making readers ponder over existential issues

‘The Unprodigal’ by Manu Dhawan succeeds in making the readers ponder over many existential and mundane issues. Equipped with flair for creative writing, the author evokes an array of subtle emotions by presenting the tale of grandson and grandfather’s bonding. This riveting narrative has all those elements (such as an engaging plot, well delineated flesh and blood characters, the ingredient of suspense, fluidity of thought and lucidity of expression) which go into the creation of a quality book. It appears that the author is well- versed with the theory of The Art of characterization expounded on by the great Greek Master Aristotle in his magnum opus work ‘Poetics.’ Most of the characters as Aristotle puts are life like and resonate fully well with the readers.
The chief protagonist Aryan hails from an affluent class who does not merely represent a certain section of our society rather he has the elements of universality which endear him to all classes. Born in a family of business tycoons with a proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, Aryan does not fit into the family scheme of things. He is drowned in the pool of sorrow over the sudden demise of his dotting grandfather Aryaman. Grief stricken grandson is unable to come to terms with the presented account about his grandfather’s death.
Smelling a rat due to the mysterious circumstances associated with the demise of grandfather, Arayan is determined to dig out the truth. During his excavation many skeletons tumble out of the cupboard and in the whole process of latching on to the truth of the matter, he learns a lot of new lessons about life. The novel deserves commendation as it sheds a plenty of light on such situations which occur in many well-to-do families but  are often buried under the glitzy marble of their mansions.
The another aspect that makes it a captivating read is the strong connect between the siblings Zara and Aryan. Their conversations nostalgically transport the readers into the latter’s own childhood days. The writer has a special knack for weaving a coherent plot and build up a realistic narrative. His competence to deftly delineate the characters and cannily depict the situation is revealed in the very first chapter namely “Going Nowhere”. Having read a few pages, one can properly visualize the image of the protagonist and experience the ambience in an old train. Aryan also emerges as a metaphor for those youngsters who are blessed with fabulous intelligence and revel in all the creature comforts, nonetheless, they are leading a lonely and miserable life which is the biggest dilemma of modern day youth. In a nutshell, it is an absorbing read and will keep the readers on the edge of their chairs till they read the final chapter entitled ‘Closure’. The language of book speaks volumes about the linguistic competence of the novelist. The classy stylistics which the author has employed so deftly make the work unique in several senses.

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