Book Review : The Devil’s Gate — By Deepak Kripal

Now would you call a story with a dog, a cat and an owl as protagonists, relevant?

Weird though it may sound, ‘The Devil’s Gate: An Impossible Journey’ is relevant.

Though the story has animals and demons as its central characters, the main focus is on the fight of good against evil. The book also makes one realize that though good will ultimately prevail over evil, it is impossible to eradicate evil from its root. The only option left is for one to differentiate between the two and choose the right one. The story also highlights the plight of the animals and nature due to rapid urbanization of the earth by man. This is a story of courage and commitment. A thriller no doubt, the plot also has an element of love hidden in it, love that surfaces in trying times. The story is unique, interesting and intriguing. The vividness of the descriptions is also commendable. On the whole I would say a well- woven story capable of keeping the reader hooked.

The language is simple, engaging and lucid. The narrative is fast paced and flows freely and smoothly. One can visualize the scenes as the story progresses. The length of the story is just right.

The characters central to the theme are well etched with all their imperfections. The character of Kathy the cat is one of a fiercely independent, brave and committed soul whose intelligence and planning skills make her the born leader. Dug the dog comes through as a weakling compared to Kathy, one who needs to be constantly nudged and assured before taking a plunge. Billy the owl is also adorable. Besides the main protagonists we have some other characters too. But what makes the story interesting is that each character contributes to the story in his/ her unique way. Not even a single character is out of place.

Characters apart, the following quotes touched/ inspired me-

‘Even when there is nothing, there is hope. Even if we lose, there is hope that somebody else will win. … Even if we burn in hell, there is hope that there will be a cessation to our misery one day. Hope is always there.’

‘Twisting the tensile tail of a tiger is no adventure, you gotta break it.’

‘Weakness is no excuse for cowardice.’

‘The line between imagination and reality can easily get blurred when it is struck with a meaning that can traverse across the senses with unimaginable ease.’

‘You have to lose an emotion to gain a perspective.’

‘Playing with danger is a child’s play. Real game starts when the danger starts playing with you.’

‘There is a fundamental difference between adventure and danger. It is true there is no adventure without danger, but there is no adventure in real danger. Adventure treads through the marginal terrains of danger, doesn’t really enter inside its perimeter. Once you enter the realm of what you call real danger, there is no danger thereafter, only fear.’

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Geeta
An ex- banker, Geeta Nair attended school in Kanpur (UP) before moving to her home state Kerala to attend college. An MA, MPhil in Hindi Language and Literature, Geeta loves to play with her little grandson Atharv and narrate stories to him, some known and some cooked up on the spur of the moment. An avid reader and bibliophile, Geeta loves to play with words, pen haiku, poetry and short stories. She is a passionate book reviewer too who blogs at www.geetaavij.wordpress.com and www.geetasfile.blogspot.in
http://geetaavij.wordpress.com

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