WRITING STYLE: 2.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2.5/5
“Arya used to travel in two boats. One leg in a boat which could be described by the words as logic, philosophy & proof, and the second leg in another boat which could be described by the words such as magic, mystery & faith.”
-Puneet Pundir, Fifteen Minutes Fifteen Seconds
I am always on the lookout for books that offer diverse perspectives and that take you to different places. Fifteen Minutes Fifteen Seconds by author Puneet Pundir is a self-published novella that narrates the story of a young man with extraordinary interests and unusual experiences. The book is an attempt by the debut author to bridge the gap between modern lives and spirituality. Through the book, Mr. Pundir wishes to introduce the younger generation to mysticism and spirituality.
What to expect?
Expect a short read. Expect a book that narrates the story of a spiritual transformation. Expect a book that has an interesting premise and one that explores the deeper realms of physical and metaphysical possibilities. Expect a book that doesn’t come without its share of amateurish writing and editing errors. Expect a book that will especially appeal to those who have faith.
Who can read?
Since the book is a short and smooth read and is written in an easy to understand language, it can be picked up by a beginner level reader.
Arya is a young man in a corporate job who has a unique schedule. He is an introvert who is fond of meditation and alcohol and makes sure that no matter what, his two needs are indulged in daily. When Arya’s family plans a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, he decides to accompany them.
But a sudden natural calamity turns into a personal tragedy for Arya. While on one hand, it shatters him, on the other, it propels him onto a path of spirituality and self-actualization, acting as a catalyst in the most unusual manner.
How good are the characters?
Arya is very unconventional as a character. His tastes are varied, and he likes to dabble in things that often contradict each other. In the course of this short book, we see a remarkable transformation in him, but that change isn’t brought about effectively. While the things that happen to him are interesting to read, Arya has a character that lacks a certain charm.
His feelings and actions are somewhat mechanical. While he isn’t quite expressive and vocal, the narration makes him even more robotic. During the most passionate and emotional episodes, he remains as dull as dishwater.
Apart from him, there aren’t many characters to speak of.
Let’s talk about the writing style
The story demands emotion, but the writing doesn’t deliver. During the tragedy, the reader doesn’t feel anything for the main character. And this lack of sympathy is purely due to shortcomings of the writing. There is no time given for emotions to flow and be expressed.
The writing is simply too hasty for the plot. There is a visible lack of parallel plotlines and character backstories that prevents the reader from becoming invested in the lives of the main character.
What did I like?
I love how the book explores the geography of the region it talks about. From the familiar places like Badrinath and Joshimath to the unexplored territories deep in the ice-cold Himalayas – the text is adorned with beautiful and lively descriptions of the majestic mountains and the abundant rivers.
I, for one, love reading books by Ruskin Bond, and the way the author describes the confluences of the many prayags (Devprayag, Sonprayag, Rudraprayag, etc ) reminds me of Ruskin Bond books. It is indicative of the author’s love for nature.
Even the mystical and mythical places come with vivid descriptions that let the reader visualize better.
What I did not like?
The writing can be best described as choppy. While the concept is indeed interesting, it is the writing that fails to rise to the challenge. The story itself is such that it would have done better with at least a hundred more pages.
The editing makes it difficult
There are many mistakes when it comes to grammatical errors, and this makes reading the book a rather challenging experience.
What could have been better?
The narration could have done with a few different perspectives. Also, certain sections that required more time and space to make an impact are done away with too hastily. This swiftness does little to bring about the desired effect on the reader. For example, the disaster during the family trip is narrated too hastily, described in very few words. This hardly brings about the seriousness of the issue and the impact it has on Arya’s life.
Is the climax good?
The end is quite apt and explains the unique name. However, it needs more space and pages to be articulated and explained well. There are still questions that are left unanswered at the end of it all.
It all comes down to entertainment
The book offers decent entertainment in terms of the storyline and pace.
In the end
In the end, Fifteen Minutes Fifteen Seconds is a short novella that would appeal to people who have an interest in mysticism and magic. It speaks of a transformation that is extraordinary and magical, and that can be best described as metaphysical.
The final verdict
If not for the poor editing, the book is a decent one time read.
Pick the book if
- All things mystical, mythical, and spiritual appeal to you.
- You love stories about spiritual transformations.
- You love books that talk about religion and faith.
- You are looking for a short story that delves deeper into the mysteries of human existence.
- You like supporting debut Indian authors.
- You are looking for a short read (under a hundred pages).
Skip the book if
- You are looking for a 4-stars and above entertainer.
- You don’t like books with magic and mysticism.
- You don’t like amateurish writing.
- You can’t stand editing mistakes.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of “Fifteen Minutes Fifteen Seconds” using the link below.