Surface: Book Review

Surface: Book Review

August 2, 2014 0 By Pramathesh Borkotoky


Surface is a journalistic fiction novel and it tells the story about a journalist, Amit Singh who is working in a decaying newspaper in Calcutta, “Sentinel” when he is sent to northeast,  to which the author refers to as “the region” throughout the book, to see if there are any stories in the region and a new edition can be started. Reluctantly, he goes for the assignment when his German friend Herman motivates him to find a story with human interest and that he will be paid handsomely. In the Sentinel’s archives, he finds a photograph of a porn actress who was paraded in front of the media by an insurgent group and then shot as an example of what might become of one who indulged in ‘corrupt activities encouraged by Indian imperialism’. The magazine sends him an advance and tells him that it wants an ‘exemplary story’, ‘a portrait of the mystery and sorrow of India through the story of the woman in the photograph’.

After reaching the region, he discovers that things are not as simple as it seems and much more complications are involved with the story. Deb does a good job describing the journey along NH 39. A gripping story that you would like to read and reread.

Deb describes very vividly the happenings in the Northeastern part of the country and how the people out there feel. Deb tries to make a bold statement about the politics and the business of terrorism  in one of the most sensitive conflict zones in India through this book.

A story with a fast narrative and opens up layer by layer and each layer gives a new twist to the story.

I won’t reveal much about the book as it would be a spoiler. You must read it and you will soon see that you get so involved in the book that at some point of time you will feel that things actually happened.

  • Publisher: Picador (April 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330489259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330489256

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