Book Review: The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi

“Just another work of fiction served on the Dan Brown like platter”

Mammoth research and engaging plot have always inveigled me towards the magnanimous task of reading historical fictions. Until now, no one has ever been able to touch the awesomeness of Dan Brown in the world of historical/mythological fiction. Like many, The Krishna Key is yet another literary publication from a little well-known Indian writer Ashwin Sanghi, which takes you on a glaring Dan Brown like journey. Though it is a nice and strong attempt on the writer’s part to become ‘The D’ (I prefer not using his name again and again) of India, but creating record-breaking concoction of history, modern-day science and a great deal of conspiracy theories is not every writer’s forte.

The Krishna Key (Hardcover)

The Krishna Key (Hardcover)

Some fans might find my linking The Krishna Key to The Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code somewhat absurd, but learn bring out some striking similarities to attest my part.

  • A not-so-old Academician as the main lead
  • A long-living historical + mythological secret
  • Mysterious deaths of fellow academicians, linked to the secret or possessing some key information regarding the same
  • Ancient religious symbols and anagrams, used for solving secret codes and puzzles
  • Attractive female sidekick, A psychopathic killer and an unlikely villain, kept undisclosed till the final chapters
  • And finally, the secret revealed/disclosed in an implausible manner.

Now, anyone who puts together all these points would surely not become the King. The case with The Krishna Key is somewhat same. Though it contained all the required fictional elements, it failed to deliver the goosebumps giving moments that are normally associated with books of this genre.

I am a genuine Ashwin Sanghi fan and I loved reading The Chanakya’s Chant. But with The Krishna Key, the things didn’t go well and as expected. In an attempt to include every little aspect of history and mythology, Ashwin left behind the most important aspects of impressive narration, spell binding characterization and happy-go-reading.

In order to make the picture even clearer, let me put forward a comprehensive review for you.

Characters

The number of characters introduced in the book is generous. There aren’t too many leads and sub-leads in the book, which makes it easy for the readers to hold onto. Though the number of characters is kept minimal, weak character sketching makes it a bit difficult for the readers to remember them all. The reasons given in support of the characters so-called formation are too flimsy to believe. The most hard-digesting part was the love story thrown amid history, mythology, secret and conspiracies in the book.

The Krishna Key

The Krishna Key

The Plot And Narration

Ashwin, known for his rock-solid research and engaging plot has let me down with this publication. The research part gets a 100 out of 100 from my side, but it was the engaging plot thing that I found missing. The story is set in a kind of filmy tone with the good guys (who have some secret and are in a mess because of it), the bad guys (who are powerful and are after the secret) and the cops (who are on both sides). Ashwin tells a tail that is linked to the final avatar of Vishnu i.e. Kalki Avatar, only though he is born and brought up as a serial killer.

The dashing professor (Ravi Mohan Saini), who knows about Krishna beyond any person’s ability, is the main lead of the story. He is on a run with his beautiful understudy (Priya) after being framed as the killers of the secret holders (Anil Varshney, Nikhil Bhojaraj, Rajaram Kurkude and Devendra Chhedi) of the truth regarding Krishna’s legacy. He makes every possible attempt to dodge the cops (Radhika Singh and Rathore) and the bad guys (Taarak Vakil, Mataji and Sir Khan), and connect the dots left behind by his friends to unlock the mystery. Sounds any familiar? There is a striking similarity to The Da Vinci Code, but set in a Hindu Mythological way instead.

Now, getting back on track, how he faces the bad guys and the cops whilst studying about the secret is interesting to read. Thoughts like will he be able to unlock the mystery, what will be the secret, what is the Krishna Key, etc. will daunt your mind all through the 475 pages. The mixture of facts from the Vedas and other historical literary publications make it a little complicated to digest and hold onto. At points, the historical facts seem to be introduced unnecessarily and that too in abundance. The page-turner feel is present in certain sections of the books and is spread unevenly.

