Students' Association - CMC Vellore

Six Suspects - Vikas swarup.

A politician's son is shot in his farmhouse. The police round up Six Suspects, each possessing a gun at the scene of the crime. Whodunnit?
The premise may be interesting but the story falls flat in the first few pages. The author obviously cares about his characters but in trying to bring them to life he tries too hard and what he ends up with are caricatures of people who could have been truer to life. 
The book is nothing but a pastiche of all the scandals, issues and political conroversies that make up India. However, in bringing them up, Mr. Swarup offers no solution to these problems, does not even hint in the right direction but merely goes the typical bollywood way - 
kill, kill, kill...
But it is not the mere shallowness of the novel that puts me off, it is the absurdity of the situations some of the characters find themselves in. A politician who is possessed by the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi...a soulless character. There is no sympathy for him and no sympathy for the Mahatma. A popular Bollywood actress cheated by her secretary, common enough, but the switch from predator to prey is so glaring that it seems but a facade...A tribal from the Andamans, a character with true potential for development but wasted merely because he was unlucky enough to have been thought up by this particular author...Munna Mobile, the small time thief, his is the love story that movies are made of and so it proves to be in the end...
By far the worst and the most pathetic character in the book is the American Larry Page- Mr. Swarup seems to dislike Americans so much that he has made this the dumbest character in his book. And that would be saying a lot. Full of so called American phrases like - " as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs" and " as clumsy as a horse in a pumpkin patch" this character seems to know nothing, do nothing and lives only to be duped by others, while there may be dumb people in America, as there are all over the world, this Dumbness belongs in a Mental Asylum or a home for the Mentally Challenged. People actually mistake this idiot for the Larry Page of Google!!! Throw in a group of even Dumber terrorists and you can see for yourself a blunder in making...Mr. Vikas Swarup.
The best is always saved for the last and Mr Jagannath Rai is it. His character is brilliantly portrayed much so that I actually had the sneaking suspicion that this part of the book was written by someone else...however, the grit and the ruthlessness of a politician, their dependance on fake God men and their philandering nature are all brought out really well by the Author. It gives me hope and I really wish the author sticks to writing books about the political class, it is the only thing he seems to have a knack for.
The tagline of the boom is  - There is a Caste System even in Murder. The purpose of this line only seems to be to make a good start of the story. Nowhere else do you find even a veiled reference to this statement...another waste!!!!
Sting operations, Sex scandals, Political Horse trading, bargirl murders and the Bhopal Gas tragedy are all dealt with in this book, each has their own small part to play but having put all these powerful issues into play, the author does not know how to take them forward and this is the biggest failing in his book.
I India, we hae amazing authors - Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Rohinton Mistry, Arundhati Roy, Aravind Adiga -People known all over the world for their works, prize winners and people who are amazing at what they do best - Wrting. If Mr. Vikas Swarup intends to join their ranks, he has a long way to go.
 May the Mahatmas' Soul rest in Peace ...

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