22nd Book Review (BookLysis)
I am back with one more book review today. I avoid reading books online, but I got to know about a book which is published only on internet. Topic and the title attracted me to open the website and go through some chapters. I browsed the website and started reading. I must mention that when I did finish all 31 chapters of the book in one seating, I myself did not understand. I know that your curiosity to know the title is being increased now. So, let me tell you that I am sharing the detailed book review of THE STORY OF A SUICIDE by Sriram Ayer. This is my first review of any novel I have read online.
Cover of ‘The Story of a Suicide’ (Illustrations by Ghana | Image Courtesy: Indiblogger)
Title: ‘The Story of a Suicide’ is a catchy and interesting title. ‘O’ in the ‘Story’ is illustrated by the noose which attracts readers to read the novel.
Language: The language of the novel is lucid so one does not need to refer dictionary while reading ‘The Story of a Suicide’. The author uses some bold words in the novel which suits in particular scenes. Use of a French slang in the novel shows author’s knowledge of various languages.
Writing Style: Author uses the first person narrative style in the novel. The narration of dialogues has been done brilliantly. Scenes are described in detail. Tweets and Facebook posts are highlighted in italic fonts. Overall, author Sriram Ayer’s writing style impressed me a lot.
Unique Feature: The scenes are portrayed by the amazing Illustrations illustrated by Ghana in the novel ‘The Story of a Suicide’.
Characterization: ‘The Story of a Suicide’ is a gripping novel that tells the stories of Hari, Charu, Sam and Mani, whose lives are interconnected in a web of love, passion, revenge and deceit.
Author portrays all the characters in a fabulous way. Hari aka Hariprasad Hegde is a shy boy. Charu is a straight-forward and fearless girl. Sam is a student of computer and technology. Readers meet other characters like Aditya, Alex, Anwar, Mr. and Mrs. Hegde who leads the story to the climax.
Plot and Story: ‘The Story of a Suicide’ is narrated into 31 chapters on the website.
‘The Story of a Suicide’ begins with the celebration of Theyyam festival . The speaker tells that Theyyam festival is celebrated by performing Theyyam Dance and worshipping goddess ‘Bhagavathy’ in northern Kerala. Hari’s father explains Theyyam in the chapter ‘Dance of Death’- “’Theyyam’ derived from the word ‘Deivam’ or ‘God’ is a popular ritual in the North Malabar regions of Kerala. It is a confluence of art, music, dance, worship and story-telling by dancers who narrated stories of local legends and from Hindu mythology.” The novel gives information about Suicide by Hanging. Sam reads two ways of performing suicide by hanging (suspension hanging and drop hanging) from Wikipedia. Suspension hanging is described in brief in the novel. The novel tells an importance of the tenth day of the holy month of Moharram in the chapter ‘All About Burning’- “The 10th day of the month of Moharram is the day of Ashoora, a day of mourning for all Muslims. It is a ritual to mourn the brutal murder of Hussein Ali who was the grandson of Prophet ‘say All’’hu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam’. He sacrificed his life for the Prophet’s sake; he stands as a role model for all Muslims. Thus, they keep Islam before even their life.” I believe that author appeals readers to support Hindu-Muslim unity with the reference of Theyyam from Hinduism and Moharram from Islamism. The fourteenth chapter comments on the personal life of an American singer Frank Sinatra. ‘The Sting’ remarks beautiful ‘warli’ tribal designs painted on pots.
Sam explains some words related to computer and technology. He tells about JARVIS (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) which helps Tony Stark to transform into a superhero Iron Man. He defines Android system- “Android is an operating system for mobile phones, like Microsoft Windows is for personal computers. It’s developed by Google.” He defines Cloud- “Cloud computing means running an application or storing data in a network of computers connected virtually through the Internet.” Sam also introduces another technical term like ‘Trojan’ and ‘dick pick’.
Illustrations by Ghana | Image Courtesy: Chapter 10 of ‘The Story of a Suicide’
The conversation between Charu and a teenage African stranger on video chatting website is more than amazing. All tweets and Facebook chatting between Aditya and Sam are enough to turn your organs on hahaha :lol:! Author has beautifully portrayed the intimacy scene in the chapter ‘High and Dry’.
Illustrations by Ghana | Image Courtesy: Chapter 29 of ‘The Story of a Suicide’
The novel comments on sensitive topic like Sexuality and Homosexuality. I would like to quote a paragraph on sexuality- “I always wonder, for thousands of years, why is man afraid of sex? What makes him insecure? Why does he get angry? What makes him violent? These questions have always puzzled me. Thousands and millions of pages in our history books are full of our obsession with sex. We either like it, loathe it or condemn it. Probably if we all spent less time worrying about other’s sex lives, maybe this world would have been a better place.” The story remarks on bad sexual habits like masturbation due to lack of knowledge in younghood. The book raises a serious question of girls and women’s right to privacy.
