum blossom and the moon rise between two deodar trees, hear a redstart whistle and the rain drum on a tin roof, and recognise the loss and the comfort of old friends.

A Book of Simple Living is India’s most beloved and understated writer’s gift of beauty and wisdom. It chronicles Ruskin Bond’s life; living in the hills, studying, long walks, interacting with nature (plants, trees, birds, and animals), friendship, love, etc. 

This book has words of such thoughtfulness, observation and wonder that reading it slows down life’s noisy traffic. It makes us think about the tiny things that often escape our attention. 

5. How to Live Your Life

  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Year of Publisher: 2022
  • Pages: 124
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

This book has Ruskin Bond’s viewpoints, his philosophical musings based on his experience of life, events and people he came in contact with. Having lived more than eighty years on this planet and mostly in the hills of the lower Himalayas, he has a lot to share on how to live life. 

Ruskin Bond advises his readers to be authentic, to be true to themselves and give all their efforts in order to accomplish something. It is a book full of sensible advice from one of the most beloved novelists in India. 

His advice is undoubtedly sweet and so are his keen observations. Bond shares life lessons and instructions with a lot of love and concern for his readers almost like the readers were his family. 

Ruskin Bond is a respected and much-loved author with an Indian fan base. So, his honest and straightforward messages in the book are priceless!

It is a letter from Ruskin Bond sharing his life. It includes advice, instructions, quotations, life lessons, and a message from a respected author to his fans. 

6. Delhi is Not Far

  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Year of Publisher: 2017
  • Pages: 124
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

In this story, you will find residents from a dusty town called Pipalnagar, including Arun, Aziz, Barber Deep Chand, Pitamber, Kamla, Suraj and many others.

The grass is greener on the other side they say, likewise, residents of this town dream of going to Delhi to live a more exciting life. 

Aziz prefers a Chandni Chowk garbage business, while Pitamber wants an autorickshaw. Barber Deep Chand dreams of trimming the prime minister’s hair. The narrator, Arun, a struggling detective fiction writer, shares their desire to escape. 

While waiting for inspiration to write a blockbuster novel, he finds love with the wise teenaged Kamla, who has a dark background, and the orphan and epileptic Suraj, who is optimistic despite his difficult circumstances. 

In Delhi Is Not Far, one of his most endearing novels, Ruskin Bond depicts small-town India with his distinctive calm wisdom, understanding and compassion.

7. Lone Fox Dancing

  • Publisher: Speaking Tiger
  • Year of Publication: 2017
  • Pages: 304
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

Ruskin Bond has been an encouraging buddy for readers of all ages in big cities, small towns, and tiny hamlets for over sixty years. This book is his beautifully entertaining autobiography.

He leads us to his idyllic adolescence in Jamnagar, where he wrote his first poems, and New Delhi in the early 1940s when he penned his first short story. 

He talks about his parent’s divorce, his father’s death which shattered his pleasure and how his need for friendship and stability influenced his decisions.

Bond remembers his childhood and discovering his vocation. He writes about his first novel, longing for India while in England and eventually settling in Mussoorie, generously surrounded by everything that is part of life in the hills.

In short, if you are a researcher or a fan, curious about his life, then you must read this book. The narrative is warm, full of tales and poignant.

8. A Flight of Pigeons

  • Publisher: Penguin India
  • Year: 2007
  • Pages: 135
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

Ruskin Bond’s famous novella “A Flight of Pigeons” is set in Shahjahanpur during the 1857 revolution. This makes it a historical fiction novel because it is set in times of the 1857 revolt. 

It explores fate, history, and the human heart. Lala Ramjimal shelters Ruth Labadoor’s family when sepoys kill her father, a British magistrate’s clerk. They plan to flee to Bareilly with their families. 

Javed Khan, a fiery Pathan hostile to the British, kidnaps Ruth and her mother and takes them to his haveli, ruining their plans. To their amazement, he is driven by Ruth, not hatred. 

A Flight of Pigeons is a disturbing, dramatic tale based on stories retold by his father from Ruskin’s grandfather’s times. Ruskin Bond’s grandfather was a soldier in British India, as a result, Ruskin’s father and Ruskin were both born and brought up in India with few vacations in England.

9. The Night Train at Deoli

  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Year: 2016
  • Pages: 248
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

This book has a collection of 30 short stories. The Night Train at Deoli is one of these short stories, which is a must-read for every reader. Simple, heartwarming, and thought-provoking stories will transport you to Dehradun and Mussoorie, where the author grew up. 

Ruskin Bond as a young adult would travel to Dehradun to visit his grandmother while he worked in Delhi. During his train travels, the train would stop at Deoli where no activity took place. Nobody got in or got off the train, but a girl selling baskets came to the window.

Bond thought her eyes were very expressive and magnetic. He wanted to get off the train and explore Deoli and find out more about the quiet station. This story conveys the rush of young attraction and unfulfilled friendship.

The other stories include a love of long ago, the woman on platform no.8, the neighbour’s wife and other stories. All the stories are simple, free from complications of technology and traffic, sharing the author’s joy and sorrow.

You might also like to read “Time Stops at Shamli” which is a sequel to “The Night Train at Deoli”. Additionally, “The Sensualist” is one more book by Ruskin Bond for mature readers. 

10. The Girl on The Train

  • Publisher: Rupa
  • Year of Publication: 2022
  • Pages: 142
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

This book is a collection of short stories that have a girl he admired. The collection includes these stories:

  1. The Girl on the train
  2. Nina
  3. A Love of Long Ago
  4. Who Kissed Me in the Dark?
  5. The Girl from Copenhagen
  6. Topaz
  7. The Year of Kissing and Other Good Times
  8. Bus Stop Pipalnagar
  9. The Women on Platform No. 8

Ruskin Bond’s simple heartfelt narration recounts desire and lost ties in The Girl on the Train. These stories may bring back fond memories.

Conclusion

Ruskin Bond’s writing style is introspective, dependent on keen observation, and has a gentle, leisurely take on life that is refreshing. Thoughts are interpreted by Ruskin Bond in an understated manner with amusement or a tinge of loss that the reader can understand. 

In fact, the innocence and charm of his narrative are pleasant and calming. In this article, adults would have found great books by Ruskin Bond, written especially for them.

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