31 December, 2014

#BookReview :: The Symbol by Varun Gautam

A perfectly written script goes awry when Arjun encounters the unexpected. His belief in occult injustice solidifies when he, on one hand, fails to clear the much coveted IMS entrance exam and on the other hand, his friend Mohan gets more than what he deserved in life. Unable to cope up with this unfairness, he becomes directionless. With no way forward and some strained relations, he reaches the peak of monotony in his life and has nowhere to draw his inspiration from. One day suddenly he gets hold of a device called The Symbol which promises to solve all his problems.
Can The Symbol help him come out of his woes?
Will he be able to rise above the so called injustice and prove his mettle?
It is a journey that takes a peek into finding a new perspective and chartering inspiration from unknown territories, where none was thought to have existed. 

This is essentially the story of Arjun and his journey of life. Like most youth today he is street smart and ambitious. But he feels that life has dealt him a bad hand when he fails at the most important, to him, things in life. For instance, all his hard work goes into waste when he fails the IMS exam while his counterpart, Mohan, Makes it through. To make matters worse, he meets with an accident. It is then, that he comes across the Symbol and things start taking a turn.

The character of Arjun has been drawn flawlessly and the growth that he shows over the time is also good. From an arrogant and overconfident person who cares very little about others, he becomes this modest guy who sees and understands the reality. I started off hating Arjun but ended up liking him anyway for the changes he went through. Another factor that made me like this story is the fact that the story is not narrated by Arjun but by his cousin Dhruv. It gave a third person view to the story and Dhruv has a very honest voice that I found endearing. The plot itself was somewhat predictable after a while. Though it lacks the strength to keep the reader indulged, it is the story in general that makes up for it. The author has done a great job with both the characters and the story. It is the narrative of the story and the simple language used makes it really easy to get into the story.

On the other hand, I would have loved to read more about the ‘Symbol’ that plays such an important part in the story. The concept that the author established was interesting, but I feel that it should have been explored a bit more. Also, the ending of the book could have been handled in so many different ways that I feel that the ending that the author chose did not really do justice to the way the story was built up.

Overall, this makes for an interesting debut novel with many flavours.

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