Book Review: Show Me a Hero by Aditya Sudarshan

10 Mar

Book cover: Show Me A HeroGenre: General / crime fiction

Publisher: Rupa

Pub date: Jan 2011

Source: From Author

When I first read the summary of this book, it was with trepidation that I agreed to review it since it seemed to have a lot to do with cricket. I heartily dislike cricket – not the game itself, but the industry it has turned into. Show Me a Hero was not all about cricket, but I was disappointed with the read nevertheless.

Synopsis (from book cover)
Fresh out of college, Prashant Padmanabham is rich, confident, and certain of his filmmaking talents, as he gets ready to make a movie about his hero, a cricketer whose career crashed in controversy. Elsewhere, in a grimy apartment in another part of Delhi, his former classmate Vaibhav struggles to cope with the burdens of adult existence. Beset by self-doubt and loneliness, unsure of his place in the world, he searches desperately for the path of least resistance. But in agreeing to help with Prashant’s movie, Vaibhav finds that he has stepped into danger. As the boys delve into the life of a man who was never shy of making enemies, they come face-to-face with their own vulnerability. A tragedy, murder mystery, and a coming-of-age tale, Show Me a Hero is the layered story of innocent youth finding the courage to fight.

Review
The narrator, Vaibhav, is a young man who has just finished college. An employee at an Animal Welfare organization, in a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend of four years, Vaibhav is still struggling to find himself. He doesn’t want to be a corporate drone, but has no idea what he wants to do. His indecisiveness is even more clear when he comes in contact with conviction-filled Prashant.

Through this movie-making endeavour, Vaibhav meets a bunch of young actors who all have roles to play in the movie and in Prashant’s life. They also come into contact with unsavoury elements who try to threaten Prashant into giving up this movie idea. The danger becomes very real when different groups of people show their disapproval for the movie – using legal and illegal avenues.

Will Prashant be able to complete his movie? Does his cricket idol stand up to the litmus test? And who are all these people who have come out of the woodwork to prevent this movie from being completed?

And my own question: does an amateur movie made about a forgotten cricket star warrant all this hoo-ha?

A lot of recent Indian genre English fiction I’ve read falls into one of 2 categories: good plot not great writing or not enough plot and skillful writing. Show Me a Hero falls into the former category. It deals with interesting and important subjects like hero worship, personal morals, finding one’s place in life, sticking to convictions and such other coming of age dilemmas. But the writing could have done with a heavy dose of expert editing. Sentences with unnecessary adjectives and adverbs, indiscriminate use of the Thesaurus and too many parenthetical elements made it a rather difficult read.

Verdict
The book deals with some important contemporary issues and might appeal to young professionals who are grappling with similar issues.

Rating: 2.75

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

*See my Rating policy

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One Response to “Book Review: Show Me a Hero by Aditya Sudarshan”

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  1. South Asian Challenge 2011 Wrap-Up « Stargazerpuj's Book Blog - December 28, 2011

    […] Khan Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy New Miss India by Bharati Mukherjee Show Me a Hero by Aditya Sudarshan The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair The Good […]

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