Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lucifer's Lungi - Book Review


Lucifer’s Lungi
By Nitin Sawant
Review By Ila Garg

“…sometimes the road less travelled, is less travelled for a reason…”

Lucifer’s Lungi, by the debutant writer Nitin Sawant is published by Fablery Publications. The book jacket is appropriate and hooks the readers instantly. The old temple, the moon, everything is appealing. It intrigues the readers into believing that it’s a horror story. The book is small sized and makes you wonder what can be stored in it. This novella is an in and out thriller and the cover adds to its thrill.

The author has tried to make a living by being a software programmer, engineer, stock market analyst, copywriter, journalist, tele-shopping expert and jewellery designer at various stages of life. He has travelled far and wide across the world, and has led a nomadic life for past 20 years. This gives a unique perspective to all his tall tales and offers a distinctive colour to his writing. There’s usually a tinge of sadness to every joke he’s experienced. And he’s always ended up laughing, whenever he’s lived through a horror moment, like in the ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’. It is his literary debut.

The blurb reads as, An atheist city-slicker unleashed on a medieval holy village...

A simpleton village priest's boy who blindly worships and guards a pantheon of Gods and Their traditions...

Strange things happen when their worlds collide!

This is a tale of that turmoil on a lonely night in a jungle, when the ghosts you never knew till a few hours ago are let loose on the ghosts that you always carried within, unknowingly.

Welcome to the unholy clash of beliefs, fears and frailties with unknown Gods and demons. A clash that will test your convictions. A clash that will rabidly claw and unmask your subconscious, leaving you naked and paralyzed in front of your demons - in a climax that is as ambiguous as it is certain...

Welcome to the madness of 'Lucifer's Lungi'... where What-You-See-Is-NOT-What-You-Get...”

The author begins absurdly but soon takes his readers on this gripping ride. This book is written in the form of a travelogue. The protagonist of this pocket-sized-rocket is an atheist working in the city. He loves to take out time every weekend to go on trips. It brings colors to his monotonous life. It’s almost like an escape route from his neck-breaking corporate life. On one such trip, he lands up in a village where people question his purpose of visit. They want to know why ‘saar’ (sir) has come there if he doesn’t want to buy flowers or visit a temple.

The people there further believe in strange tales and traditions. They believe in the wrath of ghosts and similar things. He is caught in this ‘unholy clash of beliefs, fears and frailties with unknown Gods and demons’. Much against his will, he is drawn into a world that plays on his subconscious fears and his imagination, driving him to a state of no-return.

Bringing to the fore, the rift between Lucifer and God, good and evil; the author has indeed taken a bold step. The way this narrative is written, it compels the readers to believe that it is a realistic tale. The author has managed to keep the story tight knit and though it is fast paced, yet it seems comfortable for the readers.

The language is easy to comprehend, with a little use of vernacular words like ‘Apattu’ (hazardous), ‘Tondaravu’ (trouble), etc. All characters are sketched very well and they make the plot more interesting. Author’s language is really fresh and the narration is entrancing too. Readers will find it interesting and will not be bored.

The 111 page book manages to be a wonderful read. This book is definitely a page turner and a very quick read. Though my first impression was that the author won’t be able to condense his ideas in such a small book. I wasn’t too sure if I would like this novella but gradually as I began reading, I realised how intelligently Nitin Sawant has used the right amount of words to grip his readers.

For a debut writer, Nitin Sawant has presented a nice book with a different storyline. The plot and thrill kept me glued to this book. Due to the simple language used by the author, the readers will not find it difficult to comprehend.

The downside of this book is its editing. It left me disappointed. To err is human, but to err and err again is not justified. From the “po-logue” to the “ippo-logue”, the narrative has a lot of spelling, punctuation and basic grammatical errors that slipped through the writer's and editor's eyes. Apart from these, the excessive use of slangs like kinda and gawd made this dish too salty for me! 

‘Yay’ Factors: The compact story line.

‘Nay’ Factors: The too many editing errors right from the first page to the last page.

My Verdict: To find out who is the protagonist, why does he go for the weekend trips, why the locals question his visit, what is the mystery behind the temple, will he get back, how does he deals with the clash between fear and power, good and bad, who wins this clash in the end - Lucifer or God; you will have to read the novella, Luficer’s Lungi.