What I loved the most about the book was the excerpts from The Mahabharata at the beginning of every chapter. This gives a summary of Krishna’s journey from the very childhood to what we know him today. At times, the over use of Sanskrit, Anagrams and codes make it difficult for a reader to go further. The dialogue is something that was really not the Ashwin style as to what is evident in The Chanakya’s Chant. At most of the parts, it was superseded by monologues, which came to my disappointment. Overall, it gives a feel of a force-fit fiction story with not too many stereotype characters bringing out forced events of surprises.

This book will keep your mind occupied with thoughts like why are they running? What the hell are they looking for? Why love? Why now? What is the urgency in disclosing the secret? WHY SO SERIOUS? Thanks to the poor narration that moves back and forth in time as well as place.

Final Verdict

In a brief, The Krishna Key is a total disappointment from the desk of Ashwin Sanghi. Whether you take it as a work of fiction, mythology or history, the reconstruction of the Krishna’s past is just not the thing you expect it to be. It is just a piece of historical research and nothing more than that. More facepalms, less thrills, contrived plot, too much historical facts and unnecessary elements, and lame ending make it a POOR READ.

Stay tuned for more updates. Happy Reading!

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The Dumb And The Dumbfounded Review … An Anti-Spoiler Review!!

When I started reading the literary works of the so-called “Indian youth writers”, I always kept my expectations a little low. This leaves me with a lesser disappointment level most of the times. But this time, the case was different. This time I had The Dumb And The Dumbfounded in my hand to prove me wrong. I wonder, whether the tagline of the book “LIFE AS WE SEE IT” was actually written to prove me wrong, that never underestimate an author’s work before you actually read it. You see it with uncanny eyes, you find it equally dreary. May be this is the reason why I decided to bring the golden side of two amazingly talented budding authors in front of you.

The Dumb And The DumbfoundedAbout Author’s

This page-turner is an outcome of the contributions of two budding writers, Prerna Varma and Abhinav Shrivastava. Firstly, talking about the Pride of Punjab, Prerna Varma is known for her out-of-the-box writing. Her unmatched skills and dedicated efforts plowed her road to the local sections of some of the most prestigious newspapers, including The Tribune, The Times of India and The Indian Express. Being a student of Amity University and Delhi University, she has become an icon among the others having a predilection for writing.

Now, the young entrepreneur, Abhinav Shrivastava has his roots attached to the city of joy, Kolkata. He is the Chairman and CEO of one of the finest Event Planning and Entertainment solution providing organizations in Delhi, Tecurious Entertainment. Also, he has held a high spot in the publishing world for his very first youth photography and writing magazine, Digital Krafts. Also being a student of Amity University and Delhi University, Abhinav has come a long way in encouraging the smart brains to walk on the road of unconventional careers, like writing and photography.

Being new to the world of book publishing, Prerna and Abhinav showed no sign of non-professional and haywire writing. The easy language, clinching characterization and beautiful narration are some things worth praising. Here, I would agree to the fact that the best books are simple. It is wonderful to see how Prerna and Abhinav are implementing new and unique methods to promote their work of fiction. The GO TO GOA contest is one startling step worth mentioning. According to their Facebook page, they are working on another fiction novel, which according to them would be the first of its kind in this genre. Well, I can’t wait to get my hands on the same.

About Publisher

No felony, but it is the first time, I have seen the name of ABC publishers on the bookracks. Well, I must say, they have added a couple of names to the list of their future customers. I am greatly impressed by the quality of paper, printing and binding. What impresses me even more is the different looking cover-pages. The scheme of different types and styles of book covers is the most unlikely things for the Indian authors and publishers. This surely provides an added advantage to the book and increases the chances of being spotted amid a couple of others.The 4 Different Covers

The Anti-Spoiler Review

Coming to the tricky part, let me give you a summary of the romantic comedy work of the authors, without actually disclosing the plot and saving your much valued time. The Dumb And The Dumbfounded is no different from the usual stuff available in the market these days. The book too follows the plot that covers students, school/college life, work, love, betrayal, revenge, sacrifice and the likes, but what differentiates it from others is it’s quite contradictory narration. Whether things are going right or wrong is upon you to decide. The feel of being different can be sensed in the very first chapter of the book. It reveals the fact that you are not going to see a picture that every young author tries to portrait these days.

