Room On The Roof

Room On The Roof
Image source: Google

Rating: 4.6 /5

Author: Ruskin Bond

Hardcover: 208 pages

Publisher: Penguin Books Limited

Publishing Date: 1956, Pengin - 1 October 2014

Language: English

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

ISBN-10: 0143333380

ISBN-13: 978-0143333388

Cost: Rs.193 (Kindle edition)


Room on the Roof is about an orphaned boy named Rusty who has no real family after his parents’ death. He is very lonely and sad and even though he lives with his guardian (Mr. John Harrison), he doesn’t feel at home. Rusty is going through several emotions: he is confused, obliged, helpless, lonely and sad. He is confused because he is a young boy between the age of an adult and child and doesn’t know who to follow or what his future holds. He is obliged to follow the orders and rules of his guardian and dares not disobey him. He feels helpless because he knows that if he disobeys Mr. John, he will get caned. Rusty doesn’t have any real friends and he is so very lonely in his guardian’s house.


The author was seventeen when he wrote this and the story was inspired by his own experiences when he lived in Dehra. He wrote this story because he too was feeling some of the emotions that Rusty was feeling in the story. And for that reason, he decided that he would never make any revisions so readers could understand how it feels to be seventeen.

It has a lot of different emotions and the way Ruskin Bond has written it: a simple story made into such a touching and sad book.

There were a few funny descriptions, such as when Ruskin Bond described a situation as:

‘When a butterfly landed on the missionary’s wife’s palatial bosom….gives it a comedic relief.

The lesson in this story is to remain open as Rusty was and to follow one’s instincts. If Rusty had not becomes friends with the people of the bazaar he would never have had all the wonderful experiences in the story.

Ruskin Bond has a certain poetic style of writing. He chooses words carefully and describes every detail appropriately. The marked style of writing is noteworthy when the boy gets into the dilemma of living India and going to England. Ruskin uses many adjectives to support his writing that make his work beautiful and graceful to read.

He also remarkably shows in the novel, how some strangers can become part and parcel of one’s life by showing a little tenderness and warmth. Rusty, the protagonist in the novel underwent same state and made some friends for lifetime. He uses interesting language and really funny phrases to describe the characters and their stories. He writes simple but wonderful stories. Even though Ruskin Bond’s stories feel like memoirs but they are presented as a story.

Milestones of Book:

  • Winner of John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957.

About the Author:

Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli in 1934. He grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun and Shimla, worked briefly in Jersey, London and Delhi, and moved to Mussoorie in the early 1960s to write full time. One of India’s best loved and most popular authors, Ruskin Bond has written over a hundred books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including the best-selling classics Room on the Roof (winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), A Flight of Pigeons, The Blue Umbrella, Time Stops at Shamli, Night Train at Deoli, Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra (winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award) and Rain in the Mountains. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014.