Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Mine

I was in Mumbai when Arnab had his book launch in Kolkata. And was in Kolkata when it happened in Mumbai. So there you go.

Life has not been the easiest for me over the past couple of months. Along with everything, my concentration had taken a toll, and even though I had realised that the book was gripping, I could not read at my usual a-page-a-minute pace.

Then I picked it up today, and focused on it. And finished it off. And am left with a hollow feeling in my stomach.

***

I hadn't underestimated the book, to start with. Arnab remains the inspiration for most Bengali bloggers of my generation (I'm not an exception). In fact, I had huge expectations from the book, which was further triggered by excellent reviews by Diptakirti and Tapabrata (the latter written while I was actually reading the book anyway).

The first Sunday of March 2012 was almost entirely consumed by The Mine. And for a solid thirty minutes or so after I was through with the book, I sat still, the incredible intensity of the book still grappling my insides with some invisible hook of sorts.

One of the aspects of most thrillers and horror stories is the fact that they start off well, then lose the pace somewhere down the track. Not The Mine. It keeps you hooked throughout, and despite the gore that might make a lesser heart cringe, even nauseate at time, the book succeeds in one thing: it makes itself more and more unputdownable as the book progresses.

I shall not go into a short summary of the book or of the characters. What does deserve a mention, though, that Arnab has managed to create horror out of our own thoughts - thoughts of completely forgettable laymen like us. Any of the characters of the book might have been you. Or me. Or anyone you know. Just anyone. You cannot help but place yourself in the shoes of the characters, one by one. And possibly shudder from guilt, since you'd know deep inside that - well - I suppose you should read the book to find that out.

Arnab has mastered the psychology of the average man, after all. And by that I mean the deepest, darkest nooks of the human mind where most shudder to penetrate. I have no idea how, but it cannot be denied that he has made an excellent job of it.

I suppose it shall be a few days before the book goes out of my system.

***

Another aspect must deserve a mention here. I typically refer to Arnab as Greatbong, but this book isn't Greatbongish at all. It's a flavour he has managed to dish out from somewhere beyond his much-worshipped blog. This is an Arnab I wasn't aware of.

He has arrived. In print.

5 comments:

  1. first!

    nice review, seems I shall have to read the book...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice crisp review. This book is too good and I can feel the emotions which you were going through while reading the book. This is one book I am going to carry with me in Bangalore.
    Arnab ke link pathiyechho?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow. Must get the book and read asap!

    Thank you.

    Deepa.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i have read the book.But if you talk about it in superlatives,you've got a weak system that cannot expunge such a book.
    'A fine balance' is the book that stays with you --not for a night or a fortnight--but forever.

    ReplyDelete

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