Book Title: Elephants in The Room
Author: Suraj Laxminarayanan
Total Number of Pages: 600
Publisher: Write Place
Publication Date: August 2018
A ragtag group of friends are planning a bank heist to end their cash crunch. Novices to crime, they are driven more by emotions than skill – their plan seems foolproof, or so they think.
In another part of the city, a gang of seasoned dacoits has botched up a job and now owes money to the local crime lord. They have to either pay up or pay for it with their lives – and time is running out…
In a bizarre twist of fate, both these groups are brought face to face. 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. Set against the backdrop of Chennai, where men sing gaana songs in kuppams (fishing hamlets) nestled against swanky glass-fronted buildings and life-size cutouts of film stars and politicians, a story of love, greed, friendship, fate and the absurdity of the human condition unfolds.
‘Elephants in The Room’ is a big book to be consumed (of course I didn’t mean that literally). But now that I have swallowed it’s contents, or so I like to think, I shall discuss it with you all. The novel appertains diverse and an assorted number of topics out of which friendship and integrity are the most foregrounded ones.
Laxminarayanan’s ‘Elephants in The Room’ can certainly be considered as a tour de force. For, he has handled the text adroitly despite the many underlying subjects operating alongside the main plot.
At the crux of the story is a destitute, impoverished young man, Nari, a petty thief who preys on people’s wallets and purses. Fast forward to the main event; pertaining to the money problems, Nari and his friends plots a bank robbery. These juvenile people considers themselves infallible and their plan to be efficacious while in reality it is an asinine scheme to follow through. On the other hand, another group of bandits plans to rob the same bank on the same day. Now I shall leave it up to you to cerebrate all the conceivable situations that can happen when two groups of robbers are in close proximity to one another.
Even though the text promises a thrilling and action-packed ride, I must intrude here and let you all know that the story accommodates a lot of comic elements to tickle the readers. From whatever I have discussed so far, you would have conjured this image of a thriller/mystery plotline (which it is in a way) but considering the elusive nature of the text, the intention of the author, the intention of the interpreter and the intention of the text are not quite in sync. Hence, there are plenty of chances to read between the lines.
Even though ‘Elephants in The Room’ is a very lengthy novel, Suraj manipulated the story to his benefit. The novel’s appealing prospects perpetuated throughout the novel. I found the author’s diction very compelling and his narrative style stimulating and thought-provoking. The descriptive style of writing provided enough time for the characters to develop, a seemingly viable way to distinguish between their outward appearances and inner personalities.
The only let down was the length of the book. There were instances when I felt that certain parts were exaggerated and unnecessary which neither enhanced nor helped in the development of the story. That being said, it could have been a possibility for the story to end a few pages earlier than later.
The title of this novel was one of the main reasons that attracted my attention towards the book. The themes that Suraj was dealing with in the novel; he effectively addressed all the “Elephants in the room”, and by room, I mean in the story.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone but readers need to keep in mind that they have to invest a lot of time in completing the book.
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