Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Soft Target - Book Review

The Soft Target
By Kalyan Nanda
Review By Ila Garg

The Soft Target, a novel by Kalyan Nanda, is published by Srishti Publishers. The cover shows iron man and in the backdrop is the path leading to a destination that is unknown. As I read the PDF edition of the book, so I can’t say much about the feel of the book, print or cover.

Kalyan Nanda lives in Mumbai with his wife. He enjoys theater and movies of all genres, and is a voracious reader. His favourite authors are Sir P G Wodehouse and George Orwell. He can be reached on The Soft Target is his literary debut.

The blurb reads as, “Is God good? Or is He a manipulative villain who plays with the lives of his creations in the name of karma? As far as Mohan Mishra is concerned, God is a villain. Mohan is God's soft target, for He 'blesses' him with a strange mental problem and kills his support system when he needed it the most. The Soft Target is the story of a boy's journey into manhood, as he takes on God with his mental prowess, defeating Him at every stage, thus making God his soft target. Supported by great friends and a loving wife, Mohan fights an epic battle against the murderous society, the conniving legal system and ultimately God himself, with remarkable courage and spirit.”

The story begins on a familiar note of relatives poking their noses in our personal matters. How parents often try to keep it subtle in front of the relatives is where the story starts finding its first characters. It is then that the readers are introduced to the most astonishing character of the book, Mohan Mishra. He is a brilliant student with an IQ that is much higher than that of any kid of his age. However, he can never say what he wants to say and ends up saying something incomprehensible. People term him as mad because of this but this doesn’t affect him much and only helps him be more determined to prove his mettle.

The author has sketched all the character beautifully, nowhere will the readers feel them to be exaggerated. The plot thus seems quite realistic and successfully portray deep and intricate emotions that children go through and how they handle peer pressure. The language is simple and easy to comprehend. Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. It took me a couple of hours to complete the book. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

How Mohan overcame his disability, how he was the soft target who emerged as strong as iron, how Nikhil’s stammering problem causes him embarrassment, the various date scenes of Brij, the sarcastic one-liners, how Samidha understands Mohan, how Nisha ends up betraying Nikhil and how Revathy who is IIT Mains topper falls in love with Brij are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in The Soft Target

Further, this 214-page book is a light read and overall a compelling book. I specially was hooked to Mohan’s character and wished to quickly reach the climax to know what happens with him further in the story. Apart from some serious editorial errors, the book is highly recommended.

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Links: Infibeam | Flipkart | Amazon | Sapna

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