- My Review
The debutant author, Akshay Shroff makes a huge promise with 'The Monk'. The way he has handled the story spanning almost forty years is commendable. A reader will never feel that he has picked up a book by a first-timer.
Also, worth appreciation is his characterisation. He has done complete justice giving each of his many characters, their fair share, and frame. It's a real daunting task to deal with such large number of characters, especially when you are playing your maiden innings as an author.
I will not label 'The Monk' as a patriotic story as it is more of a personal revenge against the enemies of the country.
The extensive research Mr. Shroff has done is evident. Though it seems copy-pasted stuff, it proves to be an integral part of the story ( although he could have cut them short as the italicised details tend to bore the readers sometimes and shifts the focus ), he has apprised the readers with details of every terror attack right from the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai to the mass killing in 2007.He educates the readers about the history of Taj hotel, the Temple-Mosque (Babri) strife, the Kashmir issue, the killing of Osama-Bin Laden by the US and every real incident around which he has knitted his story, profoundly and convincingly. It's a real art to weave a fictitious saga joining the threads of series of actual events. I congratulate the author for doing it so well.
The author has exploited the experience of his age and a long stint in the economic capital of India. It seems he knows every nook and corner of the big city. He flaunts it with dexterity in his book. Everything, be it the fondness of Mumbaikers for cricket, the food joints, life in police quarters, the-city-never-sleeps culture, the Police-Builder nexus, he has described to perfection. It speaks volume about the layers of evil sediments every common man gathers, some to ignore it and some, to say it as Mr. Shroff has done.
'The Monk' is not a whisper but a shout to the 'Akkas' of terrorism that blood of common Indian boils every time they try to unsettle us with a misdeed.
Well done Akshay Shroff. My best wishes to you for your future endeavours. Keep writing.