The movie was gripping. If you’ve seen it, imagine slowing down each scene and focusing on each particle of the frame, one at a time. Shine a halogen lamp into the dark corners, examine each drop of blood under a microscope, turn over every particle of dirt till you know each bump on its surface. That’s what it feels like the book is doing with a story you already know and experienced with a safety filter. The intensity is sometimes too graphic to bear. Initially the story carries you through in horrified fascination, unable as you are to look away. After awhile your insides start to feel bruised and sore and bleeding. I was glad when the story came to an end, it was such a blessed relief. And yet, do note, I didn’t (couldn’t) give up the book mid-way. Once you’ve begun, you’re hooked. And that’s SOMETHING to say for a book that competes with hundreds of others.
I am Joe’s Resentful Awe. I am Jill’s Grudging Respect.
* A version of this review appeared in Campaign India.