Book Review - The Other Side

Title: The Other Side ---Dare To Visit Alone?

Authors: Faraaz Kazi & Vivek Banerjee

Price: Rs. 150/-

Rating: 3.5/5

About the Book (From the cover):

"A slow rasping sound made me turn. I jumped back, the cell phone leaving my hands and smashing against the concrete floor. Someone was seated on the chair, rocking back and forth. Through the fallen light, I could see those hands placed on the arms of the chair, two gruesome wrinkled limbs with ugly boils plastered over the black skin. The red bangles on its wrists shone in my eyes, momentarily blinding me. That thing and I call it a thing because I could sense it wasn't human as no human could have such a hideous form, as vile an existence as the one seated opposite to my horrified self."

From a honeymoon in the hill that goes horribly wrong to an obsessed lover who wants his first love in life and in death; From a mentally deranged man who collects body parts of various women to stitch together his dream girl to a skeptic who enters a mansion of horrors to win a bet and much more, this book is filled with scenarios that are guaranteed to give you goosebumps and sleepless nights.

'The Other Side' is a collection of thirteen tales of the paranormal; a world that our eyes refuse to see, our ears deny hearing and our senses ignore the feel of. This is a book for someone who is brave enough to take up this invitation to journey through uncharted waters along with the authors, who were inspired by some bizarre experiences to pen down this work where the lines of reality have been blurred by the footsteps of imagination.

Each story takes you on a tour de force of unadulterated horror and draws upon the deepest fear in the human mind- the fear of the UNKNOWN!

Now for my view:

I have read ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ by Faraaz Kazi, hence when ‘The Other Side’ came to me for review, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. And I’m happy to say I wasn’t.

First and foremost I would like to state that it’s exciting to see Indian authors venturing into genres apart from romance. I do love romance as a genre for it is one I’m most comfortable writing on. But that’s not the point. The point here is that it has been sadly denigrated to silly college romances off late. Hence when a book comes along with the paranormal as its theme, it becomes a breath of fresh air. Therefore, that is also the first aspect of ‘The Other Side’ that hooked me from the word go.

As the blurb says, ‘The Other Side’ is a collection of thirteen supernatural tales written by Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee. Faraaz Kazi as I said has the makings of a great author and I like the fact that he has experimented with his second book. So kudos to him for that. Vivek Banerjee, incidentally is also one of the authors who featured in the anthology that had my first published story. He is a great story teller too without doubt. Hence, the coming together of this dynamic duo had to be great if not more.

There are some stories the outcome of which I was able to predict as a reader. But that doesn't take anything away from the tales for the way they are written made me feel the horror with the turn of each and every page. And there were some which blew me off with the twists and turns. Goosebumps and excitement, I felt throughout the book, in all the 13 tales.

Narrating horror is not easy. How do you make the reader feel sacred? There are no sound effects that you can use right? Trust me it’s excruciating to write a horror story that is successful in making the hair on the back of your readers neck stand. But this book has been written in a manner that made it seem effortless. So kudos to them for that.

Of all the stories these I enjoyed Red Bangles, Dream Girl, Strangers in the Night and Possession the most. Of-course, the rest are also great reads, no doubt about that. In-fact, I think this is a book that I'll be going back to time and again. Another facet that I also loved was that every chapter in the book began with a saying from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King and the likes. It added to the book's charm in my view.

So, I would recommend the book for it’s been narrated brilliantly. The stories do manage to haunt you after you are done reading. So go ahead, garb your copy soon.

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