Wednesday, June 5, 2013

BOOK REVIEW : SHOES OF THE DEAD



It was indeed a pleasure to find a hard bound book delivered to me by Blogadda; that too a book which dealt with a topic which needs to be given more attention than it is currently getting.

“SHOES OF THE DEAD” is penned by Kota Neelima and describes the situation of farmer debt related suicides. The book describes multiple stories all ultimately related to the same problem.

And so we have one plot depicting young Keyur Kashinath, a novice and son of the democratic party’s general secretary. He is new to the political scenario and faces the problem of an increasing number of debt related farmer suicides in his constituency Mityala. How he deals with his own arrogance, ego and gets a dose of the real problem in the constituency is shown in the book.

On the other hand, we have a top class honest and bold journalist named Nazar who is frequently aided by a woman also associated with the concerned constituency.

And finally we have the main plot of Gangiri Bhadra. Gangiri’s brother kills himself due to the overwhelming burden of debt upon him. Gangiri is left with brother’s widowed wife and their two children. Further, when the corrupt suicide committee rejects his brother’s suicide application refusing them compensation, gangiri decides to avenge this. He becomes a member of that committee and decides to fight for all such suicide cases in future. However all is not rosy as he faces tremendous resistance and threats in his way. He is helped at various stages by different people including the journalist nazar.

PLOT – The plot is indeed poignant and something which needs an ear. Kota Neelima effectively brings light to the situation prevailing in many villages of India. She takes her own sweet time to let the readers get a grip over the plot but once she succeeds in doing that, it is hard to put down the book. Her writing is simple and hard hitting at places.

CHARACTERS – The star of the book is Gangiri. Your heart pours out for the poor fellow who suffers so much throughout the book. And yet he never loses hope. He keeps truth by his side and succeeds in facing every hurdle.
Nazar is another character I loved. If ever a film is made on this book, Nawazuddin Siddiqui would be the perfect person to play Nazar. In one word, Nazar’s character is AWESOME. The slight one sided romantic angle provided in the story between him and Videhi is well done, never becoming too much so as to interrupt the narrative.
The other characters are well done and effective.

POSITIVES – There are few portions which make this book vewry good. Firstly, the press conference of Keyur Kashinath – that is a gem. Just superb.
Secondly, the first committee meeting where Gangiri puts on a real good fight with some clever planning.
And thirdly, the ending.

NEGATIVES – The story moves at a snail’s pace in the initial 70-80 pages. It got too boring before it finally spiced up. Some tight editing would have helped.
Secondly, the ending.

I put the ending under both positives and negatives. You will realize why I did so once you read the book.

OVERALL, “SHOES OF THE DEAD” is a hard hitting and well written tale of the farmer suicides. A book which deserves to be read. A book which is written with very noble intentions.

MY RATINGS – 4 / 5   


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