Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Monk by Akshay Shroff - Book Review

Book - The Monk

Author - Akshay Shroff

Price - 195 INR

No. Of Pages - 220

Publishers - Gargi Publishers

While the blood in the veins of every Indian has been set ablaze owing to the recent terror attacks, "The Monk" has been an amazing read and an eye-opener to us about the dreadful reality faced by the people directly associated with these attacks.
Terrorism is a religion in itself. And destroying terrorism is the true goal of Lakshya Gaitonde. With this promising blurb, I started reading the book on one fine day.

When you get a book by Gargi Publishers, you can rest assured about its quality.Set in the backdrop of Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, The Monk is centered around terrorism and it's root. Let us now delve deep into the review of the National Bestseller - "The Monk."


The Cover is a very brilliant example of oxymoron where the title totally contradicts with the image of a gun, the trigger ready to be pulled. It gives a basic feel of a thriller with a lot of action. However, reading just the title will give you an idea if spiritual enlightenment. So what shall be your mindset while you start reading The Monk?

On my part, I would advise you to keep a mind ready to face some action because that's what follows in the initial pages. The book I have, is the second edition so you can guess how awesome it is.

Writing Style

The writing style is elegant. There is not a single sentence which beats about the bush and the author has made the story really fast paced, which is quite appreciated. While reading a serious story one would not be looking for the number love birds on the third branch of a tree. There is a ornament on the story in the form of Marathi vernacular language which adds a fine tinge of Indian origin.


The tale of "The Monk" is indeed heart warming and close to the reality where the central character emerges out as just another 10-year-old, dreams in his eyes of becoming a cricketer. His life is struck by tragedies generated due to terrorism and he is left with no one to call his own. His journey of avenging the wrongs done to his family is sure to bring tears in your eyes.


The story begins with a tranquil air of a middle class family. A religious mother praying to God and whose faith is beautiful because no matter what, she thanks God. Her Vithhal. With age, we often tend to forget to say - "Thank you God, for the food we eat." Lakshya's mother is indeed a woman with an air of positivity, just like all the other major characters of the novel.

The Father, is a police officer. A dutiful man indeed, as revealed in a sneak peek into his past that points out the reason of his marriage and it really makes it beautiful. An idol you may say. Maybe at this moment, I respected the Father more than the protagonist Lakshya. Why? To know that, you must read the novel.

Lakshya, the hero. His growing up from innocence to holding a gun is indeed painful yet the truth. It is an amazing portrayal of how a simple boy , changes into a crooked mind slowly. He loses his father in a terror attack at the tender age of 10 and immediately the hands that yearned to hold the bad, prepare to hold a gun following his father's footsteps. But the death of his fiancée and mother 13 years later, changes Lakshya to the core.

Seema, his love interest. A girl with a beautiful heart and who placed his family before herself. I really loved her character. Authors should stop killing characters whom we love!


Apparently I couldn't point out any major errors. The writing is clean and tidy. Only one request for the next edition, to bracket the translations of the Marathi terms for worldwide readers.

Quote worthy of mention

Well, although there is a lot of positivity in the tale, what touched me was this paragraph spoken by Shanti's  father -

"You are born with a curse. Your mother died giving you birth. A year ago, your sister had been abducted, raped and killed by a rich man's son because you stood up against their atrocities on poor villagers."


I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. I am very impressed with the author's work and expect even better books from him.

Special Appreciation

The minute detailing done by the author to bring to the naive reader the roots and procedure of terrorism is really nice and realistic. And it is very evident how hard he must have worked to bring out this detailing and information. Huge applaud for that.

Final Verdict

Some stories are beyond the fairies and the "perfect" relationships. The stories that kiss the ground of reality and soar high with the wings of an author's imagination. "The Monk" is one of them.

Buy the book here.

1 comment:

  1. What a perfect use of literary knowledge in this writeup.. Well done Saheli.. Would love to read more book reviews from you..keep up the good work..kuddos!