India: A man lives with his constantly quarreling parents. He’s a dreamer, fantasizing about people with whom he can’t have a decent relationship and events that never quite go his way. Months after losing his job, he decides to write a story. Anguishing over every scene he writes about a land in the distant past ruled by a queen who is impregnated by a demon and dies. 3000 years later, in the same land, a visitor from a foreign country takes a tour with his friend with whom he has been corresponding. In these modern times, women train for the Army, talk of a demon still resonates fear, and archeologists have begun digging where maybe they shouldn’t be.
Okay, that’s the plot. That’s it. Parents and son argues about many topics. Son complains about everybody in his life. Son writes story. Not much here to get excited about. The plot of the ‘story’ was mildly interesting until I started reading it.
Main Character: no name, lives with his parents, thin frame, virgin, at the beginning is working at the same factory his where his dad worked
Mother: Mother of the main character, always yelling and criticizing, landlord
Father: Father of the main character, used to be a factory worker
Basically three characters and none of them is likeable. All this family does is argue and complain. The main character can’t find anything good about the people he meets or the places he visits. He has a miserable life. None of his dreams are pleasant. He gets bored with the ‘story’ he’s writing. He admits he has trouble writing the story after he’s written long chapters and then says the story is terrible. This didn’t get me excited about reading more of his project. His parents are terrible people with no likeable qualities. Even the characters who make cameos-bus passengers, restaurant patrons, most of whom don’t have names, don’t exhibit good personalities.
It is written almost as a script for a play would be written.
Other person: dialogue
Me: thoughts and dialogue
Not believable conversations. Most of the conversations are with the main character and his parents but they’re mostly arguments. They drag on too long and just aren’t how people converse with each other, even when arguing. Much of the ‘dialogue’ between the main character and others are held within the main character’s mind whether in his waking thoughts or in his dreams and I suppose in the dreams the conversations can go any way the main character wants them too, but still they’re difficult to follow and comprehend. In the ‘story’ two characters are being attacked by a monster yet they have a lengthy discourse on the conversation one of them had when he called in for assistance. This takes the reader away from any tension that may have existed. No distinctive voices because most characters are complaining.
Titles are named and sections are listed by date, time and location.
At the beginning, the Author’s Note advises against certain types of readers. It states only readers with BRAINS should read the book. Open minded readers. I found this a little off-putting to begin a book this way. Yes there is a plethora of profanity, much of it gratuitous and doesn’t add to the story. However, to open a book with this note before the opening chapter doesn’t take into account that not every book will be liked by every reader. The author denies responsibility if the reader is offended. I’m not sure of the message here. Some people might be offended. Some people might love it. If one enjoys the book, fine, but I don’t think any reader assumes an author sets out to offend on purpose. (Unless it is intentional, which would make it an entirely different type of book.) Anyway, the Author’s Note didn’t set well with me.
The book is written from a first person POV, and the script-type format continues with scene changes as ‘Cut to another scene’ (whatever/wherever that scene is). This is an interesting way to write, however, mistakes and errors abound in this book. Grammar, punctuation, misspelled words, missing words, sentences written incorrectly (i.e. ‘She pointed me out to a restaurant.’ No, she pointed a restaurant out to him.), unnecessary words (shouted loudly). Some of the sentences, internal dialogue, were difficult to follow, especially with ellipses that were over- and incorrectly used. Over use of exclamation points and capitalized words and sentences. Written in present tense but during the ‘story’ the tense switches, sometimes within the same sentence. Formatting problems-I suspect-with underlined text and extra spacing between lines.
The Author’s Note also explains that the italicized parts are dreams or inner thoughts depending on the scene, however, sometimes I found it difficult to stay focused during dialogue when there were so many lengthy inner thoughts.
Part of the problem is that the characters ramble on about various things and the author bounces from one topic to another with no chance for the reader to catch up. There are too long scenes discussing such topics as coconuts and railway tickets and well tubes that don’t seem to have a point other than to show the continued bickering and complaining by the family. I could not comprehend the relevance or purpose of some of these scenes (actually, most of them seemed meaningless). In the beginning, for instance, there are sections titled Blackmail. Well, I knew what the blackmail would be, but it was hardly touched upon and when the story moved on I felt cheated because the only purpose of the scene(s) was to have him lose his job. This continues throughout the story.
Another problem which threw me was that the story moves in time from the first part of October 2012 through most of November, then jumps to February of the next year where the man starts writing his ‘story’. Then it goes back to November for no apparent reason other than to show more long pointless scenes. And when we are back in November, the author jumps backwards and forwards in time which gets confusing. In November, the main characters speaks of continuing the story he’s writing but earlier it’s shown he doesn’t stat the writing project until February so there’s a continuity problem.
This is not a book or a story. This is a jumble of words/’scenes’ that don’t make sense all thrown together.