I am a voracious reader … I read probably 6 to 8 books a month. So, naturally, not many leave an imprint on my mind. I normally pick up Chicklit, Fantasy, Supernatural, Thriller and Sci Fi (yeah I am big on Sci Fi!). Of late very few books were impressing me.
So History of Hate was not something I would have picked up. But am I glad I did! This book is original. First of all, this genre of psycho-thriller is not attempted by Indian authors in English.
The book is dark, the kind of dark that makes you want to stand out in the mid day sun to warm yourself. The characters are well etched. The underlying thought : I dont care if I am unhappy, it bothers me that others are happy, is actually quite real. Two desperately unhappy people, Ash and Sonny are drawn together because they share this philosophy of life. So they go ahead trying to make their neighborhood unhappy, causing as much damage as they can, until they meet their comeuppance.
I picked up the book at 11 in the night and read it in one sitting. In fact, it kept me awake pondering. It is possible – there are folk who go around spreading happiness and positivity because they see the world as a beautiful place. By the same coin, there surely are folk who want to spread negativity because that is what they have experienced, what they know.
My compliments to the writer (the book is longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2009), dude, you made Sonny and Ash come alive for me. And you kept me awake at night. Very few books keep me awake after I’ve done reading them. Its a difficult genre to write in, and you did it wonderfully.
A small quibble though – why is the book in present continuous tense? I know, I know its minor but as a Literature graduate, I found that disconcerting.
Its priced at a reasonable Rs.195/-, which is total paisa vasool for people who like to read.