Author: Roshan Ali
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Publishing Date: 18 April 2019
Pages: 216 pages (Hardcover)
Cost: Rs. 399
Ib is a fish by nature, living in quiet. Silence has occupied a large part of his childhood. He is the guy you and I have seen inside the classroom, office, public transport. He is the kid who sits in a corner, his face not misleading any emotion he might be experiencing. He is thought to have no desire in life except to go by the regular business of surviving. He goes about being frequently un-noticed, but he has thoughts. And when they are spelt out, there is muted passion, resentment and a longing for answers in them.
Haruki Murakami and J D Salinger has published pioneering work to this end. While Murakami has depicted deliciously on culture, tropes and the relationship between an individual and community, Salinger has made sorrow funny. The theme has occupied page after page through a symbolic engine, some peculiar flight of fancy, and ample of background music that has made sadness lyrical, relatable, and in many cases, enjoyable.
Ib’s Endless Search for Satisfaction (a highly inviting title) makes sadness feel… just sad. In fact, it uses pain, and only pain in its severe organic form, as fiber to keep spinning the 200-odd pages yarn.
The book is not a heart-touching read. And in all prospect, author Roshan Ali did not mean to make it into one. The characters, including the protagonist Ib, are unremarkable, which is quite lucid because characters like them are not meant to be exceptional. This might also mean that Ali has written without the singular aim to gratify or inspire, without any boundary or horror of judgment.
He writes on loneliness and emptiness as a kid splashing colours on a sheet of paper — with only a few, disperse elements of attraction. There are moments when this feels like the heroic thing about the book; then there are moments when the trick paints the novel dull.
Milestones of Book:
- Shortlisted for The JCB Prize for Literature 2019
- Shortlisted for The Shakti Bhatt Prize 2019
About the Author:
Roshan Ali is thirty years old and lives in Bengaluru. He started writing soon after dropping out of college. His work has been published in the Huffington Post India and on various blogs. This is his debut novel.