Book Reviews

Book Review: False Ceilings by Amit Sharma

Disclaimer: I received a free paperback from The Book Club for this book in exchange of a honest review. The views expressed herein are solely my own, and there has been no monetary compensation involved.

They say, never judge a book by its cover. And yet, more often than not it is the cover that not just catches the eye and is largely influential in deciding if you even want to read the blurb of that book. It was a similar situation when I saw that False Ceilings for up for review.

The cover of this book fascinates you from the word go; it is certainly something that you cannot ignore. A desolate room, with just an almirah and a radio on a two-legged table, is on one part of the cover. On the second part are lush mountains covered with snow and seen from a field, with a horse standing somewhere in there. In the middle of this, stands the name of the book. So many things, and yet the cover doesn’t look crowded. Far from it, in fact. The cover sends out a serenity, a calmness that you don’t want to let go of just like that. That is what happened with me too.

Next in line is the blurb. When I read the blurb, I realized this was a story that spanned five generations. Five generations! Pretty exhaustive to just think about it. This is where I decided I am going to certainly read this book.

Page 1 and the author’s impeccable language enthralls you. Also, I was reading this book after two back-to-back books that scored very low on the editing front. So, a flawless use of grammar and a simplified vocabulary totally swept me off my feet. Kudos Amit!

The story had me in its grip till I was halfway through the book. A story that travels between five generations can be pretty exhaustive to read as well. But this another area where Amit scores a point. He manages to get you to sail through without losing the plot.

Unfortunately though, for me at least, this magic lasted only till I was halfway through the book. After a point, it was confusing and took some effort (read going back by a few pages) to understand who was related to whom and how. Not a Herculean effort, but an effort nonetheless. It wasn’t that I was not enjoying the story anymore, but I was running out of patience. I couldn’t wait any longer to know the secret of the false ceiling.

The author has handled the unveiling well, though it is not as strong as I would have expected. You’d think why was something like that hidden, when bringing it out would have stopped quite a few unfortunate incidents from happening. But then, there is another perspective to this, another way to look at it. I realized that similar to how the plot in this story moves ahead, in real life too, we often end up taking decisions that aren’t based on logical reasoning. The heart and the head, in matters like these, function on a different level altogether.

This isn’t one of the books where the author is out to preach something to his readers. No. It is a story, something to amuse you, to keep you on the edge of your seat, and something that when you are done reading, you would close with a smile. Remember that you aren’t taking  away any lessons from this, just a simple story that you will remember always, for no one reason, however!

My rating: I’m going to give this book a 4/5.


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