Saturday, September 21, 2013
Book Review: Tall Man Small Shadow
When every debut novel in Indian industry has this word “love” somewhere in it, here is this book, with a very different title. The first thing which amused me is the title and makes every reader to have a look at the book. I was wondering what the story will be when the title said “Tall Man Small Shadow.” I then went on to read its blurb and it said
It is my debut English novel based on existentialism. Salil loves a shadow which transforms into many characters to reveal the secrets of life. Aalya, his neighbor, is doing research in English literature. Her guide Seema is a childless lesbian. Paul, husband of Seema, is a drama director. I am the protagonist, who coins philosophies for day to day events and my wife Sulekha is the second protagonist who makes coincidences happen with her artful manipulations. Read on to learn what happens when....
The word existentialism is something new to me. I have never heard about it before but through the cover page I could relate it is something dealing with the shadow. That made me curious to start with this book. The cover design is good and goes along with the title.
Coming to the review, the story starts with an old man (whose name is not revealed at the beginning) delivering a courier to his neighbour, Salil. Salil is working with a firm nearby and exhibits a strange behaviour to others. The old man lives with his wife Sulekha and only daughter Aalya opposite to Salil’s house. Aalya a beautiful and intelligent girl wants to excel in her studies and gets attracted by her neighbour Salil. The first meet of Aalya and Salil did not last even for two minutes. Then one day something wanted Salil to speak to her and they meet in a tea shop nearby. Salil notices that both of their shadows kiss each other when they are sitting separated in different benches and he likes her shadow. Aalya is curious to know why Salil behaves like this and hears about his past life. Even after hearing his breakup her love towards Salil did not decrease. Aalya in her post graduate studies wants to prepare a thesis and takes Seema as her guide. Seema is talented, childless and family friend of Aalya. Seema is married to Paul who is a drama director. When Aalya discuss about the thesis, Seema asks her to come over to her house for detailed discussion. In few days they turn to be lesbians and are happy with it. In mean time, Aalya falls for Salil and Salil gets close with Aalya’s family due to few incidents. When Paul is on a tour to Europe with a drama team, Seema finds herself being pregnant whose biological parents are Salil and Aalya. How did Seema carry twins of Salil and Aalya? What happened between Salil and Aalya? Did Seema and Aalya’s relationship continue after it? What is the role of Sulekha in this story?
To know more read the full story.
The author has kept the book more decent rather than explaining the sex sense elaborately and has kept everything precise. On the language front it is captivating and the choice of words shows the author’s brilliance. The book had few mistakes and it can be rectified by doing a little rework. The positive aspect of the story is its narration. It is narrated through different perspective and explains different dimensions of the same situation but the same turns to be the negative as sometime the reader is confused on who’s perspective he is reading from. The highlight of the story is when Sulekha takes her turn to narration and makes the reader clear that “nothing is coincidence”. She is the one who says her husband’s name as Anupam. Sulekha’s narration adds spice to the story and on the whole it is an intriguing read.
“Tall Man Small Showdow” is well written with a strong characterisation on different dimensioned peoples, explains about the existentialism equipped with many philosophies turns out to be a wonderful read.
I congratulate Mr. Vipin Behari Goyal for penning down such a good story and delivering about the existentialism. I would rate a flat 4/5 for this book and would recommend for all.
Happy Reading :-)