From the book blurb
Am I dead? Is this how it feels to be dead……? Thar Express tells the story of a man who is rescued from the aftermath of a landslide near the India-Pakistan Line of Control. He is barely alive and appears to have no memory of his identity, his past or the circumstances that led him to a remote and sensitive part of the country that he was rescued from.
After initially being cared for in an army hospital, he is sent to a doctor who specializes in treating those afflicted by memory loss. Under the unconventional but effective care of this doctor, he begins to remember tiny fragments of his past and sets off on a journey of re-discovering himself that leads him across seven different states and brings him in contact with people who wittingly or unwittingly help him along in this journey.
The army intelligence, initially suspicious of his antecedents and intent but with no hard facts to act on, stumbles across information that pushes them beyond suspicion. They launch a relentless manhunt to re-capture what they now consider to be a dangerous insurgent. Will the authorities’ worst fears come true or are they just chasing an illusion? The story takes the reader through twists and turns, introduces characters who represent the eccentric mixture of mirth and cynicism that is twenty-first century India and unfolds the unexpected ending.
Born in Bengaluru, India, Nagendra is a technologist and customer advocate by profession. He is also an avid bird watcher, photographer and wildlife enthusiast.
When time permits, he teaches on weekends at a government primary school as a volunteer for the NGO, Aashayein Foundation. His favorite authors are Ruskin Bond, Ernest Hemingway and Preston Child and he enjoys books on history, adventurous expeditions and stories of survival.
After living in Boston, USA for a decade and traveling extensively across the world, he returned home to Bengaluru with his family in 2008. He and his wife enjoy spending time with their daughter in their joint pursuit of photography and wildlife.
What I think
To begin with the book’s title is so different and very intriguing. After all, Thar Express is an international train that connects Pakistan and India. The book blurb would further arouse a potential reader’s interest and will draw him towards it.
The book begins with an interesting prologue and the story unravels slowly. The author has a very distinct style of writing which has the capability to keep the readers hooked. The trauma and uncertainty of the protagonist, Mano, is established very well.
Any plot that includes India and Pakistan is a topic of interest. After all, we would like to know what is described and how such a sensitive topic is handled. I have to tell you that the author has done a neat job in that.
The narrative flows with ease and owing to limited characters, we tend to empathetic the protagonist. His agony and struggle to regain his memories become ours. And the author strike a goal there.
As the protagonist travels across India, we pray and wish that he regains his memory soon. The twist in the climax makes the book a worthy read.
Sadly enough, it is an E-book. I don’t deny that with Kindle and laptops, more and more people are reading E-Books. But, I don’t think that for such a good book and for a debut author, E-Book is a great idea. Book promotion and marketing becomes very tough. Above all, readers may not be ready to pay a hefty of price of INR181 (As per Amazon.in) for an E-book!
One more thing is that the book is a little too long and requires a couple of sittings to finish it off. Indian authors have set a standard of less pages and great content that so many pages comes as a turn off and might demotivate a potential reader to start reading it.
Should you read it?
It is a very different book. It will keep you hooked.
It also lets you travel through the length and width of our country.
All thanks to BlogAdda for the book review program. It is always a pleasure to read new ideas and new authors!!!