Illustrations by Ghana | Image Courtesy: Chapter 17 of ‘The Story of a Suicide’
Charu’s Facebook post in which she writes a letter on behalf of a female organ and asks few straight forward questions to a male organ thrills me with goosebumps. Thouh I do not appreciate Charu’s language used in the letter, I must say that author Sriram Ayer deserves applauds for raising such unsaid but really sensitive questions in the community through such proclaiming way. The novel comments on psychopath who take pleasure in humiliating a victim as an act of revenge. Hari’s remark- “Believers always gave money to either gods in stone or someone dressed like one. Perhaps to see a god in fellow beings wearing plain clothes would have been rather frightful.” is hundred percent true. Alex introduces the character of Julius Caesar from the comparative western English literature by William Shakespeare. He tells about the main plot of the epic, Mahabharatha. Charu’s dress and wardrobe in a role of Draupadi is described gracefully. Draupadi shares the sad part of her married life. Caesar (Dhruv) describes himself as general, avenger, warrior, thinker and lover. A drama ‘Caesar Meets Draupadi’ comments on Julius Caesar’s unfamiliar character. I agree with Mani’s quotation “Let us not forget the purpose, which is to live. It is important to fight (against injustice) but peace and a purposeful life is the goal. Sometimes giving up the fight is also a solution.”
Illustrations by Ghana | Image Courtesy: Chapter 30 of ‘The Story of a Suicide’
‘The Story of a Suicide’ touches on the various challenges that we face in life and ways to overcome them. A scene in which Sam surfs Priya’s facebook profile to view her pictures after break up relates to me. This happens when we miss someone closed. I liked the meaning of the mellifluous Kannada song ‘Jagodoharana adisidale yasode’, means- “Krishna might be master of the universe, but he was still a child to Yashoda. She knew that her son was the Lord himself: still, she was anxious if he might fall, helpless, when she could not comprehend his mumblings, worried when he would not eat, but cried when he smiled.” This is a character sketch of every mother because a son always remains a little kid for his mother. I like Alex’s point of view when he allows Charu to stay in his apartment on her request despite thinking that what other people would say. Conversation between Charu and Sam entertains me in the first half of the chapter ‘I love you’. A father’s emotions after hearing a son confessing he is ‘gay’ are realistic but I don’t think that parent’s shouting can be a reason to commit suicide.
Reviewer’s Opinion: “The Story of a Suicide by Sriram Ayer comments on frustration, depression, failure, pain, humiliation, regret, rejection, betrayal, defeat, loss, heartbreak, insult and so many other reasons of a suicide. I think that “a suicide can not be a solution of any problem, it doesn’t matter how big your problem is!” the life is too big and has lot of opportunities. One should never give up after facing challenges. God never does wrong with anyone, who knows that God might have decided a better plan for you instead of incidents you are considering as your failure today. Negative thoughts demotivate us and encourage to take such negative steps like committing suicide. We should discuss our problems with our friends and family to overcome from such negative thoughts and to find a solution of our problems. We should think in a positive way and defeat negativity like doing such coward acts. At the end, I would like to conclude my opinion with the final quotation by the Charu in ‘The End’- “If everyone who has a problem decided to commit suicide, this world will be filled with only dead people.”
I would rate 4.3 on the scale of 5 stars to the novel ‘The Story of a Suicide.’”
Watch this amazing video trailer of the novel The Story of a Suicide
Summary of “The Story of a Suicide”:
Today’s youngsters are expressive, self-absorbed, independent, afraid, hurried, fearless, fame hungry, but surprisingly resilient. In a world that makes unreasonable demands of them, many are disillusioned about their education, relationships, jobs, sexuality, bullying, and abuse. In the backdrop of a powerful story and visuals, this project aims to reach out to young people, by verbalizing their struggles through the story, informing the do’s and don’ts when they face challenges, and providing a platform to share their experience.
“The Story of a Suicide” is available to read online for free at http://www.storyofasuicide.com/
- Some quotations are used in this review from the novel ‘The Story of a Suicide’ for the reference. Reviewer does not claim any rights on any quotation used here as it is or with modification from the novel.
- This book review is a part of #IndiChange topic “The Story of a Suicide in association with NalandaWay Foundation and IndiBlogger.
- © Rajesh D. Hajare (RDH) reserves all rights to be identified as the reviewer of this review of The Story of a Suicide.
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