Embers | Book Review
Embers – Book Review
Author: Deepak Kaul
Reviewed By: Manas Mukul
Publisher: Amazon India
Pages: 54 (Kindle Edition)
Price: 150 INR
Genre: Fiction / Parody
My rating: 2.5/5
Almost every Indian cinephile has watched one of the greatest Indian movies, ‘Sholay’ at some point or another in their lives. After about 45 years from its initial release we still fondly remember those amazing characters created by the writer duo of ‘Saleem-Javed’ from the magnum opus. Since then, many directors, producers and even writers have tried their hands at retelling the story. Deepak Kaul too tries his hand at retelling Sholay as a parody in Embers.
I would like to express gratitude towards ‘Writersmelon’ for considering me this book review. I liked reviewing this book as it gave me an opportunity to explore a new genre.
The cover page has a cartoonish image of a figure that resembles the character of ‘Sambha’ sitting atop a knob. The title ‘Embers’ is the literal translation of the Hindi word ‘Sholay’ and hence it suits this parody.
There is an author’s note that serves as a prologue as to how this book came about. The author, along with his friends, is a big fan of the movie ‘Sholay’. They would often re-enact scenes and dialogues from the movie during their meetups. The author claims that he remembers almost the entire movie dialogue-by-dialogue.
Just like in the movie the plot has been set in Ramgarh, which we now know where exactly it is located in the real-world city of Ramanagara that is about 50 km from Bengaluru. This is a parody and most of the plot and characters remain the same. The only difference being that it is set in today’s time where the dacoits have been replaced by cybercriminals and they use advanced cyber technology to extort money and commit atrocities.
The author had a lot of scope given it was a parody, he could have given a twist to some characters or a twist from the original ending given the fact that whosoever has previously watched the movie is well aware of the plot and the ending. A different ending would have given the author also a chance to showcase his creative side.
The length of the book is small with only 54 pages and one might wrap it up within two hours. The vocabulary is easy and simple and the writing style is humorous and breezy. The writer hits right notes with humour especially the soliloquy element of the characters.
The book has many grammatical errors and spelling mistakes which is off-putting and that makes the book eligible for another round of thorough editing. The narrative is predictable but what’s disappointing is that even with the newer setting, the writer has literally translated most of the major dialogues from the original movie. The pricing of the book is also on the expensive side for the book of this size and format.
It was always going to be a daunting task when one takes up a classic movie or book to retell. I wish the author would have done more with the subject as the moment the reader knows that this is a parody on Sholay, they are interested in picking up a copy. I am going with two and a half stars for Embers by Deepak Kaul. An extra half for being brave enough to do a parody on Sholay.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
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