Thursday, November 10, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: THE ORPHAN BY S.R. NAIR

Name of the Book: The Orphan
Name of the Author: S. R Nair
Rating: 4 Star

I am no stranger to Mr. Nair's writing. His style is quite interesting. I won't call it unique but interesting. He seems to have this habit of going straight into the topic. Plunging a reader directly into the plot without much padding. After reading the blurb I did get the insight where this story was leading. I was excited to know how an author visualizes what could have happened the night the 'accident' took place. Did it change the life of the individual or did he carry on the burden, which might have got diluted as he rose to his stardom? I will not deny that Mr. Nair has made a great attempt in delving into the minds of individuals and the psychology of the Indians in dealing with foreigners and the elite class.

'The Orphan' is a story of a young boy, Sid Westin, who is orphaned twice over. His fight against the corrupt system in India as a foreigner forms the backbone of this story.

“Mahatma Gandhi— a grandfatherly man with a benign, toothless smile— looked on from a framed picture that hung on the wall. In the blinking light, it appeared that Gandhi was winking wickedly in incongruous contrast to the beatific smile.”

 The above line summarizes not only the gist of the novel but also the thoughts of the author. What kind of life are we leading in India? Has our conscious been totally corrupted by our greed?The opening chapter of Mr. Nair starts with a very thought provoking message. Is the law and order of our country just a plaything in the hands of a corrupt few?

After the death of his parents, Sid finds himself a multi-millionaire and he goes to India to do the last rites of his parents according to the Hindu religion, as were the wishes of his parents. He gets to know the truth behind his parent’s death and meets the dashing Sanjay Khan.

After this point, the story becomes a narrative about Sanjay Khan – about his Bollywood achievements and his philandering ways. Mr. Nair is no doubt influenced by the SK accident and you can see many actors and producers hidden behind veiled references.

Throughout the story, the author shows the readers to the battle between the classes. The elite vs the commoners. Though the author tried to give us a balanced view of the incident but one cannot deny where his inclination lay.

Though the incidents have been presented well, I only wish the author would have diverted from the reporting style in his writing. As a fiction reader, I would have loved to have these incidents shown to me rather than reported to me. While the story of Sid had a lot of emotions, Sanjay Khan’s story sadly lacked that. Whether pride, anger or lust – I needed to be shown that to connect me to the characters.
But all in all a good read with many page turning incidents.

WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK?

A one time read definitely. Especially if you are an SK fan or hater. 

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