Did it happen with you? You are about to give up a book thinking nothing is happening and exactly at that point the author drops a twist like a bomb and you are back clutching the book tight not to miss a single action. Well, it happened to me while reading Elephants in the Room by Suraj Laxminarayanan.
The story in brief
But first something about the story. A gang of six amateur criminals led by Nari, a pickpocketer, decide to rob a bank to put an end to their financial woes. But the lady luck seems to be annoyed with them and the entire mission seems to be jinxed with troubles.
Anyway, they decided to proceed with the plan. Utter mayhem and confusion breaks inside the bank when the gang discovers that they are not alone. Similar to them, but more professional robbers had also decided to rob the same bank on the same day and same time.
The game changer twist
I was expecting this to happen. But something was amiss and I was getting restless. I thought one more chapter if nothing exciting happens, I am giving up. And wait, exactly at that point something unexpected happened which I never saw coming. My eyes popped out, my mind was racing. I almost fall from the chair. A twist which completely changed the entire scenario. That twist provided the story a rush, a sense of urgency and pace which was missing all this while.
After that, more twists and mind games began and the story became engrossing to read. It was just like watching Rahul Dravid play a test match. First building up a solid foundation and then begins all the fireworks with neat hitting everywhere on the ground.
The storyline becomes highly unpredictable after the bank robbery scene begins. You won’t be able to guess whose side the pendulum point will swing. There was a tinge of suspicion and a possibility of treachery hanging in the air all the time.
The main characters
The characterisation was superb. There were so many characters in the book and you will remember all of them. This is not surprising given the size of the book. There is space for each and every character. The author has managed to create well rounded characters.
Most of them are criminals. They all have stories. You might not exactly fall in love with them. But yes, the author will manage to create a feeling of sympathy in your heart and you will not hate them.
Something which you will find interesting is the way the author has got into the skin of all the characters. Robbers, civilian, investigators, hardcore criminals something was churning in everyone’s mind and the author has captured it magnificently throughout the story.
I have my favourites in the story. I particularly liked the character of Assam. Nice name. He was a jovial kind of character with a dreamy approach and a different observing eye. The character of Dhantha was a surprise package. He creates ripples of fear and doubt in the mind of all other characters. Even I was taken aback by his supreme confidence and aura with which he carries himself.
The writing style
The author with his lucid and descriptive writing style will transport you to the scenes of action. The thrilling scenes were captivating and Smashing.
What Could Have Been Better
But sometimes I felt that the author gets carried away and stretches the scenes beyond the requirement, some conversations were over-dramatized and seems to be unending. This really hampered the thrill factor and at times the narrative used to drag, especially the first 200 pages.
A crisp read would have made this book a great read.
There were many unnecessary scenes and sub stories in the book which doesn’t contribute to the main story only increased the size of the book.
Elephants in the Room is a good read. It is the debut novel of the author and I am amazed that he has so much to write. But I am sure with more experience the size of his books will reduce because the beauty of writing is to say more with less words.
Author(s): Suraj Laxminarayan
Publisher: The Write Place
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