This book review is being written through me at the evil behest of a rogue Martian.
Otherwise Martians be good people, they be. You may understand that these words have been censored out by him, these too and these too……. Focus, you earthling!
Warning : This whole review is a spoiler. Go buy the book and read it first to get the head or tail of this review written by this very incapable earthling. Regards, Martians.
Why I read the book
One fateful day, when I was doubling over in pain due to a kidney stone….I noticed Sorabh Pant’s tweet about Westland Books bestsellers. The agony on my face made way for worry as I realised that the Mayan Apocalypse may not be a rumour afterall; since @hankypanty had tweeted without a tinge of humour, sarcasm or pun! I had realised that it might be a PR kinda thing, ‘cos people do so when they write a book. Had he written a book too? *Lord save us!* I asked him about it, as I saw Martians landing….and in turn, managed the feat of getting
@amisht, @ashwinsanghi and him form a very adorable mutual admiration society. I love that kinda thing! *sniff* Little did I know that I was the target of this sharp marketing strategy devised by the Martians who are outsourced by Ms. Recliws, who has ghost written(no pun intended) The Wednesday Soul. They tactfully bombarded me with pictures and media bits about the book and at a sleepy moment, under the influence of a 400mg Spasmoproxyvon, took over my brain too and made me sign-up at Blogadda for the copy. *I was wearing normal zero glasses then, should’ve worn sunglasses to escape* Over the days, they made me read the book, not once but twice (once with Wren and Martin’s souls) ; bribing and coercing me at times.
* here’s the real reason *
Most of the books I am picking up these days are when I am skeptical about their overnight success or the way the author might have handled the plot. I have been following Sorabh’s tweets for quite some time. He can be very witty at times and sometimes, I do not like his tweets at all. I found myself shaking my head all through the description of the book and thought, it seems whacky,…..but still it might have a Comedy Circus kinda humour maybe. I can’t stand sick jokes in the show. I have high regard for stand-up comedy, but I like them when they are not nasty in an insulting way, each line has an underlying wit to it and most importantly, it is not cheap. This book, written by a stand-up artist, seemed to have some elements which made me skeptical about the praise it was garnering; but at the same time it was not cheap. I could say that without reading by seeing it’s price tag – Rs.250!
Why you should read the book
Okay it’s not cheap. So you can drop that reason. It doesn’t have an emotional touch. The prerequisites are an IQ above 130 and to keep the logical side of that genius brain (yes, I have one of that kind too :P) aside to appreciate the beauty of the writing. So, don’t buy the book. *tap on the head by Martian wielding an electric taser* Err….you should buy the book for it’s humour quotient. You’ll find yourself sucked into the world created by Ms. Recliws…err…Sorabh and not find it out of the blue at all! You’ll fall in love with the lunacy out-folding itself right from the author’s intro, preface to the last page! If you like Govinda movies and Steve Martin movies alike, this one is for you! You’ll meet lotsa celebrities from the geek world, your college idols (Pythagoras, Gauss…. Che Guevara), Attila the Hun(who tries to pass off as Hagar the horrible but fails when he tries to joke using hun err… pun). I read it for Guru Dutt, yes I was one of the disappointed Guru Dutt fans when… *tap on the head again… “No spoilers, earthling”. “Alright, I got a little carried away. Keep the taser away please, I have a review to write”*
Recliws wanted it to be a philosophical title, but Sorabh titled it The Wednesday Soul, to cash in on the hit A Wednesday and the Chicken Soup series which always ends in soul. The cover has been designed by a secret symbologist, so that it has Greek letters hiding in the font of the title. It gives it a Dan Brownish feel. The word Sunglasses is written in different colors to combine sun and glasses which play a major role in the story. There is liberal use of Feng Shui eye symbols to keep it from the evil eyes of self proclaimed critics and book reviewers, but they don’t work on me 😛 I even got this through the Martian standing on my head!
