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May 17, 2012

Mini Book Review: Manjaveyil Maranangal(Malayalam)

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 Title: Manjaveyil Maranangal(Deaths in Yellow lights)
 Author: Benyamin(Benny Daniel) 
 Originally published in Malayalam(2011)
 Publisher: D.C. Books
 Pages: 356
 Price:   INR 226/-
 Homeshop 18,DC Books
                          First Things first.I am not a great fan of Benyamin.Though I loved ‘Aadujeevitham’( Kerala Sahitya Academy Award 2009),his ‘Akkaporinte Irupathu Nasrani Varshangal’ made me mad.So I was a bit sceptical when I picked up his latest best seller,’Manjaveyil Maranangal’.The book turned out to be a half baked thriller and left me terribly disappointed.Manjaveyil Maranangal starts off (well) as a murder mystery,tries to be a historical fiction in the middle and ends up being none as it fizzles out with it’s weak/pathetic climax. 
                        Set In the small island of Diego Garcia,the book is basically the story of Christie Anthraper;the youngest descendant of the Anthraper clan.One day he witnesses a murder(in broad day light) only to realise later that the guy who got killed was none other than Senthil,his old school mate.Pretty soon he finds out that the authorities are trying to cover up the murder and trying to pass it off as a natural death.Meanwhile Christie’s girl friend also dies in an accident and he decides to go to her hometown(Udayamperoor) and meet her mourning parents. But little did he know what was in store for him!
                    What happened to Christie Anthraper?Who was Senthil and why was he killed?Why were the authorities trying to pass it off as a death due to 'Cardiac arrest'?Was Mervin’s death really an accident?The book tries to find out answers for all this but believe me,you are not going to get solutions for most of these even after  you have finished reading it.Agreed,the book is racy,has an interesting premise and gives a vivid description of life at Diego Garcia.But what is the point in wasting your time in a Crime thriller which leaves you with half a dozen un-answered questions in the end?
Rating: I am giving 2.25/5 for this half baked thriller.The climax disappoints big time!
PS: In a pre-climactic scene Christies’ dad is arrested and their house raided for planning a coup.But in the epilogue Anthraper family is seen reviving their plantation business in Etiopia.From where did the (already bankrupt) family get the funds for it,Mr Benyamin? 
PSPS: The book reminded me of T.D Ramakrishnan’s ‘FrancisItty Cora’ at times.The ‘Mariyam Seva’,’Raniyayi Vazhikkal’ scenes’ had a ‘korakku kodukkal’(Francis Itty Cora) hangover to it.
-nikhimenon

15 comments:

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raneesh said...

good review

hate lord said...

i dint like this one....!

Jon said...

Hey,
Whenever I watched a movie or a book....I always tried to look it from the writer's perspective. Initially I too was pissed off with the a half baked ending
But then the protagonist..leaves in a dream world with illogocal views.. Is it of any use to draw a logic out of the imaginary/illusional world of his

Besides looking again, was solving the murder the real purpose behind the entire book?!! donno!!

nikhimenon said...

Jon..
what you said is wright..but then this book starts off as a well written murder mystery..so i was expecting the mystery to get solved in the climax..but that din't happen...may be the writer wanted to give something like Francis itty cora and other new -generation malayalam novels

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Anonymous said...

gooood review.....

Anonymous said...

to say this book is a bad crime thriller is like saying ivan's childhood is a bad patriotic movie. what can i say may friend, other than that you have missed the point altogether. please try to see the architectural finesse with which the novelist has intertwined the episodes of disappearances in the two layers of the narrative, and the themes of decay and revival (of the andrapper family, the caldian faith, the thoma kingdom, the chera empire). the epilogue that shows the revival of the family is where the theme of grandiose revival is revisited. read the book again. please.

nikhimenon said...

anony...

you may have a diffrence of opinion.no issues.But that won't make this book a brilliant crime thriller,dude..atleast for me..

may be you should get aquainted yourself with some good thrillers...

thanks for your comment btw

nikhimenon said...

//please try to see the architectural finesse with which the novelist has intertwined the episodes of disappearances in the two layers of the narrative, and the themes of decay and revival (of the andrapper family, the caldian faith, the thoma kingdom, the chera empire). the epilogue that shows the revival of the family is where the theme of grandiose revival is revisited. the epilogue that shows the revival of the family is where the theme of grandiose revival is revisited.//

does all this make this book a good crime thriller?

Anonymous said...

a thriller, a page turner, keeps u finger crossed but at the end.......


:(

Anonymous said...

It could not have ended in a better way! yes the story leaves us with unanswered questions...but it made me think, it could make relate to the charechter christie...the extraordinary connection with the history and with both melvins and christis family awestruck me..that is the success of the novel..

Ann Ipe said...

It could not have ended in a better way! yes the story leaves us with unanswered questions...but it made me think, it could make relate to the charachter christie...the extraordinary connection with the history and with both melvins and christis family awestruck me..that is the success of the novel..

Suresh panangadu said...

I have published a study on Manjavauil Maranangal, named MANJAVAYIL PARANNA VAZHIYULOODE.
Pl. contact me in sureshnpanangadu@gmail.com for details.

Paul V Mohan said...

It true. The novel is a less mediocre one