Book House

Elephants in the room: Blending different genres

Thrillers- be its books, movies or web series- have a huge fan
following and are liked by audiences for their upbeat storylines and
gripping mysteries. However, introduction of comical elements in a
thriller makes the narrative more captivating. The author Suraj
Laxminarayan comes up with the book “Elephants in the Room”,
which is a thriller based on a bank heist, with elements of humour
and drama.
Book: Elephants in the Room
Author: Suraj Laxminarayan
The storyline follows a ragtag group of friends who plan a bank heist
to end their cash crunch. In another part of the city, a gang of
seasoned dacoits also decide to rob the bank on the same day. Both
these groups are brought face-to-face and what follows is a tricky,
humorous and absurd situation.
One group are novices to crime and are driven more by emotions than skill; while the other, though skilled, is also not used to have another group of robber accomplices
at the crime scene. Trapped in a situation beyond the realm of their planning and experience, they must think on their feet, form quick alliances and rally behind an unlikely leader. The narrative then follows what happens during the bank robbery, and the extra-
ordinary and unprecedented situations that the two groups are put in.
The title of the book generates interest and suits the story well, but
the front cover is somewhat bland and doesn’t do justice to the
tangy and captivating storyline. The blurb of the book is well-written
and engrossing, and will surely make readers pick up the book.
The book is not quintessentially focused on a single character, but
there are many protagonists around whom the story is helmed. The
characters are very well developed and they stay with the readers
long after one has completed the book. The back stories and the
character arcs of the book’s many protagonists are also intriguing
and interesting.
The book is thronged with many twists and turns, and the situations
also sometimes turn humorous. Set in the backdrop of Chennai, the
book has many mentions of the culture of urban and mofussil Tamil
Nadu-an example being “where men sing gaana songs in kuppams
(fishing hamlets) nestled against swanky glass-fronted buildings”-
which will be liked by readers. However, this book, at 600 pages,
could have done well with some editing. Some of the sub-plots
incorporated in the book also could have been done away with.
This is a book that exemplifies the power of good storytelling and
brings to fore the fact that a humorous tinge can do wonders to a
profoundly thriller narrative. This is a well-written exploration of the
nuances and musings of the human psyche. The author offers
fascinating context about how love, greed, friendship and fate affect
human relationships. If it would have been properly edited and the
book length brought to about half, the book would have been much
better. However, this book should be read nonetheless, due to its
fresh and innovative storyline.

 

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