Thursday, April 02, 2015

Book Review: The Lunatic from Multan by Rajeev Jacob


Book: The Lunatic from Multan

Author: Rajeev Jacob

No. of Pages: 217

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Lancers Books


Apologies are in order first. Like most of the book reviews I am posting these days, this one is also pending from last year. The book was delivered in February last year and I was able to read it by July … but the review took almost 8 months to arrive on my blog. Apologies to readers as well as the Author (and authors of other book reviews I am posting) . This is way too late.  


The Lunatic of Multan is a nice well-written book with some good amount of thrill drilled in without being a very exhausting action paced thriller. I liked reading it.

Here is what the book blurb say:

Why does a lunatic's escape from an obscure mental home in Multan cause so much anxiety among top officialdom in Pakistan?

Who is he? What dark secret does he conceal?

Set in the early nineteen eighties, this is the story of one man's battle against extreme odds, as he battles for his life, his comrades, and his very own sanity. Ranged against him are forces in two countries that will stop at nothing to see his extermination.

Such is the backdrop of the book. It opens up with a man escaping from the mental home. A lunatic who is himself lost but begins to get hold of himself gradually. He has some vague memories but is otherwise completely lost. He finds himself in a country and amongst people he cannot seem to identify with and feels out of place.

And gradually discovers that he is in the wrong country.

And then begins the journey of discovery. Why is he in another country? Why was he in a mental asylum? What drove him to insanity? What really happened?

And I must say here that Rajeev has done a pretty decent job of this self-discovery journey.

I became a huge Robert Ludlum fan after I read the Bourne series (first 3 books). More than anything, it was the inner turmoil of Bourne that was brought out in the book that captivated me.

Rajeev was able to impress me like that. Beautifully bringing out the struggle of a person who is completely lost and has only figments of memory which show no connection to his current state.

The book is a thriller and it is in the backdrop and setting of the Indo-Pak war and strained relationships. You begin to wonder about the reasons for the protagonists state. He seems to be a threat since he can become an international embarrassment and there are people on both sides who are looking at his elimination (by death, of course).

Besides the protagonist, the author has created some nice set of characters in the story. Not too much of character development but the characters are interesting nevertheless.

I had reviewed Rajeev Jacob's other novel (The Great Mogul) and given a rating of 2.5 … I am happy that with this book, the rating bumps up to 3.5

I am once again disappointed by the cover design. It is not appealing (to me). Publisher should have invested some monies here and maybe Author could have pushed (I am not sure if Authors have any 'power' in India, especially if you are not yet a 'block-buster' novelist).  


Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 2.0 / 5

Writing Style: 3.5 / 5

Characters:     4.0 / 5

Story / Plot:     4.0 / 5

Climax:            3.5 / 5

Overall:           3.5 / 5   

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