Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thar express - eBook eReview

The book began with a bang. A man found in a landslide, in a very precarious condition at a very  disputed site and with no memory whatsoever - this is the beginning of a story that you can do so much with. And this is probably a very Bollywood style story too. 

The first third of the book is little slow with our protagonist (Mano, he remembers it in a while) trying to find his bearings and beginning to understand his problem.
The second third of the book runs and pulls you along with it. It gets better and our Mano is a man with a mission to go around the country and figure out who he is and where he comes from. And all this while the police, the NIA, the army, everyone is looking for a potential terrorist on the run.
Is Mano an ordinary guy caught in the extraordinary? Is he an insurgent helping the militants bringing supplies across the border? Is he pretending or has he really lost his complete memory? When he gets his memory will he turn dangerous? How did he find himself in Kashmir that too so close to the border? All your questions are answered in the last third of the book. The last third is actually an exaggeration. The entire story comes clean and clear to you only in the last 10% of the book. A bit too much story in one go. And a bit too late.
Now coming to the writing style, I don't know if this is the author's first book but you can see that he is a little green behind the ears. It comes across in the length and breadth of the story. While he has great imagination, he is a little impatient to make an impact. Like the urgency with which he explains the story to us in the last 10% of the book. He forgets that he is telling us a story and he doesn't need to explain it. He rushes through it like he had a deadline to meet or like he is worried that the reader might have been a bit bored with going around the country and with little story to go on because the author spent a little too much time getting to make the book a page turner that it's not filled with enough information to actual keep the pace of the story consistently. I can assure him that the reader is not bored. The reader enjoys travelling across India into little corners to figure out the truth behind the UFO. It is an exciting page turner and could have been some 50 pages longer 
The writing too is a little naive. Not that it's grammatically wrong but on occasion it falls short of good writing. The repeated use of the phrase "some time back" or "few minutes back", had hit me jarringly while I'm completely absorbed in the story, throwing breaks in my pace. The phrase is not wrong but it's odd because you don't expect colloquial phrases in a description. Similarly, Mano is not his nickname as Mano explains it to be. It is his pet name. 
In any case, writing style is a personal style. It is occasionally an acquired taste as well. While writing more would help the author evolve into a more matured writer, the reader also would develop a liking for an author on repeated exposure to the style and format. 

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