There’s not much of a story…… *looks around with frightened eyes trying to spot any approaching antennae with tasers* The story is a classic romance panning not across years, eras but incarnations after incarnations – the standard Bollywood masala. Nyra dies in a freak accident to discover that there is a world of the dead, where they term us the real ghosts! When she dies, she is denied the right of living happily ever after with the love of her life – the burly hero of the story, who is a classic mysterious lead. What angers her more is that she was a victim of an evil conspiracy by the classic Bollywood villain (who I guess had possessed Ajit, Pran and Prem Chopra during their shoots that led to many masterpieces in the Hindi Cinema). Now this villain, who goes by the name of Kutsa is actually…. *”Alright! Keep that away. Sigh….”*
Anyway, the story is awesome. It has references to history, politics, science, astronomy, and what not! You will read every chapter with delight at finding new laws of the world of death. Two stories run parallel, the live world and the dead world. Some characters move effortlessly from one to another and lead to an awesome finish of the murder mystery. *Keep it consistent Earthling, you said it’s a comedy, then changed to romance and now to murder mystery? Ms. Recliws said it’s about finding your innerself and that Coelho soul searching stuff….I haven’t dared read the book you know…..after seeing your state….*
Nyra, is a no-nonsense urbane vigilante, who roams around like a Ninja avenging the gory crimes against women. She has her flaws too. Like she drinks, and goes out on Delhi roads….alone! She thinks from the heart. She is spunky and does not even heed Gods when it comes to following her instincts. She is err…how shall I put it delicately, a little on the wrong side of normal weight(read fat), but totally in love with herself………that is what I liked.
The hero of the story, Chitr, has a mythological parallel and is very cute as the amnesiac Head of some important department in the world of dead. He is just perfect, if he just didn’t have that paunch. He really needs to lose some weight. Hence, he is a perfect match for Nyra. See the deep thinking?
Kutsa – Now this name really got to me you know! He is a very nasty villain inspiring awe from even the people he tortures. He is the epitome of vileness. One good thing came off it. I was haunted by the name, thinking I had heard it somewhere and then realised that it is very similar to my gotra…..maybe the rishi influenced the ideology of my ancestors and read a lot about my descent and Kutsa rishi, to realise with relief that this is just a work of fiction by the author. He was not like that at all! And I got to know much about my origins too 🙂 Win win 😀
There are so many supporting characters like I said. You’ll recognise some of them instantly from your textbooks, iPod lists, fiction books and if you know some Nobel Prize Winners. I haven’t mentioned any from the parallel story but they are totally ROFL material. A hyper Northeast Indian doctor and a Delhi cop with no sense of grammar or tense priding himself on speaking chaste English, make the parallel leads.
Being a stand-up artist, Sorabh writes like one. Witty, ladden with puns and contextual jokes. I read along swiftly till the first 2-3 chapters appreciating the quirky style, but was immediately held up by typos which keep appearing to the eye which is gifted with spotting “typo- score” like the “eye-score” mentioned in the book. Westland should really have had better editors and diligent proof reading before giving the book to print. This I say because the book is surely on its way to the bestseller list. Urban India has an appetite for books which tickle their grey cells and I give full credit to Sorabh for respecting his readers’ intelligence to digest such a whacky story! All this in a debut novel – which is not his forte – considering he is temporarily retired from scripting TV shows (psst…not getting any writing work or so the grapevine says…. *the Martian was on a tea-break 😉 *)
me likey……..me dislikey 🙂
Thumbs up for the innovative plot, flow of writing and respect for readers. I really felt the editing was lax….I think a book published by Westland should have been a little carefully proofread.
In a nutshell!!!!!!!!!!
Picking this one up is compulsory! Not to flaunt your IQ score, but to enjoy a thought provoking journey to the Universe of the Dead and Alive. You’ll surely come out wiser and happier from it. Also I can use some peers to discuss the amazing conspiracy theories discovered and allusion spotting done by me. In order to convince you that this is not sarcasm and I really liked the book, I give it a rating of 3/5. 🙂
Go read it and come back to the review 🙂 You’ll like it all the more.
Disclaimer : Typos in this post, if any, are purely unintentional. I haven’t got my payment from the Martians yet 😥 Please feel free to point them out, though I won’t correct them….it takes me eons to write a post and will take another era to correct them. Just wear your sunglasses, the typos disappear then 😉