My Rating: ***
The Night Stadium, having a capacity of accommodating 100,000 people, is hosting its first official event called ‘Suicide Game’. The game involves contestant’s leaping off into thin air from a raised platform hundreds of feet in the air inside the stadium. 8000 candidates from all walks of life are participating in this game. Only one lucky survivor will win the game. Each contestant has a different reason to enter the game. A council comprising seven members (White, Yellow, Red, Blue, Green, Purple and Black) is trying to run the game efficiently. There are special screens on the outside walls of the stadium which make it possible even for people outside to look inside the stadium’s walls. A new reality show based on this game is gripping audiences everywhere. People are not only following this game live on TV but also on their mobile screens. Both TV viewers and those present in the stadium are betting on who will win. The book has all the ingredients (a fast paced and compelling storyline, a griping tale and full of suspense) to make it into an awesome commercial thriller movie.
One thing that this book makes you to do is to follow each and every character very closely. The background stories of some of the contestants of the game (discussed in the book) are really heart-touching. These stories not only help the readers to understand these characters in a much better manner but also throw light on the reasons of their participation in the game. These stories can be classified as stories of characters, in which the psychology of these characters is the chief point. This shows that the author can both tell a racy tale and probe into human psychology. However, the author does not appear to exploit fully the opportunities offered here. A little more space could have been devoted to these small stories as these represent the pivotal point of the book. At the same time, once the key symbols in these strange small narratives are understood correctly, the allegorical significance of these small but beautifully woven stories becomes quite evident in the book.
The author has a unique style of writing, which is intertwined with poetic verses. There is ample variety among the poetic verses which makes the novel a delightful read. The poetic verses or the lyrics, in a way, symbolize the perpetual realities of the human condition. There are also a number of expressive phrases in the book such as He lived like a devil and died like a saint. Furthermore, the author shoots up some sort of humour into the book as well. This humour is represented in the form of ironic complications. While this irony is sometimes linked with a revelation of human psychology, sometimes it is the irony of the circumstances.
Many people in their review of this book have drawn attention to this book’s similarity with The Hunger Games. While I have neither read The Hunger Games nor seen the movie, Suicide Game is certainly quite different from The Hunger Games as far as the reviews of later (The Hunger Games) suggest.
This book has a number of positive things to offer. In the end, I would just like to say that the author has dipped her pen in a multitude of colours, and has given us in turn, bleakness and tragedy, parody and irony, farce and pure fun, lyricism and description, social criticism and eternal verities.
(I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange of an honest review).