q u o t e

Friday, October 3, 2014

book review PRIVATE INDIA


  the new thriller by
    ashwin sanghi

the thing i like most about the book
is the craft . small sentnences , very
small chapters . 116 chapters, none longer
than 6 pages, spread over 444 pages is an
inviting format.

then those quote marks. they are there all over.
which means most of the book is in the form of
conversations. no long winding background
descriptions or stage settings. except on
very special occasions like the tower of
silence scene. it is direct interaction right
from start.

good but i have a suggestion. why not cut
out all those quotation marks .once the reader
absorbs the plot it is clear who is talking what.
there is no need to specifically mark them out.
thanx to the brilliant style.

the plot is the next best thing. meticulously
planned and tied up with near has
all the ingredients mixed in the right proportion.
fit to fill a guide book for aspiring writers of
thrillers and chillers.

it starts with murders spread over entire mumbai.
then goes on to terrorists and their public life.
and of course the high tech private india team
finally catching up with them all.

it s all in the classic style. the villain coming
on stage early enough, but the readers missing him.
then the police chief turning out to be hand in
glove with the culprits.

and this is where i want to sound a jarring note.
rupesh, the police chief turned villain too soon.
his change over is not properly built up. yes,
his true nature is revealed in the torture of hari,
the private india executive. wherein he says i will
pass a current thru your testes, duration and the
ampere of which will depend on the time you take
to come up with a confession and the degree to which
it matches the draft that i have in my mind. he reveals
his sadistic bend of mind when he insists that the
interrogation of hari , who incidentally is his long
time friend, has to start with this compulsory torture
to imprint the experience firmly and permanently in
the victim's psyche. yet i feel the transition of
rupesh to that ruthless acoomplice of dreaded crime
syndicate is not properly built up.

but it is more than compensated in the build up of
the tower of silence climax where rupesh half alive
is eaten by the vultures starting with his still
blinking eyes. worth a nightmare of sorts or two.

then the man , woman , man again identity confusion
of the murderer is an interesting twist in the plot,
well developed and blended nicely into the main story.

now the most outstanding feature of this book. you can
use this fast paced action thriller as a tourist guide
of the great city of mumbai. the events are so
thoughtfully spaced across the entire city and the
scenes are so vividly , yet briefly , described that
you will recall and cherish the memories of your last
visit or plan the first visit straight away.

now to fall in line with the concept the last line of
a review should ideally be a negative one, i prefer
to cast doubt on the very name of the book. almost
any name other than private india would have better
kindled my initial interest in the book, of course,
not the enduring interest which even the current
name could not diminish.

well this is my first share of the thrill i got from
reading private india. when i get time to look up those
difficult but beautiful words scattered all over the
novel, probably a contribution of the english partner
author, i will attempt a more detailed review.

statutory warning. this book is unputdownable. start
reading it only if you have the time in one stretch.