Saturday, 20 February 2016

Book Review : The Shreds of Character by Jasbir S Jagdeo

Book- The Shreds of Character
Author- Jasbir S Jagdeo
Genre- Fiction (Dark side)
Publisher- Self Published (Distributed by Read Out Loud)
A small place in Punjab, carrying some vivid people, with vivid aspects towards life. Sanju, the chirpy bird of a household find it hard to learn her feelings.
Sanju’s brother Teji is an affectionate brother, but is not an affectionate person. The race between the male and female worlds is never ending.
What makes this household a mourning cemetery? Why Sanju is in search of something new? What role does Teji and Sanju’s father play in their outlooks? The end is smooth or with breakers?
Title of the book is catchy. The story revolves around many characters and their viewpoint towards life. One can easily think about appearance of different shades.
The cover could have been much-much better. The present cover do gives the information about the book, if and only if someone first reads the book and then judge it. Otherwise, it’s just bleak.
What can we expect when we talk about Punjab? Like place, like characters. You can see a whole bunch of extremely different people in the book. Some can help you to hate mankind, and that’s the beauty of this book. The author hasn’t felt shy in disgracing. He went out of his box in narrating what can be the possibility of action. He tells us to what extent people can go, to get what they desire, or to get what they are obsessed about.
But sadly, the characters, even the main antagonist and protagonist were not able to flourish their identities with flying colours. There were loop holes and often people changed their traits which can create chaos while understanding the real self of a character with perfection. Out of all, Teji, Balbir and Daadi were quite amusing and different.
The narration was mediocre. The sequencing of chapters was not taken seriously which made things worse. Though every question was answered perfectly by the author but still it was not enough to hold someone to the core.
The Shreds of Character is the story of a household in Punjab. From the very start the story shows two faced people. This fact is never new, when we talk about Indian families. Every person is ideal when he or she is inside the four walls and every dimension of his or her character mends vulnerably when they step out. The novel is full of such people who say, believe and do different things at different intervals.
One of the protagonists Sanju is experiencing her adulthood. What a normal girl desire? Some attention, some love and some fulfilment. But in small places no girl deserves to have happiness of her kind. The story often drifts from one person to another within a chapter and what we see is nothing different. Every person is in a cobweb of fake and spotless social name.
The story moves ahead and the plot start combining. The turn arrives when things open up in front of the family. Sanju’s father, Joginder; Teji, Sanju’s brother and Sanju herself experience a downfall. Every story has a high point and in this story the high point arrives here.
Though the story has different hues, the root is one. The situation varies but the end remains the same, despair is in air. A perfect blend of want and limits mark the end of the book.
· “History played strange games that no one could master”.
· “Antique mistakes became glorious tales of courage, courtship and conquest.”
· “She was better endowed too. She could satisfy anyone, howsoever demanding.”
The book has touched some important topics of the society, in a more fresh way. Either than lifting a complaining tone, the author has picked up a narrating voice. He was able to showcase the real face of families. It shows the deeper roots without any fabrication or alteration. Some incidents in the book can make you giggle, some can be relatable (only if you are a Punjabi or you are in their closer vicinity).
The quick and simple bonds are quirky and worthy. The bond between Teji and Sanju; Balbir and Sanju; Sanju and Preeto; Teji and Jaggu were quite hilarious at times and also very realistic.
The original blurb says nothing about the story. It might take you to different direction. The story at times become dispersed. The starting chapters doesn’t help the book in any terms, rather they confuse the reader. One has to re-read them in order to understand them completely. Also the novel ends with a very plain setting. And yes, you need to re-read the start again to understand some pages of the end.
The novel has many curt words, which sounds nasty. There are many repeated phrases too. The editing is fine but doesn't match the highest standard of precision. The main issue is the difficulty in identifying “who is saying what”. The conversation mix up at times.
Want to know what lies behind the beautiful walls of reputed families? This novel can take you behind the scenes.
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