The reviews of Demons in My Mind had me intrigued for a long time and the blurb, even more so. The book stayed on my Amazon wish list for quite a while before the author, miraculously, approached me. And when I received the review copy from him in exchange for an honest review, I was absolutely ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to start reading it, though, of course, schedules.
Demons in My Mind is about three people: Rizwan, Murli, and Joseph. Each is going through their own problems in life. While Rizwan’s family is being threatened with dire consequences by a priest, Murli has problems with how the world sees him. Joseph on the other hand is finding it difficult to deal with loss. How these three conquer their minds and come together to become a famed fable forms the story.
Let me get started with what I didn’t like about the book because that will be over sooner.
Just after Joseph’s story ends, the narrative plunges into what feels like unnecessary descriptions, derailed linearity (which is explained later), and poetry. The poetry didn’t quite resonate with me and parts of the prose, which contained swearing (excessive in my opinion) by a couple of characters didn’t sit well with me, either. In these facets of the book, there is scope for improvisation.
That sums up what I didn’t like about the book. As to what I liked about Demons in My Mind, here is a list:
I liked the writing style of the prose. A lot many parts of the book have a consistency that is lacking in today’s stories. The author, Aashish Gupta, has done a wonderful job in putting his thoughts on paper clearly, something that I treasure in a story. And while at one point, it felt like the story took a complete nosedive, it redeemed itself in the end with its explanation. I went, ‘Oh, THAT’s why.’
Demons in My Mind is multiple shades of dark. It lives up to its title and if you’re expecting the story to be in just a lighter vein when compared to the title, I’d just say this: don’t. The story is graphically grating, and disturbing, but what it does in the end almost blows your mind. If you’re looking for a story with an adrenalin rush, even if it is disgusting, this is the one for you.
In addition to these, Demons in My Mind has a fast-paced narrative that is woven admirably with the emotions that it is portraying. With all its unexpected twists and turns, this debut novel from Aashish Gupta goes up a notch towards joining the ranks of those higher up in seniority.
Demons in My Mind shows in words, how it feels to be boxed in within one’s own mind. If you are someone who has experienced or is experiencing mental illness of any kind, you’ll probably identify with these parts of the book. When author himself suffers from anxiety and writes such a book as this, it is bound to touch the minds and hearts of the hordes of people who are struggling similarly.
All in all, Demons in My Mind is a stunning first time attempt, though there is, as I mentioned earlier in the post, scope for improvisation. While it is repulsive in some places because of what all the mind is capable of, it also brings a sense of identification in a lot of places. Liked the book a lot!
Rating: 4/5 stars
Picture Courtesy: Goodreads.
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