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Sacrifice is a powerful word. And when faced with challenges of basic survival, it seems unreal to think making sacrifices and often leads to obscurity. Pradeep Shrivastava treats the subject very deftly in his maiden novel, Sacrifice-The Road to Obscurity which clearly reflects sensitivity of a person who thinks deeply and intensely. The authors displays a certain characteristic that often reminds you of the ageless classics which are known for their depth and relevance. Sacrifice which is the first part of a triology, by standards of a debut novel, offers a lot to the reader in terms of story and thoughtfulness. The mail plot revolves around Narayan and Meena Keer who lead a humble and respectable life and are content with whatever their meagre means could offer. With two daughters and a son, Narayan Keer was almost satisfied and did not expect a lot from life. However, destiny had some other plans for them. When they, along with other dwellers, are asked to vacate the settlement by an influential builder, things take a nasty turn. People do unexpected things when faced by crisis. Some of these acts have a positive outcome while others destroy lives. And what one perceives as a selfless sacrifice can often be perceived as venal and nasty by onlookers. What do Narayan and Meena Keer choose to do? More importantly, can they choose at all? Or just play a pre-written part in destiny’s plan of things? The characters seem to be picked from a common man’s life and look very real. Every character has a distinct identity and plays an important part in the main storyline. However, as the story progresses, some characters seem dispensable and fail to add any value to the prime plot. I have always felt as a reader, that it needs some level of bravado on the author’s part to pick up characters from the lower strata of the society mainly because most of us like to imagine that everything is merry around us and often conveniently ignore that there are people living a life that is different from us. We build sky-scrapers to look towards the horizon but do not want to peek into what goes on just beyond the boundaries of those high-rises. Sacrifice- The Road to Obscurity gives you a glimpse into life of a very common man and highlights the strength this man derives from his love for his family. The words in the book are a witness to a wife’s determination and a mother’s hope to look beyond the hardships and plan for better days, even when they look far-far away. This book may not push you to the edge of your seat and make you sit up straight at every page, but it will sure force you into some introspection.
This novel reminds me of Greek tragedies. It is difficult to believe that this the author's first novel. Since not only is the character development good but the pace of the story is also Nice, I never found a dull moment in the novel and this is certainly not the type of novel where one can skip pages. One has to read each and every line. Also the lines "Families and civilisations take centuries to reach their pinnacle, only to be destroyed in a day and become part of our distant memory." Sad but true. Can't wait to read the next part of this series.
The author takes time to describe the characters and the surroundings in the initial chapters, but once that is done the story moves at a fast pace. The story is contemporary, set in the year 1996, and hence it is not difficult to relate to the events and the characters in the story. I enjoyed reading the novel and look forward to reading the second part of this series, and hope that it has a happy ending.
I started reading this last night, read as long as I could stand it, got back up today and finished it. I started reading reviews of this book when it came out, and some of them very good. Unlike most novels where the story moves in a linear fashion, this story moves back and forth in time. The characters are realistic, everyone has its own strong and weak points and this is what makes it believable. The story is so realistic that it looks like a true incident. Thank you Mr. Pradeep for written this awesome book.
Excellent story, Well written by Pradeep Shrivastava. I really enjoyed reading this Novel. It is a story of poor Narayan Keer families and their struggles, something which most of us could relate to. The story has its usual twists and turns but what is unusual is the simple way in which the complex issues that our society faces have been presented.
If you are looking for a real life middle-class man and his family story, this book is definitely for you. You will cry, you will be angry, and you will cheer for the fictional main characters. I have been reading for a long time and I have never seen an author so completely create characters that most of us that live a real life can relate to.