Book Review: Khel: Vishal Goswami

Khel, the writings by Vishal Goswami starts from topos that already run well, but applies them in a new context and ideas. The result is a brilliant mix of urban fantasy, horror, new weird, paranormal romance with science fiction touches. The narration allows us to touch the life of Sanya and often resulting in addiction and in obsessiveness. The result is a narrative voice very warm and personal that can subjectify objectivity.

The derelict Haveli in Brahmdev, a hill station near Mumbai, is identified among the neighbourhood inhabitants to be eerie which folks keep away from but a group of young people settle on to walk around it and what follows is a gruesome truth they do not breathe to speak about.

Sanya Sharma is an investigative reporter, with a traumatized existence and a broken-hearted precedent, struggling with souls, vengeful ghosts and voodoo. Having lost her companion and little daughter within a span of six months, her once faultless existence is a far-flung trance. Down in the dumps, unable to give attention to on work and just about paying notice to her ten-year-old son, she takes aid in alcohol and regular visits to her psychiatrist with her last option at salvation in a case of odd deaths on small hill station.

What follows is a succession of inexplicable, creepy as well as appalling dealings that Sanya cannot identify with and at last with the aid of a local police inspector turned mate, draws upon her that the ghostly Haveli is not just little civic incantation but a truth that had turned on her. The iniquity that she encounters bit by bit affects all around her and she knows that it will ultimately devour her.

Sanya has to locate a line of attack to salt away herself and her son from the malevolence and the fixture of cards that makes everything come true.

No complaints and without taboo, we are told a story that no one else would be able to tell. A plot so absurd and sick, because in the hands of anyone else, would have generated a filthy trash without appeal, but the author here can maintain verisimilitude and consistency flawlessly. In short, the book is a rather more sensible than many other more serious.

The descriptions are well displayed and then filtered through the mind of the character-pov, dynamic, multi-sensory, precise and concrete. In this sense, one cannot but mention the masterful scenes. Either way, the prose of the author is transparent, simple, immersive and capable of generating empathetic identification, so that it cannot be promoted.

As regards the characters, are well characterized and designed, although it is inevitable that Sanya absorb all narration. And she is the focus of a plot that passes through the conflict and some twists, it runs out in an open-ended, very apt and full of questions.

A truly exquisite novel that is fresh, irreverent and innovative in some respects, while remaining on the classic in other ways that are, after all, the backbone of the novel. This novel is a reading fresh, light and perfect for a summer evening, and quite intriguing and well written to capture the reader's attention in a few rapid pages.

The narrative presents an increasing pace slipping, with ease, from the introduction to a middle and final conclusion more interesting, dark and even mysterious. The suspense is, no doubt, but it is not the absolute centre of the book and allows the reader to not fossilize too much fuss about the protagonists.

The characters all seem perfectly able to walk around on their legs thanks to many little details, introduced by the author, who manage to make them unique in their own way. The style of the author is irreverent, fresh, young and explosive. It is rather simple and direct in describing first-hand the experiences of Sanya, giving us also a nice overview of the mind of our protagonist.

The author also proves to be able to move in a more sombre and less light, like that of the Voodoo spells, and knowing how to build an intriguing plot, mysterious and free of holes and logical nonsense with, a novel structurally complete open-ended. Ultimately, a novel to read, appreciate and with whom to spend some time on balmy summer evenings.

Format: Paperback ♥ Publisher: Leadstart ♥ Pages: 146 ♥ Published: July 2015 ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-9352013227

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