Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy by Pawan Mishra is the story of a junior level office worker in India. Known as Coinman due to his habit of never-ending tinkling of coins in his pocket, Kesar is the laughingstock of his office. He even does not find solace in his home as his wife Imli (a passionate actress) completely dissolves herself into different characters on a regular basis. Something unexpected happens when his office colleagues (getting tired and irritated of the continuous jingling of the coins) come together to conspire against Coinman. This book thus illustrates the permanent plight of an office worker both in home and office due to his eccentricities in a humorous manner. The readers will certainly get impressed by novel’s comedy, its lyricism and its fine intelligence. While the novel will make you laugh, it will also bring a subtle but genuine tragic resonance in your heart.
As indicated above, the novel under review is all about Coinman’s personality, life and career. Even the title of the book is an unmistakable pointer of the basic theme of this book. Coinman’s plight evokes not only our sympathy but his character also wins our heart. His becoming Coinman is itself symptomatic of his identity crisis. The past events of Coinman’s life have been woven brilliantly. The author handles the shifting surfaces of past and present with extraordinary fineness and delicacy, and produces a controlled but intricate narrative structure. Even the rest of the characters leave a long lasting impression on your heart. All these characters are easy to identify with. The author has also paid enough attention to name the different chapters. The names of these chapters go well with the flow of the story-line.
The most striking aspect of the comedy in the novel under review is its apparently bottomless and amazingly diverse fund of linguistic humour of all possible kinds. This sense of humour, according to me, deserves all high praises. The style in which the characters of this book speak can only be described as a well of English well-defiled or a verbal version of the Indian rope trick. In other words, it is a brilliant linguistic muddle and a stunning display of stylistic somersaults. The style of the novel is an intricate mosaic fashioned with care. The author employs different speech patterns for different characters and this makes these characters memorable. The characters often lard their speech with jargon drawn from an astonishingly wide range of human thought and activity. And, most importantly, this jargon does not trouble you or irritate you. On the other hand, it keeps bringing smile on your face. You will be amazed to read the speech patterns and word-plays of different characters of this book. These speech patterns are alone worth reading.
This book is certainly unlike any other I have read so far and I am delighted that I chose to read this. In fact, I am finding it difficult to describe the beauty of this book in words. I would just say that the book under review is a fun-filled laughing ride and will force readers keep laughing.
A must read for all. Go for it!
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.