Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar by Kochery C Shibu

men and dreams in the dhauladhar cover

The book’s like a complicated recipe, you don’t know what’s in it and you sure as hell won’t know what it tastes like after you eat it.

I received this book as a review copy and whatever I state from this point onward I my own personal opinion and my tastes in books.

As I mentioned sometime earlier about a recipe, let me give you a scale of how complicated and hence confusing this book really is (for me at least). The story begins with 2 chapters each dedicated to our 2 main protagonists, Nandu and Shahzada viz. Khusru. Then with the introduction of new characters in their lives, the author goes on to describe each of the characters life stories, some way too short & abrupt to be exciting and some way too long hence boring. During the first few chapters, I was being flooded with so many characters that I had no idea which one was who and how he/she came to be in the story. Every page I turned made forget what was there in the previous 2 pages. Had I not received this book for a review, I would have definitely stopped reading it then and there.

Some scenes regarding Khuru I felt were way too abrupt and I didn’t really feel any kind of connection to any character. In between Hindi slang and bad words (so many of them in fact), the plot moves from one point to another so quickly that it did not facilitate a smooth flow. Some characters flew in swiftly and get jumped out just as quickly without there being any mention in the rest of the book.

But every cloud has a silver lining and this book indeed delivered (but not to a much greater extent). After going through some 40% or so in the book, the author did seem to focus back on some of the characters, giving them more time on the pages and telling the stories of their past which made me want to continue not for the sake of the entire plot but for the sake of the character itself because by that time I had no idea what the overall plot was anyway.

Another thing that actually shouldn’t have bothered me actually did. The book is self published which is great. Not a problem there, I would barely notice such a thing. But with so many spelling, grammatical & presentation (this could be device specific, I read mine on an iPad which gave me this problem, especially the last chapter) errors, it would be impossible not to notice such a thing. And no, I’m not talking about the broken Indian English dialogues being spoken throughout the book, but the problems were with what was outside them.

All these people finally come together in Dhauladhar for a hydro electric power project which builds up to a not so exciting climax with characters introduced so far back in the book that I barely remembered them. It ended just as abruptly as it began which could have actually sealed the deal for this book.

The one thing that I must commend the author is for the incredible detail in which he has described the life of the people in and out of Dhauladhar. Being an Indian, I could definitely relate to some, if not all of the Indian dialogues and the state if minds of the people when faced with certain situations. He has accurately portrayed the truly sad state of affairs in India regarding internal politics, greed, sex, scandals, money etc.

Overall, this book turned out to be like a collection of short stories when each character is taken into account while the author has tried to link them together by putting them here and there in the book.

Hopefully, the author’s next work, if any, will be much better than this one. I can only give this a 2 star rating.

This book is available in the Kindle Book Store for $3.64.


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