WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 5/5
Worth reading from cover to cover, They Go to Sleep is interesting on a whole new level.
The titular story They Go to Sleep is also the opening story in this short story collection. A fast-paced thriller on police procedure and criminal psychology, it is about the young widow of a drug overdose victim.
After almost three years and frantic trials of trying to reach her through her social media handles, a British national claims to know her whereabouts. He mentions this minutes before leaving the Heathrow Airport. This puts the police of both the countries into a joint manhunt.
In another story, the dystopian world of the year 2043 when nobody is seen sending letters anymore, a person decides to write about his memories of springtime that will soon be erased. Much like Winston Smith of Orwell’s 1984, this man is in a fix. Once his identity is revealed, it leaves a massive impact on those around him. A Man Of Letters is a sci-fi short story with humane emotions at its core.
While train rides can be exhilarating in and of themselves, what makes it even more captivating is if you meet your muse on board one. Such is the case with a promising and budding poet. The two chat for a while and share an unforgettable conversation but make the grave mistake of forgetting to ask each other’s names. Will they ever be able to meet again and get to know each other better?
From Aperture to The Man Who Sold His Gods, most of the stories have plotlines that are extremely engrossing and hold up the suspense for long periods of time until the very end of the story.
However, What’s In A Name? is a humorous take on everything quintessentially Bengali, from fish curry and rice to mochar chop, Bhojohori Manna, gossip and the Kolkata Bookfair.
The language of the stories is simple and easy to read, though there is the use of colloquial words and at times whole sentences in Hindi. However, the book comes with a glossary in the end for each and every chapter that has a list of all the words that a reader may stumble upon.
It has certain beautiful phrasal expressions though most of the matter is presented in a formal style of modern-day storytelling.
Capturing the essence of Edgar Allen Poe’s methodology of narration, the stories have a crisp beginning, an emphatic middle and an exciting end.
Most of the stories come with multiple climaxes and innumerable twists and turns within the plot.
There are a total of twelve short stories in this collection. It is a well-compiled assortment of tales about ordinary people going about their everyday lives until they fall into extraordinary situations and how they deal with these circumstances.
The book cover depicts a dark alleyway with a man sitting on the threshold of one of the houses reflecting on the darker side of most of the tales in the collection.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of They Go to Sleep from the link below.