Ratings: 3/5

Buying Links: Amazon|Flipkart|Homeshop18

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Metamorphing - Book Review

By Kunal Pancholi
Review By Ila Garg

Metamorphing, by the debutant writer Kunal Pancholi is published by Frog Books (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd). The paper and print quality show that it is a publication house that we should keep an eye on. Metamorphing is a gripping crime thriller which is adorned by an equally illustrative cover design.

The cover shows a half opened door and draws an eerie picture of a murder site with the marked area for a dead body. On the foreground, there is a red butterfly silhouette which doesn’t fit in the murder site but had to be there to emphasize on the title which is related to metamorphosing i.e. Caterpillar - Butterfly. Yes, this misspelled word, ‘Metamorphing’ is deliberately chosen as the title of the book.

Thus, this thoughtful title and cover will instantly make you want to grab the book and read on.

The author graduated from SRCC Delhi in 2001 and completed his MBA from NMIMS Mumbai in 2006. He has worked with banks, co-founded READO – an audio book publishing company and done a marketing stint with a film production company in Mumbai. Currently he heads marketing at a technology start-up. Metamorphing is his literary debut.

The blurb reads as, 28TH APRIL, 2000: Flight No. 9x4876 bound to Srinagar has crash landed into the Everest Base camp. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the flight mysteriously went off the radar for few minutes and missed its landing. All passengers are feared dead… except for three bodies that are yet to be recovered.

8TH DECEMBER, 2050: This, without doubt is the most gruesome murder in recent times. Early this morning, an unidentified woman was found mutilated at the western gates of the abandoned Victoria Terminus Station in Mumbai. Authorities report her head was … well … semi-decapitated and she was drained of all her blood. The shocking part - the crime scene was devoid of any signs of blood spatter…

ROHAN: He was shorter than the shortest girl in school; he had to be ahead in the game!

RUDRA: A man without a past, coaxed into a murder investigation; will he ever grasp the true nature of the crime?

A thrilling tale about two men bound by an untraceable yet undeniable fate - One running away from his past, another unaware of his own.”

The author covers a span of 50 years in this book. Kunal Pancholi weaves an impressive story that narrates the tale of two people who live years apart but still are connected to one another in some bizarre form. One man who is desperately trying to run away from something in his past, whereas another one who would do anything to remember anything from his past.

The story of these two people progresses in alternating chapters. First man, Rudra, wakes up from an accident in 2050, and finds his memories washed away. He manages to get his address and reach his house but still remains clueless. He is then asked to be a private detective by a woman whose son is wrongly accused of murder. Rudra takes up the assignment assuming that he had been a detective in his life before his memories got washed away.

The second man, Rohan is the shortest guy in his class. He is in quest of love and living the life of a normal youngster at the millennium year. His life is perfect when Gina reciprocates his feelings. But a plane crash from which he is the only survivor changes his life forever.

The language is brilliant, easy, with no technical jargon and fluid enough to read. As simple as it may seem, the story doesn’t move on a linear path; it takes a zig-zag pattern. Readers will find it interesting and will not be bored.

The 250 page book manages to a wonderful read. Not exposing the story much, I can easily say that readers will enjoy it despite the non-linear pattern. The plot that is different from the mainstream romance makes you keep turning the pages to reach the climax and unveil the suspense of the lives of the two main characters. The author binds the attention of his readers from the very beginning. He manages to create an aura of confusion and suspicion which compels the readers to read till the end.

For a debut writer, Kunal Pancholi has presented a nice book with a different storyline. The plot and thrill kept me glued to this book. Though the author should have worked more on building the suspense. Also, the narrative style was a little different and is gripping. Readers will find it a comfortable read and the pace is comfortable too. Due to the simple language used by the author, the readers will not find it difficult to comprehend.  

‘Yay’ Factors: The story line and the language. Also, I loved the characterization and the way Kunal Pancholi has created the house in 2050 with his words.

‘Nay’ Factors: The suspense is revealed well before the book ends.

My Verdict: To find out who is Rudra, why is he in the hospital, what is the reason behind his memory loss, how he struggles to recollect his past, who is Rohan, is he successful in his quest of love, what happened with him after plane crash, why cannot recollect from his past, how he gets back to his normal life, who is Ayan, what role does he have in the story, how are both Rudra and Rohan connected; you will have to read the novel, Metamorphing.

Ratings: 4/5
Buying Links: Infibeam | Amazon | uRead |FlipkartLandmarkCrossword    

This (Unbiased) book review is a part of "The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program". To get free books log on to Thanks Nimi Vashi for giving me the opportunity to read such a nice book!