Each genre has its own particular characteristics, I feel. A fantasy works best when magic is at the forefront and a mystery when it makes the reader interested to solve the crime along with the tale. The genre of horror works best when the words make the reader imagine the scene, rather than saying it directly. It is this that I look for when I take a horror genre book to read.
Khel, the Writings takes a tried and tested route when it comes to the genre… the haunted Haveli with the ghost who kills anyone brave or mad enough to enter its premises. It isn’t a bad route by any means, and the author brings something new too, the way the ghost interacts or marks the soon-to-be victims with the cards and the messages. It begins with setting the scene about the Haveli, with four friends looking to make a reality show by proving the hauntings are scientific, not spiritual, and telling the story of the Haveli. The ghost makes sure that doesn’t happen of course. Investigative journalist Sanya Sharma is put on the case of the deaths of the four while she’s battling her own demons. Can she do it and what comes out of that situation forms the rest of the story.
That the story took me on a known route is good, because I knew if done well, it’d be a good read. The first couple of chapters, where the four friends are in the haveli, I feel they were well written, and I could picture the haveli and the scenes as they happened. I do not quite know if the ghost impressed me as such though. When what will happen next is known, it somewhat takes away from the horror that is to come. So ass the story progressed, it lost some of its strength. And the ending, that felt odd, even though it was horrifying.
Characters weave in and out of the novel, but for the most part, I felt they were done justice. The choice of four daring youngsters to be the mass victims of the Haveli menace was a nice touch, and to bring Sanya Sharma, a woman who had just suffered a tragedy, as the investigative journalist was also interesting.
I wouldn’t say the book was horrifying from start to finish, but it was engaging. In all honesty, I feel it could do with another round of editing or proofreading. There are typos here and there, and misspelled character names and such, which should not happen. Also, the comparisons lack the intensity at times, and end up confusing. These are things that could be caught in that round of editing.
All in all, I’d say that the book is a decent one-time read.
|Title: Khel, The Writings|
|Author(s): Vishal Goswami||Genre: Horror|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9789352013227||Publisher: Frog Books|
(© 14th November 2015)