Thursday, March 12, 2015

Project S.A.I. - Book Review

Project S.A.I.
By Srinivasa Gopal
Review By Ila Garg

Project S.A.I. by the debutant writer, Srinivasa Gopal is published by Frog Books (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd). The book cover is dark and mysterious and gives away no hint about the story which hooks the readers instantly. The teddy bear amidst the gory background looks a little out of place. This novella appears to be an in and out thriller.

The author has always loved writing as a leisure activity. He has also penned a few academic papers that have appeared in well-known journals and have been featured at academic conferences. Like all Indians, he loves Indian food, Indian culture and is a great fan of the Indian Cricket Team. He has worked for several leading multinational firms all over the world and has even set up his own software company. Project S.A.I. is his literary debut.

The blurb reads as, Sarangan & Lakshman are two brothers, who come from the same pilgrim town in rural Tamil Nadu but who live completely different lives. While Sarangan and his family are content to remain in their hometown, Lakshman raises his sons in the bustling metropolitan city of Chennai. Tragedy strikes when the two families come together for their annual pilgrimage. Now it's a race between Lakshman’s son, Ananth, and the police, to prove whether or not their deaths were really caused by an accident.

‘Project S.A.I.’ is the story of two young men overcoming their own personal grief, to help others discover the truth behind the troubles plaguing them. And all this with the help of a device, whose existence most people would deem impossible - a device that allows a person to have conversations with those who no longer belong to the realm of the living.

This pocket-sized book is set in Tamil Nadu. Sarangan & Lakshman are two brothers born and brought up in a rural pilgrim town of Tamil Nadu. It is interesting to note that apart from this, they hardly have anything in common - their beliefs, life styles, ambitions, ideologies are all different from each other. While Sarangan and his family are content to remain in their hometown, Lakshman moves to the metropolitan city of Chennai with his wife and kids. The beginning doesn’t give even a slightest hint that where the story is heading to. It is only when the two families come together for their annual pilgrimage that the story takes a turn and turns into a tragic thriller.

The story will appeal to all those readers who want to read something different from the mainstream drama. The way this narrative is written and the plot is woven compels the readers to read on and get involved with this fantastic 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 story is kept short and crisp; to the point, no exaggeration is done which is the USP here.

The language is easy to comprehend, with a little use of vernacular words like AdirasamPuliyodaraiThambi, etc. All characters are sketched very well and they make the plot even 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 86 page book manages to be a nice read, though it could easily be more descriptive. This book is definitely a page turner and a very quick read. The blurb almost reveals everything, leaving not much excitement to be unveiled. For a debut writer, Srinivasa Gopal has presented a nice book with a different storyline. The plot and thrill kept me glued to this book, although the grammatical errors kept irking the flow.

The downside of this book for me is its editing and the under developed storyline. It left me disappointed. To err is human, but to err and err again is not justified. The narrative has a lot of spelling, punctuation and basic grammatical errors that slipped through the writer's and editor's eyes.

‘Yay’ Factors: The genre.

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

My Verdict: To find out what happened at the annual pilgrimage, was the tragedy just an accident or was it planned, who suffered the greatest and why, who was at fault; you will have to read the novella, Project S.A.I.

Ratings: 3/5

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 this book!

Buying Links: Flipkart | Landmark | Amazon

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