“Engrossing in ways more than one, it surprises, it shocks, it holds you in a vice-like grip!” – The Hindu
This was what the newspaper critics thought about this Fiction cum Horror genre’s book – The Other Side.
The catchy tagline “…Dare To Visit Alone?” The well designed cover page and an excellent author profile – that’s what the book comes with. The Other Side is a recently published book which is a combined work of two authors – Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee. Before, starting with the review, I would like to put some light on the lives of both the authors.
Who Has Written The Other Side?
Faraaz Kazi, with a very interesting profile which seriously caught my utmost attention towards the book, is the winner of National Debut Youth Fiction Award 2013. Called as Nicholas Sparks of India, the writer is a certified soft skills trainer and a three time post graduate and also runs his own company named DigiImprint Solutions. The achievements of the author not only impress you but also increase your excitement towards reading this book.
Vivek Banerjee, the co author of the book is a pediatrician by profession and is a writer by chance according to the words of this book. He has written few books and has co-authored a few as well. He loves to blog too and that’s why he managed to impress me too.
Review of The Other Side
As I was already impressed by the authors’ profile, I certainly wanted to try this book. Moreover this book was in hands of a big fan of horror movies who loves to hear about paranormal incidents, no matter how unreal they seem to be. I am the one who keeps pinching other people to tell me if they ever heard a story about ghosts or if they believe in them.
To increase my excitement, I came to know that there is a sum of 13 paranormal stories in the book which I can read. The second thing after the author profile was the Foreward which impressed me for the kind of words chosen and the kind of views expressed really made me get glued to this book.
Then the prelude, which was somewhat below my expectations but considering it just a beginning I kept turning the pages one by one.
Story 1: The Fateful Night
This is where the horror part begins for me. Hey, it was not because of the ghosts or paranormal stuff, it was because my expectations got shattered into pieces more than one can count. The first story seemed to be like a one copied from all those stupid hindi movies scenes where a hero and heroine visits a big mansion at a very silent night and experience something extraordinary. However, the authors did try to put a twist by making the story a simple one where no one gets in trouble. But it was certainly a boring one which made me want to kill myself for the kind of book I had picked up.
Though, after reading the first story, I was filled with extreme disgust and didn’t want to continue, I had to for this was sent to me for review and I had to complete it.
Story2: The Long Weekend
The story is about a married couple who goes for a small weekend trip in hills and experiences the things that follow. The only thing I noticed in the story was the cheap style of writing. Sorry, but if you talk about Indian books having some ‘that kind of’ scenes, I’ve read plenty of them. I’ve read all the books of Durjoy Dutta, all but one of Chetan Bhagat, the beginning of Train To Pakistan by Khushwant Singh, three to four books of Paulo Coelho (not Indian) and none of them ever made me feel like I was reading some cheap language no matter how what kind of scenes were portrayed there but this one, I bet you would laugh and feel disgust after reading that short paragraph in this story portraying a steamy scene between the couple and would lose all the intent of reading this book.
Story3: The Man Who Did Not Fear
The story in this part is the one which must have been shown on Indian television in almost every horror serial. There was nothing new apart from the kind of hard work the authors were putting to make the book interesting which obviously didn’t seem to work.
The only thing that gave me strength to read was it was a fast read. I mean I seriously did complete the book in 2 hours if you measure the time I held this book in my hand.
Story4: Strangers In The Night
This was a story which tried to convince me that The Other Side isn’t as bad as I had started thinking about it but the extreme efforts of the authors to provide an unexpected end to the story took me back to the opinion that I had framed till I completed the third story. These kind of vain efforts continue in all the stories that followed.
Story5: The Muse Comes Calling
The story was nothing but a collection of badly chosen words which expressed less and irritated more. Come on, even a book in simple language could have done the job but I wonder why your proof readers chose to use such heavy words even when they don’t fit in.
Story6: The Lady In The Pub
Although I do accept that the level of stories did rise a bit at each level but it was certainly not up to the mark. The Lady In The Pub was actually liked by me but again, there was nothing which I didn’t hear of or I didn’t expect. Moreover, the kind of first impression I had from the book marred my experience further. I simply couldn’t have imagined that the book would be so disappointing.
Story7: A Mother’s Love
By this time, I certainly didn’t have any intent to continue the book but as I had to, I kept reading while cursing myself for picking up this book. I wonder what I had expected to read. The authors were explaining the scenes properly, at least they tried. But if I read the story considering it a book about paranormal activities, it’s unbelievably bad.
Story8: Red Bangles
I seriously think I’m repeating myself. I don’t need to mention that the book isn’t good again and again. Right? So, let me just tell you a small summary of the stories. The red bangles is about a psycho lover who accidently kills the girl her loves. Predictable! Not scary!
I mean what do you think, if you explain a dead girl open her eyes and kills her killer, it would impress your reader in some way? It won’t.
Story9: The Mark Of The Beast
Oh! At last I found one story which didn’t make me feel that bad for most of the time. I would call this an average one where a couple who goes on honeymoon listen about some old myths which prove to be true and then they experience the things that followed.
Story10: The Mystery Lake
Did you realize that I am not even interested to tell what the story is about? Yes, I am not. Because every story is nothing but a short excerpt taken from either a hindi horror movie or an English horror movie. Why should make you read about such common and horrible stories?
I’ve always been excited to hear stories about demonic possessions. This story isn’t about demonic possession but still, it talks about how a small girl is possessed by a bad soul and how it overpowers that soul and takes over the body of that small girl. Again, I can easily guess from which movie has this taken from?
Story12: Unfulfilled Dreams
Oh please! Do I really have to do this? This has certainly taken all my devotion towards writing review. I am not finding it fun anymore. I am really not good at criticizing. All I can say about a bad book is, it’s bad, really bad, really very bad!
Story13: Dream Girl
This was kind a disgusting story, disgusting in a good way. At last, I started experiencing something which I had wanted to but it was obviously not for too long.
At last the epilogue of The Other Side which wasn’t too bad but again, I was too irritated by the way authors were trying so desperately to add some twist to the story.
Overall, this is a book I would never recommend to anyone. Please save yourself. Rest, it’s your own choice. Try it and do tell him how disgusting you felt after reading this book.
Having written such a review ‘praising’ so much about the book, I cannot expect that the authors would be glad to read this and would share my viewpoint with their readership, so would you please do that task? Please share this review on all the social networking you use and save your fellow beings from getting tortured by a book like The Other Side.