Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review of "The Child of Misfortune"

I received this book, "The Child of Misfortune" by Soumitra Singh, (Bennett Coleman and Co, 2014)  as part of the Blogadda Book reviews Program.

As it says on the back cover, it is a story about Amar and Jonah,  who played chess in childhood, before a series of events ripped their friendship apart.  The chess playing continues throughout their adult lives, with very high stakes, involving much more than they themselves, as they travel all across the world.

I know this is a work of fiction. And I read a lot of such books. But even then I found it  hard to imagine.

Three people Amar, Jonah and Mansi, all public school types.  Amar is the son of a minister in the government, Jonah, someone who is his classmate, but whose background is to be imagined, and not much is known about Mansi .  There isn't anything known about their sources of income , Mansi seems to work for Times of India ,  but they travel widely and  on an impulse, across Kashmir, Leh  and the capital. 

There are Tibetan monks, monasteries,  swords of great importance, killings,  and the chess game happening in the minister's house. There are terrorists, local youths, drug runners, and every time Amar is in trouble, there is someone in a yellow robe who simply descends upon everyone, kills off chaps, injures others and saves the day.   It is a bit difficult to believe that with all the security arrangements described in Kashmir, nobody is able to see a chap in yellow robes charging around.

The scene moves to Seoul, Korea, where the computers and viruses take over. For two chaps who were not any great shakes in school, Amar and Jonah seem to be all over the world, without a worry of where their livelihood will come from.  Amar pours money into someone named Kang, who has this expertise of breaking through into any systems at will, and seeing real time pictures  of opponents. All these exercises are undertaken by Amar to find what Jonah is up to .  There are viruses, Apps,  passwords being cracked, and predictably , in every country,  some beating up  of characters.

In the finest tradition of someone who has no worries about money etc at all, Kang and Amar now move to the UK, where drugs enter the picture. Jonah is found as the co owner of a hedge fund, and  after lots of travels by Amar , Kang and company, just when Jonah is found, he gets shot at in a cemetery, by a bunch of people who owe allegiance to a very rich society lady.  Police investigations, truth serums, and explanations later, ever body except Jonah is back.  There are codenamed drug carriers, abandoned factories, old girlfriends,  Mansi, all together in London for the grand finale.

This book doesn't capture my attention.  There is too much clichéd stuff, happening too frequently.   Nothing looks true to life, and you don't feel a connect with any character.

 It is the sort of story which will probably be good as a Salman Khan movie, and will probably rock the box office with a couple of songs and dances thrown in.

Some books capture your attention, and you read them well into the night. They are un-put-downable.....

This is not one of them.

I laboured to pick it up and finish it, when Blogadda sent me a reminder email .  

I have learned that the author has a website dedicated to this book.  While the above is my personal review regarding the book, you may read other reviews at the author's media site, here

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

1 comment:

  1. :) helloooo How are you doing .. Long time since I have been here ..