In a distant corner of the globe, a man journeys to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill. In a nameless remote tribe, the chief’s second son is born, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are being destroyed by loggers. In one of the world’s sprawling metropolises, a homeless one-armed woman sets out to take revenge upon the men who trafficked her. And, in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud-and- concrete road, a milkmaid watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.
In we of the forsaken world… Kiran Bhat tells the stories of four worlds falling apart, through the structure of four linguistic chains, comprised of the accounts of four people witnessing the decline of these worlds, in four acts. Like modern communication networks, these sixteen stories connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. they flow together and disconnect. Each story is a parable of its own, into the mind of a distinct human being. These are the tales of not just sixteen strangers, but many different lives, who live on this planet, at every second, everywhere.
This book has been quite an interesting read, specially in a scenario where our reality is much more distorted than ever, yet everything seems much clearer.
Kiran Bhat, in this visionary novel has created some very distinctive stories and spun them into one book, with the common thread of Globalisation. All of this coming together creates a narrative worth a read.
The terrains created in this book seem like metaphor to a larger World and real places. The gritty use of language barrier, social background, fluidity amidst people of different strata, conflicts, mistrust; are so well adapted that you would rarely not ponder over them.
There are sixteen distinguished voices, which all have their own stories to tell. Milkmaid, a journalist who interviews a shattered man who has lost his family in chemical spill, fast food vendor, a gay man trying to find love and many more. All of these characters feel real and life like. The secondary characters are also created with much finesse.
With the cinematic narratives to detailed insights into human behaviour, Author has left no stone unturned. The vices are explained through characters such that, they being part of all the people across tribes, social strata and geographical locations. Bhat’s writing is almost poetic and lucid. I must give extra credits to the Author for making such a wholesome novel.
Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the maps in the beginning that would describe the geography of the places, giving a background to the upcoming stories. These small anecdotes maintained the pace and understanding of the larger picture.
Final thoughts: The concept is original, interesting and will keep you hooked to the very last of the book. This book makes you think and proves you wrong at multiple levels. I would definitely recommend this book to all those who love reading.
My Rating: 4/5