Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Book Review: The Lost Story by Amit Goyal and Sudhanshu Gupta
I never knew that there existed writers who would or could, after writing half a novel, hand over the manuscript to someone else to complete it. I mean, as far as I know, authors are paranoid folks who worry all the time about their manuscripts being stolen. Amit Goyal and Sudhanshu Gupta are therefore very different from your standard novelist. These two gentlemen have each written half of The Lost Story. We never get to know who wrote the first part and who wrote the concluding second half or even when one author hands over to the other – the writing is so seamless.
The Lost Story’s plot borrows a thread from real life. Legendary writer Saleem has been hit by writer’s block and he hasn’t produced a manuscript for 23 years. Saleem is forced to take help from young writer Sandeep to complete his last hurrah. Yes, just as in real life, Saleem writes half the story and Sandeep or Sandy finishes it for him. And so it begins and then one gets to read a number of short stories which are written jointly by Saleem and Sandy. In between , Sandy starts to dig into Saleem’s past. Why is Saleem so reclusive and more importantly, what was it that happened that Saleem can’t finish a book on his own?
At times I found the numerous short stories that intersperse Sandy’s hunt for Saleem’s past, interesting. At times, I found them annoying, wishing Goyal and Gupta would hurry up and get me to the end, which when I got there, was really out of the world. I will say no more, other than that most of the short stories have a ghoulish touch.
Goyal and Gupta’s The Lost Story has been published by Grapevine, a new kid on the publishers block. There are a few typos – ‘cast’ spelt as ‘caste’ and a word missing in a crucial sentence towards the end of the book, which is meant to finally explain the plot. The Lost Story is an outlandish book. If you are prepared to be taken outside the box for a interesting ride, do go along.