Monday, October 04, 2010

Animals People - Indra Sinha

Its a fictional account of Animal - a young man who walks on all fours, his back having bent badly, and who absolves himself of all humanity.

Its set in Khaufpur, which is a pretty straightforward take on Bhopal, and you know pretty soon, what 'that night' is about.

But its a story that needed telling, without adding the million facts and figures to it, which is just how its done. The kampani and the sleazy politicians, are the ever present backdrop , but the people are real, alive. And when there's no 'magic realism'/'artificial plot development' going on, its a rather gripping book. Its not a long litany of everything wrong that was done, and the statistics of the suffering. Its a story, set against those things, which reminds you of the humanity around - lost and found.

Its worth a read, but I didn't quite fall in love with it. It again has long abstruce passages, which don't make a lot of sense to me, and the story really falters at places.( Aside - did a google, and it seems these passages are an exercise in magic realism, something which Rushdie specialises in - that makes a lot of sense, since I found all of midnights children and satanic verses completely incomprehensible. )  The worst I think is the end, which just goes on and on, as I rapidly fast forwarded the pages.

Still worth a read, I used to lament why indian books and movies often seemed to skim over our own history and geography, seems like that is changing.

No comments: