Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dreams Die Young, a debut novel by CV Murali, published by Frog Books

Reviews/excerpts of the book have appeared in various newspapers, magazines, websites:

The Hindu, The Tribune, The New Indian Express, The Statesman, The Pioneer, Sahara Time, The Free Press Journal, Navshakti, The Week, Indian Literature(Sahitya Akademi’s journal),The Book Review,NDTV.com, Sulekha.com,Brown paper

A few reviews are reproduced below:
Murali has woven a veiled commentary on the present seething turmoil.
The writer carefully maneuvers the readers into thinking that though the dream of Rajat is righteous, the method and mode that legitimised violence to achieve it is wrong and also that it is important for the politicians and other government officials sitting on high chairs to know that the callousness on their part to eliminate the suffering of the poor may have disastrous consequences. Murali’s lucid prose, efficacious trenchant realism, an insightful mode of characterisation, psychological overtones has enabled him to unravel a theme of timeless human significance—relationship of the individual and the society, raising the book to the stature of a sociological document
The Tribune, April 2008

Intense and intricate, it is hard to believe that this is C V Murali's debut novel.
Unlike a few writers who just claim to guide the genre of contemporary English literature to glory, C V Murali effectively does the job. His book is not descriptive but paints a clear picture of the lead character's personality.
By analyzing Rajat's actions and thought process the reader can easily interpret his temperament. He has introduced section-titles in the book which embellish it's beauty all the more and link the mood therein. The very first section-title is 'The End' and the story is narrated in a flashback. 'The Requime' and 'The End' are the only two chapters that narrate what happened to Rajat after he quit the revolt; the only two chapters which talk about his present. Intelligently, the two chapters have been placed at the two extreme pole of the book.
But what does the book do to you? It will very effectively prevent you - the reader - young or old, from going astray.
The Free Press Journal, March 2008

There is a freshness about this slim,nostalgic first novel which should sustain the interest of the reader to the end.The author has a facility for quick sketches.He can bring a character to life in a few sentences.As a first novel,Dreams Die Young shows promise,and this will,no doubt,be realised in futureworks as the author matures in craftmanship
Indian Literature(Sahitya Akademi’s Bi-monthly journal),January-February 2008

C.V. Murali has gone into the subject with a quiverful of questions. What are the causes that transform mildmannered, well-to-do and gifted youth into pitiless gun-toting terrorists?
Dreams Die Young seeks answers. Murali prefers a crisp, matter-of-fact-style…
The twist in the climax is well-produced. As also the last turn of the screw when Rajat learns of Romen’s betrayal of his trust…The Hindu, January 2008
Dreams Die Young delves into the psyche of young people, trying to shed light on what makes an ordinary young student turn into a Naxalite.
The New Indian Express, January 2008

The storyline of the novel is finely detailed, as the author subtly depicts the betrayal and sacrifices made by the cadres of the Naxalite movement. Written in a lucid prose
Sahara Time, October 2007

In Dreams Die Young are seeds of a good novel writer.It is also creditable for the subject he has chosen and to write on such a topic is appreciable/commendable.
Navashakti,September 2007

There are lots of pearls one could gather-the style, gripping narrative and the classy opening. The hallmark of the book is its excellent narrative.
The Week, August 2007

After a long long time one book which I could finish reading at a single stretch. The characters flow smoothly scene after scene and at the end of each chapter you are left with a question mark and an inquisitiveness to know what's going to happen next. All credits to the author for having chosen a sensitive subject for his debut novel and dealt with such aplomb. It’s an apt book for the present day hasty reader and a fabulous read.
Geeta Canpadee,Book critic,Blog on sulekha.com

There’s a certain cinematic quality to this briskly-paced novella that cries for translation to the latter medium. The directness and simplicity of the narrative would make an adaptation a cinch. Won’t someone please buy the film rights to the book and champion this dream.
Niranjana Iyer,Book critic based in Canada,Blog on Brown papers

Need Introspection

By Satya Sista

Your article, Macaulay’s Children, set me on a tour of introspection and deep thinking. It made me wonder, whether the ease with which some of our countrymen are able write in English and receive world wide acclaim is due to their proficiency in English or the lack of it in their mother tongue or the other Indian Languages. Not being a literary man myself, I am unable to go in to the depth of their minds and see whether their thought process is western or Indian, whether their characters depict true Indians or mostly Westerners, with shades of Indians thrown in to them. Not being born in this era of Western influence, I shudder at the thought of the gradual disappearance of the regional languages, when most of our younger generation does not know how to read or write their mother tongue. Let alone writing in their mother tongue or regional languages, they are even deprived of the joy to read great works in their own language, understand each and every word in the same mental frame as the author, visualize each and every situation and feel one with the characters of the book.
Am I wrong in so thinking? I question my inner self. May be, it says. It is often said that when this World is becoming a Global Village, language should not become a barrier for expression and one should do so in which ever language one feels comfortable. Is that so? I question it again. Yes, it says and continues “The present day generation is not to be blamed for their lack of interest in their mother tongue. It is not their fault if they have not learnt how to read and write their mother tongue or if they are unable to understand and appreciate the great Indian folklore or Epics, or if they do not have an ear for the Indian classical music. The fault is more deep routed. It is in their parents, in their grand parents and even in the society itself. How many of us will support a family member, who wants to study Indian languages or Indian culture? Instead of feeling happy that here is a person who is truly interested in his or her roots, we will try our best to discourage that person and try to lure him or her in to more socially acceptable and commercially viable options. This is an era, where everything which is homegrown is despised and western is lapped up and generation after generation is only strengthening the feeling. It is not restricted to literature alone; it has gone to the extent of our very nerve centre. Don’t you know that English is the passport for success in the present era and don’t you want your children in their higher studies or careers abroad? Don’t you want proudly announce to your near and dear the achievements of your children abroad and the way they are contributing to the growth of a foreign land? Don’t you remember the Indian Ethos, where in, we work for universal peace and universal brotherhood? Simply stop being a regionalist and raise to the level of a Global Citizen”
Oh! My God! What a brainwash. I say to myself. It is nothing but self effacing rhetoric, I quip. Why is my inner self not aligned to my way of thinking? Why can’t it strongly support my views?. As if hearing my thoughts, it says again “ Don’t be discouraged. I do not say that your views are wrong. They are only out of time and out of context. To bring back our Indian languages to their erstwhile glory, it may require a zealous crusader, to change the system of our learning, the mindset of our society and the focus of our future generations. Though English as a language can not be dethroned, we can at best bring our regional languages to an equal level”
In so saying my inner self fell silent leaving a herculean task in my hands and my mind full of thoughts.
Satya Sista
Major ( Retd ) SN Sista
H.No 11-13-162, Rd No 3,
Alakapuri, Hyderabad – 500035
Andhra Pradesh
Mobile 9948330066