- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Kurious Kind Media Private Limited; First Edition edition (2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8192997529
- ISBN-13: 978-8192997520
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 1.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,49,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Crossed & Knotted Paperback – 2015
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Crossed & Knotted is India's first Composite Novel, a book written by fourteen authors in close collaboration with each other. The chapters, each a story in itself, are knotted with one another through characters, events, settings and emotions. The result is a read that crisscrosses through a multitude of emotions bringing out deep rooted human desires. They narrate tales of love and betrayal, suspense and mystery, courage and dilemma, along with hope and resilience. Read it for a taste so tantalizing, that your mind will surely be craving for more! This book has been written by 14 authors namely, Sutapa Basu, Ayan Pal, Sanchita Sen Das, Arvind Passey, Mithun Mukherjee, Avanti Sopory, Bhaswar Mukherjee, Anupama Jain, Deepti Menon, Amrit Sinha, Monika Nair, Amar Lakshya Pawar, Bhuvaneshwari Shankar, Arpita Banerjee
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Top customer reviews
A part of many others
Is different and lives a life of its own
So does mine
And yet as you will read them
You’ll see links popping up
Connecting one with the other
Making this anthology
Not just a study in intrigue
But also a composite novel
That India gives you.
You can read this poem on my blog as well...
Love the way the book comes around a full circle, the last story interpersing with the first, providing some answers and leaving others be.
Sounds very cool yet at the same time I had a slight doubt when I first got this from the publisher Readomania for reviewing. Cool, due to the fact that we are notching up the genres that we present out to the world. On one side if we have embraced the nocturnal creatures and on the other hand, we have Titles to showcase along with The Arabian Nights and The Canterbury Tales. So presenting to the world of 'composite novel' we too have a book on that shelf - Crossed & Knotted.
And this is exactly where my doubts came in. Are our writers equipped to spin tales which are connected to each other and yet autonomous in their own rights? And that too not one but 14 authors together. That must have been some herculean task. Moreover I was very eager to find out what was the thread that bound the 14 authors together. What made them declare this new venture as a "composite novel"?
All the 14 short stories are bound together by their characters. I found that very interesting. As a writer, we often suppress the secondary characters in our stories, limiting ourselves to the POV of our protag. Imagine here. All your secondary character take a life of their own. In short, a small world by itself.
Keeping in with the true essence of a composite novel, one can truly say that every protag of the short stories has stood out on their own yet merged subtly in the other stories. The novel starts with A Curious Dalliance of Sutapa Basu where we are introduced to Sudip Roy. A simpleton, who wanted to lead a simple,middle class, married life. But when life teaches him about the survival of the fittest, he learns it fast. As an introduction, Sutapa Basu was impactful in drawing the attention of the readers into the novel.
Sudip's daughter Shivi takes the story further in The Diary of Josheph Varughese by Ayan Pal and the theme of the seemingly perfect murder continues. A character, which a reader had caught the glimpse of comes in front of you in the consecutive chapters. Interesting.
Another fact I noticed in all the stories are the reality bites. From the plane crash in Kotteswaran (Web of Life by Sanchita Sen Das) to the German Bakery Blast in Mumbai (For a Speck of a Moment by Amrit Sinha), all the incidents created the backdrop of the stories. Brought back many memories we want to erase yet kept me as reader submerged to the stories.
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In any endeavor of life, novelties involve tremendous research. Research means a lot of authentic work and Readomania has been successful in playing out a novelty in Indian writing.
'Floating Admiral' had given me a brief idea about the collaborative writing. The concept is a challenge in itself and the team of Crossed and Knotted deserves applause for managing to plot a decent outline.
(The Floating Admiral is a collaborative detective novel written by fourteen members of the Detection Club in 1931)
Concept : 4.5/5
Readomania's Novelty will certainly adhere a lot of followers in the coming days. I'm sure that a lot of publishing houses will look up to this idea. The execution of the concept is decent. The book is rich in ideas, because the writers gave enough freedom to each other to explore the story in their own ways
Content : 4/5
Each story retains its individuality and connects the previous story to some extent. Full marks to the technique employed in planning out the entire story. Some stories would have been better without a few lines, but the big picture compensates it well enough.
