Book Review: End of Story?
Gripping and darkly humourous, End of Story? is an intriguing and intelligent thriller about the big bad world of advertising. At a time when the advertising industry, mainstream media, politicians and celeb authors are pulling out all the stops to influence our minds like never before, this novel comes as a breath of fresh air. The author uses a gripping story to reveal the inherent gap between a story and reality, although the plot is almost akin to reality.
A gripping tale that meanders beautifully through family, media, intrigue and murder, Arjun Shekhar’s second book is sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, sometimes shocking but always compelling in the simplicity of its language and the imagery that he weaves so beautifully; the book leaves one wishing for more.
The novel is a bit dark, humorous and thoroughly gripping. It may not be a thrilling or pleasurable experience throughout, but once the reader reaches the end, the built up of many sub -plots becomes relevant. This makes the story enjoyable. The characterization of the protagonist, Shukrat shows the skill of the author. His transformation as the story unfolds is a treat to experience.
About the book
Shukrat Ali, a news anchor at Khulasa, the sensationalist ‘tabloid’ current affairs channel, is out of a job. TV channels across the country have closed down as a consequence of a Supreme Court ban on electronic advertising. An enquiry is on regarding the emergence of a sinister new form of ads the media has dubbed ‘propagandads’, which uses compelling subliminal messages to subtly rewire people’s minds and influence their actions.
Even as Shukrat grapples with the question: ‘How does an anchor move on?’ he receives a summons from a criminal court to testify in the trial concerning the killing of his ex-boss, Satya Saachi Sengupta, the mysterious and towering figure in his life, whose connections with this insidious mind manipulation scheme can no longer be denied. Being a key witness present at the scene of the crime, Shukrat must prepare to bare all before the court and tread carefully lest his testimony boomerangs on him. Gripping and darkly humourous, End of Story? is an intriguing and intelligent thriller about the dystopian possibilities of everyday advertising.
About the Author :
For his second novel, Arjun Shekhar has drawn heavily from his experiences in both the not-for-profit sector and the corporate world. He is a Co-founder and Chief Volunteer of Pravah, an NGO that builds leadership and social responsibility among youth by connecting their individual identity search to the society around them. He is also a partner in an Organizational Development firm called Vyaktitva that unfolds the true character of organizations and people. His wife, who co-founded Pravah with him, and twelve-year-old daughter, too, have been major inspirations for his writing.
Buy the book online on Flipkart (shameless publicity of my former employers 😛 )
Thank you Yatin for connecting me to the author.
P.S. – I read this book on a 10 hour long train ride. Best possible time to read such stories.
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