30 October 2020

#BookReview Nargis by Hermit Pen


About The Book

The book is a collection of 8 short stories, each unique and different from others, covering various facets of life, inspired by real-life characters and incidents.

The stories address contemporary social issues like loneliness, binge dating, domestic abuse, social media addiction, celebrity worship, and also contemporary environmental issues like pollution, dwindling water resources, declining fertility rate, chemical warfare, etc. 

The stories also attempt to illustrate the pain and wounds of contemporary political issues like lynching, conflicts, refugees, etc.

All the characters seem very familiar and we can easily relate to them.

Book Purchase Links

Amazon India | Amazon USA

Book Review

Nargis is a collection of eight short fictional stories. The book deals with various topics like pollution, lust, crime, conflicts, domestic violence, loneliness, etc. The stories contain thrill and suspense and engaging to read.

Short Stories is one of the most difficult to write. According to Britannica

“The short story is usually concerned with a single effect conveyed in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes. Despite its relatively limited scope, though, a short story is often judged by its ability to provide a “complete” or satisfying treatment of its characters and subject.”

Holding to this definition, this book did justice to its name. Some of my favorite stories from the book are.

'Nargis': The story is set in 2030.  A time where water quality and sources are fast vanishing. The story revolves around 3 main characters - The protagonist, Nargis, wife of Mahmood, a Water Lord, and Nasim, an HBC Lord. This is extremely hard-hitting. I would say this is the best story of the bunch. 

'Tik Tok': The story revolves around a teenage social media star named Misha and the impact of social media on the psyche of celebrities. Unfortunately, the impact of social media is not limited to a certain age group or active user. Even passive users are affected. The story holds a mirror to our present situation a constant need to post our lives on social media. 

'Oh! Syria': The story deals with a family having their daughter left in a war. Now, this may seem not real for many of us. But if you take the concept of war symbolically, unfortunately, this is our reality, 

What I felt lacking in the book is; the writing seems too simple in some places and some storied ended abruptly, without a feeling of completeness.

Overall, this is a brilliant first attempt. And the way it deals with social issues is commendable. 

About The Author

The author Mr. Hermit Pen is a regular contributor to short stories and articles for various anthologies, magazines, and own blog. 

Mr. Hermit Pen is a Business Consultant by profession with a degree in Engineering and an MBA. He is well-traveled, having spent half of his life outside India; he is presently based in Gurgaon, India.

He is a movie buff, music connoisseur, and a cricket fanatic.  He also closely follows politics and current affairs. He is a vocal advocate of education, human rights, and equality, and he occasionally dabble in social activism.

At the cusp of reinventing himself once again, Mr. Hermit Pen with all humility showcases his debut book, Nargis.

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