Monday, February 14, 2005

My first book review

Book: Time And A Cyclone
Author: Sudharsan Seshadri Nagarajan

Primo, one should commend the author for taking up a difficult topic like Time Travel and doing justice to it. It’s not often one sees a first time novelist try to tackle the hurdles of science-fiction and still not get bogged down by it. Kudos to Sudharsan on this front.

The author has done his research well with respects to this fictional place ‘Adiokentha’. Drawing parallels to Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu which was wiped away off the face of earth on Dec 22, 1964, and this story is the protagonist’s travel back in time to a fictional Adiokentha to save it from an impending killer cyclone…A journey against time and the all-pervading Nature.

However having said that, what strikes you the most in this novel is not Nature but the protagonist and his views. It is truly a noble feat indeed for someone to attempt to save a city and its 700 inhabitants from the wrath of nature and to set things right in this failing world, yet the reader would not like to listen to a sermon. The story begins as a quest to alter history but somewhere down the line we forget all about Adiokentha as it is Ram who is all pervading and not Nature as we were led to believe. (I agree RSS would insist there is nothing wrong with the above statement but we do know better than that)

Another area where the author should spend considerable effort is the proof-reading ritual. There were quite a few sentences that needed pruning and a few glaring spelling errors which really don’t do justice to the author’s passion for the language or his expertise in it.
I agree it is a pain to wade through sheaves of papers for that one letter putting a wrong foot in front, but considering the impact a book creates, it is well worth the time and effort. After all, we, as budding writers would rather prefer to be noticed for our work rather than not notice our work in detail.

In his endeavor to re-write history, the author rakes up many issues that plague us like illiteracy, hatred, apathy and superstition but fails to provide a concrete solution for any. Maybe if he had just stuck to the tussle between Man & Earth and tried to take the story towards a positive consensus on that, then yes, we could have closed the book and sighed with content. But now, it is a pang of incompleteness that awaits you…wishing you knew why Nature did what she did or why Man reacts the way he does.

Of course, the one aspect that really does bring a smile to your face is the utter simplicity of that Time machine. There are no inexplicable Physics formulae, no new jargon that require you to twist your tongue to pronounce it, just a simple container with 3 watches to transport you from one dimension to another…just the way the little kid in you would describe it.

This review is not a Find-faults-with-Magnifying-Glass spree, rather an attempt to help the author grow and work his way towards the pinnacle of literary excellence, we all aim for.

P.S: Any factual, spelling, ideological, logical error in penning this review rests solely on me and my untrustworthy grey cells!


Blogger Little Medusan said...

U mean no Review done by a S/W Techie... tch tch.. thats not done. too bad Sudarshan, too bad.

3:14 AM  

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