Monday, January 23, 2012

The Wednesday Soul - a book review

The Wednesday Soul by Sorabh Pant is the second book I received from Blog Adda as a part of their book review program. I did not read the book description through fully - just the first few sentences. It had sounded like an interesting enough premise. With the few sentences I had read, I had assumed that the book was some kind of chick flick.

When I got the book and finished reading through the first couple of chapters, I realized that a chick-flick this book wasn't. Nyra Dubey, a self-annointed vigilante finds herself dead after being run over by a bus. She goes to the after-world and finds out (along with the readers) that it is absolutely nothing like popular imagination of after-life. What follows is a humorous tale of adventure, drama and war as Nyra finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy to wipe out after-life.

Sorabh Pant creates a whole new universe filled with "new" characters and new concepts. The twist here is that most of these "new" characters are people we have heard of in this world. Only difference is, they play roles that, while related to their roles on earth, are not quite exactly the same. Thus, Agatha is a Karmic detective. Pythagoras is a mathemagician who reincarnates from time to time as other famous scientists and mathematicians.

To guide us along, there's Radha. N. Recliws, a thought-caster (a thoughtcast is something like a podcast, difference being you don't need an ipod, your mind is enough)  who gives titbits of information about the after-world at the beginning of every chapter.

There is a whole lot of information about the after-world. While this was interesting to read, beyond a point it became tough to keep track of what was what and recollect what a concept meant when it made a reappearance. Skimming through the book is not an option unless you want to be left scratching your head wondering whether you can grasp the English language anymore as there are plenty of terms which will not make sense unless you have read about them earlier in the book.

The book reminded me of Terry Pratchett novels in the way it creates a new world with its own rules. The footnotes in the first few chapters added to that feeling (these footnotes mysteriously disappeared in the later chapters though). However, it was a little more difficult to navigate this world and I found myself re-reading pages at times. It did not help that in some places the editing job was a bit shoddy. Spaces separating events happening in two different worlds were missing and I had to do double-takes.

Overall though, I found the book an interesting read. The various characters featured in the book are very likeable. The writing style is irreverent and amusing without looking like it is trying too hard to be funny. Though it takes some amount of concentration to read the book, it is time well-spent. The book ends after laying the foundation for a sequel. I wouldn't mind reading the sequel too!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

1 comment:

reshma said...

hi archana..nice blog...believe me i started reading you blog yesterday and am into 2009 may posts of yours... :)