Title: The Boundaries of Sanity: Readomania Shots
Author: Mira Saraf
Link to Purchase: The Boundaries of Sanity: Readomania Shots
No of Pages: 59
Price: Rs 150
Five distinct imperfect people battle with the monsters within their minds – anxiety, alcoholism, and guilt, among others. Each battles against a situation of their own creation, which challenges them to redefine their ways of looking at the world and cross into uncharted territory. Can they win against their own demons? Or will they succumb?
First of all I would like to state that before reviewing this book I read it twice with a gap of nearly two months between the first and second reading. I had finished reading it in December and had also reviewed it on Amazon. But before writing this more detailed review on my blog I had to go to Chennai to take treatment for some serious health problems and also recuperate. Unfortunately I did not have a laptop with me in Chennai and several reviews due from me to Blogchatter got delayed.
I would like to apologise to Sona Grover of Blogchatter for that. I read this book after returning to Kochi so that I could refresh my memory. Now, let us move on to the book and my take on it. This book contains five short stories. First thing I would like to mention is that Mira Saraf is a subtle storyteller. Her stories are the kind that make one think. She does not follow the typical method of telling stories where people resort to a lot of melodrama. Her method of telling stories make you pause and think but not jump up in ecstatic joy or make you feel gloomy. The first story ‘Solitary Confinement’ is about a woman who is stranded on an island. The story drills into your mind steadily and leaves you in a pensive frame of mind in the end.
The second tale ‘Spilling Over the Edges’ is short but it has a very sharp impact on our minds and this story ends on a bit of a gloomy note. One of the reasons it is so effective is that it is positioned at the correct place in the sequence of tales. It brings out the harsh and cruel treatment doled out by a patriarchal jerk of a husband to his wife. The story had the impact of making me really angry. The third story in the line ‘Senseless Worries’ is liberating. It defines for the reader the true meaning of being free in spirit. It is a story in which the protagonist realises an obvious truth in the end. She realises why she has been suffering all her life and the true path to happiness.
‘The Mirage’ is the story I liked best. This story is a bit of a thriller. I write a lot in the thriller suspense genre myself and after reading the first two stories this one came as a pleasant surprise for me. It made me realise that the author has versatile skills and has the ability to write in various genres. She builds the suspense within a small space and comes out with a great psychological thriller. The last story titled ‘The Storyteller’ is magical in its nature. Being a writer myself I wish I could discover some magical mechanism like the one we are told about in this story.
All in all, the five stories keep your attention riveted and there is a lot of intensity stuffed in subtle words by the author. If I found any negatives it is just that some of the stories can be made to gather a lot more pace and be made a bit more elaborate. The stories are all sweet and short. Sometimes a shade too short. But that is perhaps nitpicking. All in all this book is really enjoyable.
Conclusion: A big Yay! Please do read this book if you have to occupy yourself for a short period of time. It is a thoroughly entertaining book.
Rating: This book is a short read. I am going with a 4/5 for Mira Saraf’s The Boundaries of Sanity: Readomania Shots. I have cut off one mark because some of the stories have brilliant plots and if the author had taken a little more trouble she could have made them a lot more engaging.
This review has been written as part of Blogchatter’s Book Review Program.