Saturday, May 17, 2014

Human by Milan Bakrania

Author: Milan Bakrania
Publisher:  Matador
Pages: 200
Release Date: February 28th, 2014
Source: Netgalley

Zenith has been 'dead' ever since his Uncle Ryan mysteriously disappeared when he was a child. 

Present day - Zenith is now 42 years old. The world is at the mercy of a relentless virus. His friend, Joy Irani, is missing. No one has seen him. It's all too familiar! But Zenith will stop at nothing to find him.

A series of anonymous text messages leads him to a deserted village. Moments later, he finds himself on a boat heading into the open ocean...

HUMAN is a week long account of an irritable cleaner from India as he sets out on a journey of a lifetime. From a bustling city to a place where the stars descend from the sky, it's going to be a week like no other!

At this time I would typically leave my disclaimer that I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Well, I did receive it from Netgalley for free, so with that out of the way, here is the honesty:

I am just not a fan. 

I went through several stages while reading this book. I gave it the benefit of the doubt first, and I ignored the style differences I didn't like; then I tried to wait for the plot to unravel, and I tried to read around the italics. Eventually, i just felt weighed down. The book felt like a really heavy chain dragging me along. There was too much I didn't like, and I felt like I was forcing myself to read. The longer I read, the faster I wanted to go, and after awhile, I'll be honest, I was just ready for it to be over. 

I'm usually not a one/two-star person. But I just couldn't get past all of the things that made this book feel so unreadable.

The author starts in diary format, but then the writing proceeds in first person, with sporadic italic 'thoughts' written in spontaneous intervals. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to where they go, and I found them distracting and unnecessary. The main character is also impossible for me to relate to. He is an unhappy man with a cynical attitude who spends much of the story mentally insulting everyone around him. He is constantly "thinking" insulting things about people, and after awhile, you find it hard to take his side. And how come every woman in this story seems to be a whore or a b****? His attitude towards his wife made me uncomfortable. 

Also, who describes their daily poop in their diary? Really? 

I thought maybe it was cultural differences for awhile. Maybe it's just because I've never lived in this country and don't understand the social norms. But that doesn't mean I'm okay with them, and I really don't enjoy reading about them. The book felt very crude at points, but not in the "ha ha" funny way I can sometimes get into. This is that old guy hitting on someone twenty years younger than him type crude that just makes you feel a bit uncomfortable. It was hard to get past.

It was disappointing because the author has moments where it seems the book could be promising. Descriptions thrown in here and there create good mental pictures, and had it been in third person, maybe I would have enjoyed it more. Yet the format and the way all those descriptions were put together killed it for me. One moment there is a great description about a skyline, then there is an awkward aside about needing to go to work. All in all, I couldn't get into the plot enough to tell you if even that had promise. I was busy drowning out the narrator.

Oh look, it's time for me to end this review.

Maybe someone will see what I didn't, but this was just not the book for me.


No comments:

Post a Comment