The characters Aarav, Dhruv, Trisha and Medha are very well-defined by the authors. What I really loved about the book is the missing b, m, a and f words, which I leave up to your imagination to figure out. What makes me really happy is that the authors did not touch the intimate and sexy aspects while covering the love, commitment and betrayal stuff from the life of the characters. They kept a reasonable distance from the stuff required to add an element of spice for the readers. The college life is narrated in a decently beautiful manner in the first half.

The second half unfolds the ambition and career aspects of the characters. This is the part which is actually powerful enough to entice the readers to stick-on to the book till its very end. Though there are some loopholes in the first half of the book, the second half plays a winning knock. The things start taking a negative turn in the lives of Aarav and Dhruv. Soon the Cupid starts taking its blessings away from their love life, which can be experienced from the fun-loving fight with their girlfriends.The Dumb And The Dumbfounded

The Final Verdict

Though the beautiful narrations spread over 231 pages is worth praising, but it is the climax that steals the show. The apt mixture of humor, romance and suspense contributes fully to the page turning climax. On the whole, the 7-8 year journey of the characters provide you a full fledge movie like feel, where you can actually imagine the characters playing their part in your mind. But what I don’t understand is why people see it as a love triangle. IT IS STRICTLY NOT A LOVE TRIANGLE. It contains appropriate portions of romance, but comedy is the apt genre of the book.

I actually hate rating a book on a 5 star chart. From my experience, all I would say is read the book without any preoccupied notions and expectations, and you will surely love the work of the debutante fiction authors. Grab your copies from all leading online and offline bookstores. You can’t put a hundred bucks to more productive use. Stay tuned to know more about the book world. Happy Reading!!

The Best Rest Of 2012 – Eyes Held High In Anticipation!!

2012 has already welcomed a great deal of books, with the Fifty Shades series by E L James claiming the top spot, followed by Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Catching Fire from Suzanne Collins and Where We Belong by Emily Giffin, just a few to name. With the first half of 2012 greeting a good number of paperbacks and hardcovers, the second half is pulling up the socks for welcoming a jackpot of literary treasures. In just a few days or months, we’ll be fighting to fetch our copies of some of the most anticipated sequels and novel literary works from the desk of our favorite genre writers.

“50 Shades Series”

Here are some incredibly awaited literary works that will be hitting the shacks during the remaining half of 2012.

1. The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Since the author ended THE PASSAGE (2010) on an appalling cliffhanger, the readers cannot wait more for grabbing their copies of the sequel and return to the eerie world of Amy and Peter, set in a post apocalyptic era. One can just bet on the fact that this sequel from Justin Cronin will be one of the bestsellers.

2. The Son by Philipp Meyer
AMERICAN RUST, a debut novel from Philipp Meyer, made its entry into the most acclaimed books of 2009. His second literary work, THE SON, is mainly focused on Eli, Pete (Eli’s son) and Jeanne (Pete’s daughter), the 3 generations of a family based in Texas. According to the writer, each of them deals with their very own challenges in a respective order of comanche raiders, border wars and a changing civilization.

3. Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
The iconic literary figure is all set to describe his story from the years he spent hiding out from the world. On a certain date, Rushdie received a phone call from a BBC journalist, who told him that he has been sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini. This was a gesture against his novel, The Satanic Verses, which was considered to be against Islam, the Prophet and Quran. To be released in September 2012, the writer explains how he, along with his family lived with a threat of being murdered for nine long years.

There are much more than the few named below to get excited about and delve into their respective worlds. Stay tuned for some more info on notable reads of the past and the coming future.