A Curious Dallance by Sutapa Basu - Well-carved story! This story does two things : Opens the gates for the stories and initiates an end as well.It cleverly stays away from giving out more details of Sudip's life. Quality of the writing is impressive
The Diary of Joseph Varughese by Ayan Pal- This story is certainly the soul of the book.The curious journal entries start to captivate reader's attention. The ending of this story is crispy
The Web of Life by Sanchita Sen Das - The events in the story are fast-paced. It's a warm read that does not tell, but shows. Siya's life will remain with you for two reasons : Powerful Story and Beautiful Writing
The Real Fiction of Illiana Braun by Arvind Passey : The author has cleverly used the names of the characters to boost the strength of the moving tale. I loved many lines in the story that make for a great quote. Pinch of Philosophy in the story made it to the list of my favorite stories!
The Burning Candle by Mithun Mukherjee : Wow. The best part about the story is in the title. A wonderful metaphor that adds more spark! The story opens a platform to the reader on a different level. It is unusual, but it begins to run in tandem with reality.
Relics to Ruins by Avanti Sopory : The readers certainly get their thirst quenched in this story. They get to know more about Catherine. The setting is grand and simple! The writer manages to knit grand images, especially the scenes in Afghanistan effortlessly
The Leap of Faith by Bhaswar Mukherjee : Picking the characters from the previous story, Bhaswar comes up with a story of change. It is a story of two ends : Hope and Despair. The Leaps from Despair to Hope, Hate to Love make this an inspiring story
Reclaiming Life by Anupapa Jain: This story is powerful and rich in conveying the emotions of an Indian housewife. It also highlights the challenges and throws some light on a possible solution. Great piece of writing!
Dragon Lady by Deepti Menon : The author seems to know the recipe of a perfect story. The story has conflicts of different kinds and it manages to boom the readers with its tiny mystery.
For a Speck of a Moment : This story adds another flavor to the whole book : Action. Binoy's story could be a story of the next indian film. The writing is easy and exciting. The ending reminded me of a scene set in Sudeep Nagarkar's novel 'You are the password to my life'. Amrit's story has the right amount of Masala and manages to stay within the outline of the book
To Ma, Pa and Can Amore by Monika Nair: The traditional relationship between a daughter and her parents is the highlight of the story. The writing is splendid in expression! The best part about the story is the closeness it shares with reality. I loved the way the writer explored a simple idea of love in depth
Look Beyond by Amar Lakhshya Pawar : Shortest of the set 'Look Beyond' introduces Aditya. This seems like a cleverly set hook to close the gates of the book.The author borrows the three witches from Arvind Passey's 'The Fiction of Illiana Braun' to elevate the plot. This setting has certainly helped the writers of the ending. Kudos to the lad!
Dawn at Dusk by Bhuwaneshwari Shankar : Meena's character adds wings to the plot and sets the stage for the takeoff. Giving out more about this story would be unfair. This penultimate round gears up for the final act in an appropriate manner. My personal favorite!
The Last Act by Arpita Banerjee : A Great Climax! Simple, Subtle and Splendid. It is obvious that the last story has to connect the dots and it does not fail to impress. It is amazing, what love can make you do! This story reveals the story of the other side too. It shows the potential of hate as well. Writing the last story is a great responsibility and Kudos to the writer for pulling it off well :-)
Characters : There is no one hero, the book is a hero! As far as I understand, some characters needed more attention that the others. So a few got side-lined. But, the authors have done a commendable job in describing each character in the available space given to them. Personally, I wanted to know more about Illiana Braun/Lily.
Editing : Brilliant Work!
Titles : 5/5
I loved every single title. Each story has an appropriate, yet uunsual title. It is hard to combine both and the team has done that!
Reasons to Read :
1)It is an Indian-oriented work. Most of us could easily relate to the happenings in the story
2)Book like this is rare!
3)A Perfect Gift to Book Lovers!
Verdict : Readomania's Crossed and Knotted is a Grilled Thriller Sandwich with toppings of emotions and humor jam to make every bite special. It is a must read!
I thank the team of Readomania for giving me a reviewer's copy
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Most recent customer reviews
I liked this book very much. The way every story is connected with other intimately and still each story can stand out for itself is an...Read more
The reads and story-line/s: Crossed & knotted they are indeed yet, each a story that can stand on its.Read more