Thursday, 15 September 2016

Half A Shadow by Anurag Shourie | Book Review

It's not everyday that you come across a Mytho-Medical Thriller by an Indian Author. Your first reaction will be , " Oh well, is he worth it? " And all you need to do is read the first few pages and let the play of a words seduce you to go on and a uncomfortable frustration bothering you unless you reach the end of the story. It's like the best book I read in the Thriller genre after Arvind Narsima's "The Investigator Series." In fact this one is even better caked with a layer of magical realism and incidents that make you feel like you are living the book.

Cover and Title

The cover of the book is indeed a reflection of the medical touch in the story and there is a glass with a golden yellow liquid with a syringe pulling out the potion out of it. Then the course of the story, I figured out that the liquid is Midazolam. Of course, you can guess that it's not something to play with and it is quite clear that it has been used in the book for any dark purpose. It reminds me of my Physics classes as I see the syringe appears bent through the glass by the laws of refraction. Apparent depth is lesser than real depth right? And it's the same with the book. The first impression of the book is nowhere compared to the quality content.

The title doesn't really form a good contrast to the cover and that's a bit disappointing but it can be overlooked. However, "Half a Shadow" signifies , in my vision, the past which clings on around us. All you need to see it is an inner eye and you can just get connected with the world you always wanted to explore. The quality of the pages and cover is quite good and sturdy to my pleasure.


That's what you are looking for right? Now this is gonna be long so if you hate to read, summing it up - "Buy This Book."

From the first page to the last page, Anurag Shourie makes sure he can kill his readers with his amazing sense of use of words and framing the correct sentences in the best manner possible. You are reading no novice author, mind you. The Author's Note is the funniest one till date where he says -

" A heart felt gratitude to my Friends, this book would have been in a much better Shape had I not squandered my time, boozing with you."

And then starts the story. One chapter, two chapters. You feel like you are getting lost in the book and every thing else around you gets invisible. Yes, the language is so beautiful. The opening chapters are the best in this book and the first impression of the writing is much appreciated. The blurb of the book seems a bit unclear but when you read the story you will be like - "Oh God." After most of the chapters as the author eminently narrates the tale of about a dozen of people and the struggle of Aditya Deshmukh to win against the terrible odds life puts him through. The characters of the story are too many and yes, it gets a bit confusing at times when you have to remember so many names. But just because of that, it impresses me more. It is very close to reality and relatable , unlike focusing on only the main characters of the story, the Author let's us know about the psychology of the supporting characters. Another huge turn on is the sub plots. And the sub stories. 

The hint of touch of mythology is another amazing thing. Everyone loves reading and re-reading myths no matter how many times and you still enjoy it like the first time. Magical realism elevates the story to huge heights although at times you get puzzled and ask - "Seriously?" All the characters and their life stories that brings them together is another plus point as you get to know different incidents in the lives of numerous people, a daily occurrence around us as well. 

The story is settled in J J Memorial Hospital and yeah the medical explanation is vivid and very knowledgeable and intellectual. All of us love getting acquainted to new facts and medical figures and elements are something we always boast of. And a platter of information is served in this book. Hats off to the pains the author undertook to write this novel and do the necessary research.


There are no Glitches, no typos or grammatical errors. The book is too perfect and it's a simple beauty. To point out any major faults in this book is beyond my abilities. A minor fault will be, agonising on page 111 will be spelled as agonizing.

Favourite Quotes 

Well, the book is stuffed with amazing quotes but to mention a couple of them, it would be -

"No woman ever falls in love with a man unless she has a better opinion of him than he deserves."

"There is nothing more agonising than the memory of good times when you are going through a difficult period in life."

Final Verdict 

The Twists in the last 15 pages are something I really didn't expect. The book is brilliant from start to end. An amazing plot adorned with even more beautiful narration. Definitely not a one time read. Brings upon you an irresistible urge to keep reading and drops you in a well of depression when you finish it.

Rating - 5 stars. Of course.

I hope you liked my review, if you have anything to say or add, do leave it in the comments below. 

You can buy the book here .

1 comment:

  1. This was a long one but I enjoyed your favourite quotes :)