WRITING STYLE: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2/5
“Your future is not decided by your present, but your recent past.”
Living with remorse and regret after ‘that’ incident, the protagonist draws out a picture of his lady love who is no more with him.
With a mild blend of humour and a lot of twists, Diluted is a tale of the untold dilemmas when it comes to matters of the heart.
Muddled with constant flashbacks of events from his school life, Vikas is a highly disturbed soul. His work is taking a toll on him while his love life is no better.
He is preparing to go to the INSPIRE camp. However, in his memories, he is still preparing for the teacher’s day programme at school where he connects with Sandra, his childhood classmate and a good friend.
Nonetheless, it is Sreeraksha that he takes a slight infatuation towards. Bound by innocence, his teenage days are what his post-teen self misses a lot.
The title of the book is apt for that is what happens to the novel and the lead character’s persona. Everything seems very diluted from the first word.
The constant digressions can be very difficult to follow at times and require the reader to commit to memory several bits and pieces of information that seem relevant to the moment.
Though this manner of story-telling allows room for a lot of detailing, none of the details or information is held up for long enough to leave a fruitful impression.
The characterisation is minimal and rather poor. There is very little effort into building up a particular character. Most of the characters are flat and have no special traits that can distinguish a major character from a minor one.
In fact, there are so many characters that one is bound to forget a lot of the minor ones.
The protagonist is a simple boy troubled by anxieties and his recent past. He does not have a very good relationship with his sister with whom he talks over the phone, though rarely.
It is his mother who can read him very well. She knows his emotions and this is what makes him embarrassed.
He is a bit shy when it comes to disclosing his emotional side though that only goes on to show his extremely heartfelt bits. He is a touchy and caring person who takes things to the heart easily.
All the effort goes into the making of the plot that is completely disarrayed with several incidents. There is conflict upon conflict.
Touchdown is one such chapter that goes into the memory lane of the protagonist that is set 3 years behind the story schedule. This is a major turning point though that makes things even more topsy turvy.
The plot goes round and round in a circumlocutory manner and feels like the author is beating around the bush at several places. There is little clarity but too much drama.
At times, the entire novel seems to be more of a diary entry of a highly unorganised person.
The book within the book is another interesting turn. Diluted is a book within the real novel by the same name. It is written in the form of a poem followed by prose.
Medial Advent is a crucial chapter that furthers the story into headlong motion. The pace throughout is moderate with sudden ups and downs. The crux of the story comes at the chapter INSPIRE CAMP.
The lead character is constantly troubled with nightmares as well. Curbing his troubles he finally makes a proposal to Sree. He knows he loves her but he is also troubled about Sandra.
The chapters College Life Part 1 and College Life Part 2 try to sum up the details of the transition from school to medical college that the lead character enters into.
As he enters college, the seriousness of life turns in. Sinister things happen and Vikas falls upon troubling information about people he knew closely such as Jagadeesh who indulges in a drug business.
Most of the story is narrated through dialogues that are too lengthy and have colloquial words used in them.
The story is told from a first-person narratorial stance of Vikas but the dialogues add to the confusion at times as they are not well constructed and clearly the entire book requires quite some editing and redrafting.
Yet there is a lot that happens in the novel and perhaps way too much beyond comprehension.
Set at a little over 3 hours, Diluted is a serious test of patience for the reader who has to go through unnecessary details before they get to the main points.
Reading the book will also make a reader feel that one must be highly selective in understanding the storyline and the several points that are being made simultaneously.
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