Book Review: Voices Old & New
Genre: Anthology/Collection of short stories
Released in 2015: Indireads Incorporated
Cover Design: Sabahat Muhammad
Rating: Four and a half
First of all, I wish to thank Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan who sent a copy to me after I made a request. A big thank you to all the authors for the effort in the making of the book and, of course Indireads who are encouraging authors who write Asian stories. I apologize for putting the review quite late due to time constraint.
The best thing about collection of short stories or what is called in new modern, literature parlance ‘Anthology’ is a journey depicting various expression and colors of life. Some stay with you for a long time, some provide moments of longing to enjoy the memory of a fling and the rest is a blissful experience. 26 Stories by 26 different authors in Voices, Old & New finding expression in Crime and Mystery, Drama, Paranormal and Romance. At one glance: Voices, Old & New is an experience, poetic and at times lyrical voices that finds echo with your literary sense making it an unforgettable experience. An attempt by the talented writers to explore the fear of the unknown, exploring the sensitivity of human relationships or theory of relativity and, of course, romance that shines through all seasons.
Crime & Mystery
The first part of the book is Crime & Mystery which Ruchi Singh’s Boomerang kicks in style and setting the high octane level through the heart-pounding narration mystery is made of. It starts in a soft manner which leads to a thrilling finish which captivate the readers towards the end. It is sweet in the start to reach a climax that takes you by surprise and the result is simply mind-blowing. Boomerang is about the threat of internet as a medium where vultures lurk to lay a trap and are ultimately beaten by their own game.
Raakhee Suryapraksh’s No Good Deed is a moving tale on the role destiny plays in the life of a woman, deftly exploring the nuances and complexity of relationship where the main protagonist enters the conundrum of village politics. The short evolves at a pace that evokes sensitivity and commands respect at the same time.
Viba’s Seven Forty Two is another story worth mentioning on the psychological imbalance suffered by the main character and the genre of thriller has been competently explored. It’s a winner all the way.
Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan is one of the most talented and prolific blogger and author I have known and when he shed the medical cloak, he turns into a weaver of stories that wins hearts and minds. His story, ‘The Ballet Lesson’ explores friendship, love and bonding in not only an interesting way but offers a grasping narration about tribulations in human life in the backdrop of dance. As the story showcases, Dr Radhakrishnan powerfully depicts the emotions of dance in all its form to give the story a certain edge that will stay with readers. It’s an experience in story telling.
Dola Basu Singh’s Family Matters is a sweet but moving tale of love between Young Nightingale Jingle with his new wife, Melody and the night flowering Jasmine. The author has injected freshness in the story of living things who has a heart to love and drift apart. What makes the story unique is the combination of nature and human emotions. Fresh, sweet and powerful.
Shivani Shourie’s Prejudice is another gem that adds to drama and is a telling tale about the human fickle mind’s that deserve to be read and it’s provides fodder to thought.
John Sequeira’s Slave to Thee explores the dark but devilish side of human life which is a tale of pure madness in exploring the mind of a criminal that has the most breath-taking finish.
The world of Paranormal is deeply explored by Karthik L in A Night at the Temple of Circa. It’s about a bloggers’ meet and about the over-inflated egos that we suffer from at being read that makes us lose our sense of balance. A tale of bloggers meeting the psychological mind that often pay truant with us. The story has religion as a topic explored in a subdued manner, our fickle mind that often wreck havoc. It’s a winner all the way.
Sonia Rao’s The Equals is about mystery, treachery which is beautifully married and deserves to be read. A thrilling read.
Sid Balachandran’s The Message is certainly a story in Paranormal that stand its might since it has been tightly wrapped in a powerful narrative. It’s a tale of love meeting paranormal where he brings alive the emotions that binds the main characters. It’s about couple who bond with each by the impending birth of a child and longing for each other. The author who is no stranger to the world of blogging and is a maven at story telling has a surprise for his readers by building a terrific narrative with a nerve-wrecking climax. One of the best stories I’ve read in the anthology, Sid Balachandra’s stays true to his name by packing a power-punch with those words. ‘I told You I had Something to Tell You.’ What a finish!
What’s an anthology without the shade of romance? It has to be there to woo the readers and makes for pleasurable read. Jaspreet Soni’s Between Him and Her is a mature love story, exploring and decoding the complexity of human relationship that depicts society’s boundaries, norms and compassion. The story may give the impression of being a social critique but which is not, rather it attempts to make souls discover the journey of love that connects the spirit, mind and soul. A beautiful love story that may be difficult to understand.
Aniesha Brahma’s Forbidden Love is a beautiful tale of romance worth mentioning so is Only You by Anamika GK and Legally Bound by Ada Wiam.
Voices, Old & New is a beautiful journey, exploring the different facets of humans and their world. 26 stories that is sure to win your hearts and make short stories the new genre of novel-writing. The anthology evolves at quick pace where talented writers whose narratives explores the sensitive and crazy side of life is sure to win your hearts. The book is a gem where all the stories not only entertain but brings to the forth the sensitive side and subjects that are deeply explored. Honestly speaking, I can’t point out at weakness in the selection of short stories and perhaps the only is that the makers robbed me the pleasure of finding faults. Not a dull moment. Voices, Old & New is a must read and must buy. Great initiative by Indireads. It’s a compilation of best short stories from winners and finalists of the Indireads second Short Story Competition 2014.
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