Tuesday, June 3, 2014

To err is "Human", unless you are destined for a greater destiny.

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If you believe in reincarnation, Zen must have done some bad things in his previous life.  Why do I say that, since he did return as a human instead of a worm?  Well, to start, the guy's wife has an open affair with the housekeeper and he is not allowed to return home until everything is sparkling clean - like around midnight.  Next, his dreams of being an engineer is dangled in front of him as he cleans the building engineers work in - with vivid descriptions of bathroom cleanings.  One of his friends vanishes, and another dies of the pandemic virus that is dropping people like flies.

Maybe a worm would have been a better choice.  That is - until Zen receives a mysterious text with some coordinates and is met by a couple of strangers.

In the course of a week, Zen's entire view of reality will be turned on its head as he is discovers that maybe being "just Zen" is really a gift.  But is Zen ready to reach out and take hold of his destiny?

"Human" by Milan Bakrania is a work of fantasy that follows the journey of Zen through India and way beyond.  This work has ambitious goals, but the journey for the reader is at times almost as difficult as Zen's.  The book is written in parts that are to be read like a diary, parts from Zen's point of view with conversation in broken English (with plenty of "cussing" with *'s for vowels), but then sofisticated thoughts and narration in language that one probably wouldn't find from a cleaner working in India.  Zen goes from wondering about how badly he smells and talking about bowel movements to reading books on geothermal engineering wondering why he didn't get his big break.  Maybe he could start with a shower.....

Bakrania set his goals to be very lofty in this novel, encouraging the reader to pass it on to others who may need help reaching their dreams (or even considering doing physical harm to themselves).  For even a seasoned author, trying to motivate someone to change through a fantasy novel while still pulling off the story and characters would be a tough task.  For an author just trying to break into the field, it might have been a goal that may have been a little beyond the reach.  I think the author would have been better served sticking with the story and allowing the reader to pull out of it the meaning they wanted instead of trying so hard to guide the reader to think a specific way and losing the flow of the story along the way.

For those that like fantasy with a message, however, this author would be a good one to watch as he grows in his craft.

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