Writers : Various
Genre: Short Stories Anthology
My Rating: 3.5 on 5
Labyrinth is a collection of short stories by various writers published under the umbrella of litizen.com. An anthology of short stories by lesser known Indian writers sounded very exciting, but I was also skeptical about how the stories will be. I feel short stories are difficult to get right than novels because you have fewer words to convey your message to the reader. Thankfully, many of the authors manage to do just that.
The book opens with Mainak Dhar’s The Martyr which starts off like any other short story about Islam and Jehad, but takes an ironic twist in the end which just leaves you sad. Aditi Chincholi’s Puppet Show, one of the best stories in the book, sets an eery, creepy tone that makes you have goosebumps. The plot, the tone, the climax – everything about this story is just right. I will definitely look forward to reading more stories from the same author.
Some stories lack the same hold on the plot, like Rishabh Chaturvedi’s Bagheera Log Huts, which I felt was a bit too long for what the story wanted to convey. Shawn Periera’s I’ll Be Back is just the opposite: it is so short, it ends before you even get into the story. The idea of this story is interesting and the author could have developed it more.
With Sym – World, Aditi Chincholia proves she can handle a different genre with the same confidence. She weaves a story of virtual reality where the thin line between reality and virtual world fades and the worlds merge into one. I enjoyed this story thoroughly and was wondering how the author would end this. I was a bit disappointed with the climax, but after hindsight, the story could not have had a better ending. Jeevan Verma’s Mortified provides a comic twist to what could have been a tragic end and gets a chuckle out of you. Richard Fernandes’ Crashing Impacts tugs at your heart and makes you think and question about moral issues and guilty conscience.
Rishabh Chaturvedi’s The Night of the Wokambee sets the eerie tone back and takes us into an edge-of-the-seat ride only to give a neat twist to the story. Niharika Puri’s Mists of Time deals with adultery and moral issues with an emotional punch. Rohit Das Candies is a nice, little story which could have been developed better. Rishabh Chaturvedi’s Travel Through the Night gives us a taste of the supernatural world and has a nice twist in the end.
Shawn Periera’s Russkaya Rulyetka takes you on a roller coaster ride full of emotions: morose, anger, hatred, frustration and more. A well written story which leave a huge impact on the reader. Sushant Dharwadkar’s Farming on Facebook paints an ironic picture of the great divide that exists in India between the haves and the have-nots.
Abhishes Dwivedi’s A Day of Battle and Risabh Chaturvedi’s The Labyrinth take us into the world of mythology, the former Indian and the latter Greek. Both these stories were new to me, so I particularly enjoyed both of them.
If you are looking for some refreshing writing from the local authors along with you daily cup of tea, pick up this book and you won’t be disappointed. There are some very promising writers featured here and I can’t wait for the next anthology to be released.