Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid

A good book after a long time feels like a relaxing neck rub or soaking your feet in warm water and mineral salts. It's that sense of 'Aah", of sheer relief, in knowing that all is not lost. That the value if good writing has not yet been consumed by the digital world.

I just finished reading "Moth Smoke" by Mohsin Hamid and loved every word. The journalist and lawyer from Princeton and Harvard is a great storyteller who narrates how the protagonist's life goes downhill, caught in an ugly spin of an extramarital affair and a heroin addiction, while constructing a remarkably relevant allegory to the Mughal empire and its notables of siblings Aurangazeb and Dara. I loved his use of words and language and the bizarre descriptions and comparisons that he tries to pass off as normal. Fascinating writer whose first novel gives you a teasing insight into his convulted mind. Some of it was quite morbid, I had to shake myself to reality a couple of times to avoid etting depressed. But that's the strength of a good writer I guess - one who can transport you to the world that he creates between pages, allowing you to forget reality, if only momentarily.

Stranded in a foreign land during one of the busiest holidays in America didn't bother me too much because I had the book for company and was actually silently celebrating the delay because it meant I got more time with the book.

It also became increasingly clearer that my inability to finish a book sometimes has more to do with its lacklustre plot rather than my sloth-like tendencies or my snail-paced reading. Sometimes. Sometimes it really just is my sloth-like tendencies and snail-paced reading.

"Moth Smoke" is definitely a recommended read.

1 comment:

Absolutely Normal Chaos said...

Try the Reluctant Fundamentalist, also by him. He's really good.