Sunday, January 12, 2014

#50 : An.Al - The Origins by Athul DeMarco : A Review

                                                 


BOOK TITLE: An.Al – The Origins

ISBN: 9788172344702

AUTHOR: Athul DeMarco

GENRE: Fiction

NUMBER OF PAGES: 264

FORMAT:Paperback

SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone

REVIEW BY: ShreeJanani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Won this as a part of Tales Pensive giveaway

SUMMARY : There are legends, myths, fables, and parables. And the tale of the man with two heads is one of them.

When the invitation to play is a dead, mutilated stray dog stuffed inside a gunnysack, you know that the game is going to be dangerous and that the only way to stop the madness is to understand it. And to hope that when the time comes, the knife finds a sweet spot. This is where it all began . . . this is the story of the man with two heads
  
REVIEW:
The summary thoroughly sounded just like my kind of book – The kind that is extremely violent with murder scenes and detectives going bonkers to solve it. I also stumbled across a particular interview of the writer which upped my curiosity (Sinister and witty would be the appropriate words to describe the writer’s responses). Thus curiosity killed the cat – leaving me mildly disappointed after I finished reading the book. Nevertheless, the book still proved to be a good read!

The story is about conjoined twins who are just the opposite of each other. I couldn’t help but wonder if the writer watched the Tamil movie “Maatraan” starring Suriya  (Which in turn was “inspired” by the Thai movie ‘Alone’! Originality at its peak). The characterization of the twins are virtually the same.

The twins go out exploring the world free from their protective family only to end up as PI. They help police crack all unsolved cases yet don’t get recognition for it. Andy, the silent one just plays along with his twin Alfie, the not-so-silent one with an eye for details cracks the cases.
Wait a minute! Haven’t we heard that somewhere? Sherlock Holmes obviously - Watson and Sherlock in the form of twins! That comparison is inevitable. Then the villain – Anita, (No she wasn’t like Moriarty!) is the female version of Dexter in terms of that trademark switchblade and lots of blood!

The writing is pretty humorous at times but a bit of a drag at certain parts. I felt the writer sort of overplayed the suspense element. The book cover, the title and the summary are justified perfectly.
Description of our dear villain – Anita with her cannibalistic nature and her lethal switchblade was a raw deal. The writer should probably run a warning for those with a feeble heart and a tendency to have nightmares!

What I liked:
The characterisation of the twins, Eguene, Dom and Anita . The plot was air tight and I couldn’t find any logical flaws. The bickering between the twins was hilarious! The descriptions of most of the scenes were rather “Graphic” (and gory,livid) which helped in visualization – a style which seems to be a rarity these days.

The lack of romance made the book realistic. Livid murders, cannibalistic nature don’t go well with romance. The writer surely got that right.

In spite of the similarities with Sherlock Holmes, the writer managed to give a clear characterization and did an exemplar job of playing around with various shades of human nature.

What could have been better:
The final showdown. The book left me feeling a bit disappointed. After all, there are always innumerable possibilities to end a mystery novel.

To sum it up: A onetime read. A brilliant attempt by a rookie!


P.S. The writer signed the book. I went ROFL for his message was hilarious : “Real Men Wear Pink”

VERDICT: Dear mystery junkies, the book is A treat. Go for it!
But for those with a weak heart, it’s better to steer clear!

RATING: 3.8 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Athul DeMarco resides in Bangalore. For now. He is a design researcher who is constantly on the move. When he is not travelling, he is seated, in his boxers, writing on his laptop or shouting at the television.

He took a break from a cushy job and gave up on a company expense account in 2009. Bored and disillusioned with early morning flights, he remembered what somebody had once mentioned, ‘If you like travelling, writing, and meeting people, and are always trying to figure out what people are thinking, you either become a researcher or you start to live their lives . . .’ And so, he now spends his time writing stories instead of making PowerPoint presentations. He is delusional when it comes to cricket and believes that Ajit Agarkar is the greatest player of all time. He also believes that Sherlock Holmes truly exists. Athul’s body clock suggests that he is currently residing in Japan. He is unsure of most things, but firmly believes that he is 1/16th of everything.
An.Al – The Origins is his debut novel.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback, Kindle

PRICE: Rs.173 (Paperback)



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