When a book blurb says the story is of four very different people brought together by the world of Harry Potter, it makes me notice. That, and the lightning bolt on the cover art.
Without doubt, the story mostly lives up to the billing. One is a radio show host, another who went to the USA for studies, then has taken on a job there, the third an admissions consultant and the fourth pursuing a Master’s degree in English. Kannan and Grimmett meet in a queue outside a bookstore and from there, a friendship is formed. Rebecca, someone not really into the world of Harry Potter, gets drawn into it after reading one book to see what the hype was about. Malathi, the bookworm, has always loved reading.
The book is not a quick read. I thought it might be, but it was slow reading but that might be because though I am a Harry Potter fan, I am not someone into fandom. What I know of groups, fan fiction, “ships” etc. is only from what I have heard from others. So, diving into that world felt strange. The screen names, the talks, the banter, I felt totally out of place. I think someone who knows that world might like this book more. There’s drama. Lots of it towards the end in particular.
What I love about the book is the character sketches. They felt real. While I liked Kannan’s character at the start, somehow toward the end, I felt a hatred towards it. Malathi’s character felt intriguing because of the way her love for books and the bookstores was described initially. I could connect to Rebecca’s character because I know how people can fall in love with the Harry Potter world so unexpectedly, and that’s beautiful.
These aside, the family ties, the “money” matters, the quickness of the arranged marriage all felt real, and was dealt with well. Also made me wonder about the whole idea of friendship. Was Kannan influenced by Santhanam’s words in some way that it affected his friendship with Grimmett? Or was it maybe internal reaction to how Grimmett was more dominant in that friendship? Even Kannan’s view of love is intriguing, to the extent what he went to at the ending.
I don’t know if the novel is a funny read. But it was moving. And it definitely was different. I can see it having some admirers, but not sure if every person who loves the world of Harry Potter would be able to relate to it or admire it. Worth a try, perhaps.
Title: Accidental Magic
Author: Keshava Guha
No. of Pages: 240
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Rating: 7 out of 10
I thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book to read and review. No other payment was taken for this review.