It is quite evident, after reading a few novels I can affirm, that modern novels, or contemporary fiction in better words, often excel in creating eerie and thought-provoking settings, themes, and plots that captivate readers with their depth and complexity. This literary approach, characterised by a blend of contemporary storytelling techniques and a keen exploration of profound ideas, has gained popularity in recent years. And I can sense one if I see one, and read one. I can say with conviction that Dethan’s work, Wayward, is a hell of a novel that keeps poking the consciousness of readers on and off. It is a novel that keeps attracting readers to its core theme and then pushes them away to read and decode the sidelines or the subplots or even the flashbacks and detours to memory lanes and vision blocks.
Sahil Malhotra, the protagonist of the novel, along with Rumi, the supportive character or rather the driving force that pulls the plot ahead and keeps readers indulged with the storyline. The story becomes interesting, just like Life of Pi by Yann Martel – a survival drama in the middle of the ocean that might keep readers alert, curious, spellbound and always excited for what might come next.
A plane crash begins the storyline and sets everything in motion for readers. Sahil gifts books to Rumi, the young boy with his mother, and anticipates something bad might happen in the course of the flight (to Morocco) and the same happens… The air hostess and other flight crew members, including the pilots, cannot uplift the mood of the flyers despite their best efforts. The worst happens and the plane nosedives into the Arabian Sea with Sahil and Rumi as the only survivors (for how long?). And then, life begins sailing… with Sahil and Rumi on the raft… into the heart of the sea… with no hopes for better hours until they somehow reach an island, mistaking it for a large ship.
Vincent’s inclusion in the storyline makes things a little dense, philosophical and interesting for readers. Moreover, Ananya, in the flashbacks, keeps the subplot or the secondary storyline running. Sahil is facing a jittery conjugal life that brings no solace but only despair and loneliness as his messages go unanswered. And, readers may feel, the journey into the unknown, on the mass of water that is objective in its treatment to human and non-human alike, changes something inside Sahil, the very fabric of his being that longs for affection and approval… and you may find the resemblance of this thought by me in the conclusion of the novel that seldom concludes anything (at all).
Overall, I must say that Wayward by Dethan is a novel to read for once, carefully. The details are somewhat bearable and pleasant to read. Except for the moments, when an idea or a simple observation is protracted to the length of descriptive jargon, the novel keeps raising the bars of the author’s expertise in writing fiction. Dethan’s work is different, rather peculiar for me, and I admire his way of telling a story that might reflect anyone’s life… if observed carefully.
Judging the Artist – The Author
By reading the first book by Dethan, I can assume that he is a writer with many stories and many storylines. The writing style of Dethan, I must admit, is challenging for conventional contemporary readers. However, readers who have read a few novels, 20-25 or more, will rejoice reading 90% of this work… even in the details. Dethan is a promising shadow that might have a halo throughout the silhouette… making him discernible even in the darkness of the densest night… Readable, recommendable and admirable writing!
Do read the book if you are looking for something that will challenge your notions about contemporary fiction. It is a novel that might drag you to the unknown streets of memories and nostalgia… for the good… and yet keep you refreshed with wonderful insights into men’s psychology and emotions. Readable and enjoyable, to a great extent. Not for the readers who are too much into reading fast-paced novels with actions and too much happening at once. You can get a copy of the work from Amazon India by clicking the link below:
Review by Madhav for Indian Book Critics
Wayward by Dethan – Review
- IBC Critical Rating
A novel that questions the standard contemporary fiction by writers in India… a novel that also questions one’s psychological and emotional whereabouts. Something I admired while reading, and recommend without any ifs and buts!