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Friday, January 27

The Wednesday Soul - Book Review

Here I am, this is me, and there’s truly nowhere else I’d rather be…

To quote Bryan Adams… (more or less)

(Hats off to the magnificent singers and lyricists who come up with a song that fits every circumstance. Come any incident in life, and I have a pertinent and melodic song on my lips. Glorious and heartening, innit?!!)

But well, that’s not what this post is about – a song for every situation. This writeup comes to tell you about my recent read “The Wednesday Soul” by Sorabh Pant (and how can I forget the very important tagline, an obligation now for every title) – “the afterlife with sunglasses”. Sent to me by Blogadda (3rd book so far), thanks a lot BA team! It sure is a pleasure, this time, every time…

Why The Wednesday Soul (TWS) is named thus, I honestly have no idea.

To spill the already-spilt beans, I can tell you that the book is about afterlife and one of the important characters is a Wednesday Soul (assuming all souls up there are named after days of the week, based on their way of death and varied responsibilities). The sunglasses that command a dominating position in the tagline (a significant place, in my opinion, not bestowed upon other lesser phrases) figure in not more than 2-3 lines somewhere in the book. However, I shall pardon Mr. Pant for that. I completely believe in a free world phenomenon and freedom of thought of choice.

On that note… (Belated) Happy Republic Day!

(Sheesh, how could I forget?!! Blame it on the fortunate fact that I no longer need to wake up at the crack of dawn in the brain-numbing cold to go to school for the flag hoisting. And drag along my poor dad as well to pick and drop me. In the reverse order.)

Back to the review, pardon my nostalgic tirade.
A foreword though, before I proclaim my verdict.

Writing a book (or directing/producing a movie, for that matter) is no piece of cake. Anyone can become a critic, ain’t no big deal to censure what someone else does or says. Actually creating something, now that takes effort and dedication. So, to inventors and designers across the globe, RESPECT… Good job, ladies and gentlemen.

You, too, Sorabh Pant. For coming up with an idea that is rare and innovative. I’m tired of those silly chic-flicks and love stories. Though yours has one as well, it thankfully does not dominate the entire story or become a predictable melodramatic sequence of events, oh so Bollywoodesque.

“Hankypanty” (as a friend informed me) is quite a rage on Twitter.

(No, I am not on Twitter, just in case you were wondering. I have got better things to do than keep updating my status every nanosecond.)

The story (finally coming to it) is about a re-belle who meets an untimely death, and goes up in the sky (amidst extremely complicated procedures and tiresome, technical imagery). Characters from hither-thither make her after-life difficult and easy, and various revelations occur as the pages turn. Drab and stretched at times, absorbing and amusing at other times, this 209 page paperback is good for a quick read as you travel someplace or light, hobby-like reading for folks who are renewing their reading habits. For the more seasoned reader, well, it’s a maybe. It’s got fiction, mythology, general knowledge and science all rolled into one – and it may work for some and fall flat for the rest.

They say “never judge a book by its cover” but the glossy coat does make the book appear very sophisticated. While the summary on the back cover seems intriguing and creative, the recommendations by Mayank Shekhar and Vir Das can be taken with tablespoonfuls of salt. I did not “die laughing” (as you can see, I’m well and alive, a little under the weather if you may, but nothing time cannot cure, thank you for the concern), nor did I “laugh my ass off” (no comments on that one. This is a family blog.)

Purab Kohli, now him I’ll agree with. TWS is interesting, it has loads of imagination and vivid visualization (ekdum Avatar style). Jokes abound in the novel, some that shamed even me (which is saying a lot going by the “PJ Queen” tag that I command at my workplace) and some that bounced right off my pea-size brain.

The suspense could have been better and the war could have been shorter. Monotony takes over as the powerful characters lose their lustre. Better editing to grip the reader’s mind and shocks that actually stun the reader – now those are things I missed. The typos and flawed formatting leave much to desire if you consider at this book as a potential bestseller, but then I’m sure not too many other readers would notice – I tend to be more critical and systematic in my presentation and expectations. Call me superficial, if you wish. I could go back to my free world philosophy and harangue you…

All in all, not a bad read at all. But certainly needs to give way to something better.

Well well, then I gotta get going… Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead is still waiting on my shelf to be read and completed. Though, leme confess, I’m stealing sly glances at the thinner and expectedly more comical “Karl, Aaj aur Kal” by Cyrus Broacha that I bought today on a random visit to Crossword…

Hasta la Vista, mi chicos!! Son las doce y media. Pues, Buenas Noches :-)

Abrazos y Besos,

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