PLOT: 3.5 / 5 WRITING STYLE: 4 / 5 ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5 / 5 CLIMAX: 3.5 / 5 OVERALL: 4 / 5
‘Love in Siesta’ is a collection of 8 short stories on the human psyche, instinct, and emotion. The book makes use of different scenarios from changing time periods that meditate on private vision, opinions, passions and hidden motives that often have explicit, drawn-out consequences. Also, there are comments on the concept of love and relationship as perceived by different individuals across varied societies over a long period of time.
On the book’s cover, there is a silhouette of a couple and the image of an ancient statue of two lovers in an embrace. Both of these relate to stories within the book that deal with intimacy, passion, lust, etc. Although the cover art didn’t attract me much, it served its purpose for the book; indicating clearly what the reader is to expect from it.
There is a short blurb that doesn’t let out much to the curious reader. Of course, since it is a collection of short stories, much cannot be let out anyways without revealing the whole storyline. After reading the stories, however, I could comprehend what the author is implying through the blurb.
The eight short stories are not like any contemporary love tales, that one often finds in massive numbers nowadays, of clichéd first sights and meetings, silly brawls and proposals, betrayals and jealousy and revenge. It doesn’t mean that there is an absence of the themes mentioned above, but in this book, they are treated differently by the author.
Avik Gangopadhyay pushes the envelope that contains the subject of “love” and explores various manifestations of such a strong emotion while also studying its subsequent end. I must also add that certain ‘ends’ of the tales, though mostly predictable, were satisfying.
The author uses settings and nomenclature that are universal in nature and thus, comprehensible by readers across regions and societies. The basic instinct discussed in the tales speaks for itself. And, the distinctive writing style and narration jerks the reader to attention at the start of the tale and holds it till the very ‘end’.
Although Love in Siesta is a short read, I took my own time going through the tales, reading and re-reading the words, trying to understand the deeper meaning in most of the remarks and events. Unfortunately, a few things remain unanswered and incomprehensible and that did frustrate me.
What I loved the most?
There were certain stories that I loved more than the others, like the story called ‘The Amoral Incests’ and ‘The Primeval Lust’.
Also, the characters of the tales were beautifully portrayed whether it be the blood-sucking Ula or the spider catching Ruda and Juna with the poison arrows.
I enjoyed this abstract storytelling technique that is so different from the conventional introduction, body and conclusion format. The book definitely has a refreshing take on narration, with the stories from antiquity enthralling me the most.
Would I recommend the book?
Yes, one who is interested in short stories or in the themes discussed in the book or the author’s fascinating writing style can give it a read.
In the end, Love in Siesta is a short read that has the potential to leave the reader captivated, and even bewildered. But, I must add that this 115 pages long book is not a light read. Even then, if my analysis of the book garners interests in you, do give it a try.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Love in Siesta using the link below.