Suraj Laxminarayanan’s debut novel Elephants in the Room has been launched recently. I have been waiting for some time to share my review of the book. I have read Suraj Laxminarayanan’s novel thoroughly and have read it a few times in parts, the parts which are more than merely interesting. To begin, the novel is a crime thriller and it has several layers of narrative (also mentioned by other critics). Psychological and physical layers are apparent and also there are some of the implicit layers in the novel’s narrative – it has an authoritative tone in the text; you will often feel that the author is very much present in the novel. He is offering his opinions; he is sharing his thoughts; he is experiencing with the readers and also making the readers experience the anguish, fear, and different perspectives of thoughts that the characters are experiencing in the novel.
Elephants in the Room begin with a few street thugs and loiterers coming together and making a plan to rob a bank so that they get freedom from doing small time hacks for their pocket. However, they don’t have the idea of how difficult this idea could be. They meet the real robbers’ gang inside the bank and also one another gang with the same purpose on the same day. So, we have three gangs inside the same bank on the same day and to do the same thing – rob the cash! What happens next? Gunshots, blood, dead bodies, murders, noises, fear, shock, the flux of thoughts and so on… this is what makes the meat of this crime thriller by Suraj Laxminarayanan and it is, to be honest, quite interesting and detailed.
The idea behind bringing a lot of characters (in the form of robbers) and making them clash with each other could be superficial if the novel did not have an elongated length. Suraj Laxminarayanan, himself a fan of crime thrillers, has managed the length of the novel quite well. He has given ample space to each of the characters in the novel. Actions are met with matching diction and a case of conflict has been generated quite well. To not make it boring for the readers, the author has kept his vocabulary simple and fast. Though the novel runs to 600 pages, a reader will not find it difficult to be read and finished within 2-3 days. The plot is open but the conclusion is interesting.
To conclude the review, Elephants in the Room is an ongoing experiment by the author and he can be proud of it. Yes, there are shortcomings in the novel and they will hopefully be rectified in the further coming fictions by Suraj. For now, this is a novel which can surely be enjoyed by the lovers of crime novels. Enough of things in enough quantity are there… let’s feed on them!
review by Aman for Indian Book Critics
Elephants in the Room
The debut crime thriller by Suraj is worth reading… it has the elements which make the readers clicked to a piece of fiction – violence, speed, intrigue and action… a worth-reading piece by a new novelist.