Thursday, August 29, 2013

'Frankly Spooking' - The review

"Vivek turned off the laptop. "So its meant to be a horror movie.? Watching the movie was a horror.", Vivek said to himself and smirked.

"Ghosts and bullshit. Whom are they kidding?", Vivek thought and lit the cigarette.

He went to the balcony slowly smoking the cigarette. He stood there leaning over the railing and taking one drag after another. And then he heard a sound. He turned back to look inside the dimly lit house. There was nothing.

"Thats strange. I could swear I heard something or someone. Well, what can it be? A ghost.?", Vivek thought and laughed to himself. He then took one long drag and turned back and let out the smoke.

And then the smoke took a contour of a face."


No no. This is not an excerpt from the book. He doesn't write such bad stories. His stories are good. Wait, they are better. Now before we start this let me clarify one thing to you. This is not the usual reviews you read. Nope. For one, I cant write a review and for another I really do not know how to write a review. Now that said and done I will tell you why you should buy the book and why that will be such a good idea.

First and foremost this is not your usual book that comes out from many Indian authors. The chick lit, the college romance and coming off the age book, a common man/woman and his/her experiences in life book, no raunchy sex sequences or anything else that you have come across. This is a collection of some of the spine chilling and most spooky tales you would ever find. And why is it so.? Let me explain.

Few days back I watched 'The Conjuring' after all the hype it had created. So many people writing and showering praises about how spooky it was. But when I watched it, it wasn't the case. Yes it was good but not great. And I have watched my fair share of horror movies, mind you. The thing about horror movies is not knowing what or who 'the thing' is. Like the victims or the characters in the movie the audience are afraid of not knowing what or why certain things are happening. But in this movie there are guys who keep explaining everything to you. There is no suspense or thrill whatsoever. All the eerie effect that is created is solely due to the music and somewhat the cinematography.

And not to mention the numerous cliches. The house in the woods - cliche, no neighbours around - cliche, a dark and unused cellar - cliche, a white dressed, pale looking, yellow teethed, bloody-mouthed, running around the house ghost - cliche, doors and windows clamoring and clambering in the middle of the night - cliche, possessing - cliche, the possessed person floating in the air - cliche. And not to mention the ghost who lived in the same house years ago and was killed or committed suicide and decided to hang around the house and spook every other occupant of the house - big cliche. Even some Indian movies do better than that.

Now don't get confused if this is a review of the movie or the book. I already told you its not the usual reviews you read. And coming to the point, this is where the book trumps most movies or books of this genre. It doesn't stick to the formulas and cliches to spook you. The stories take place in the most normal and common places, sometimes in broad daylight. House, bathroom, shopping mall, office elevator, a bus stop. And the ghosts are not dressed in all white and floating around in the air. Some of his ghosts have a sense of humour(This alone is enough for you to buy the book). Some times you laugh at them, sometimes you feel sorry for them and most times you want to look around, just in case.

And the stories are simple and sometimes even short that while being spooked you also start wondering how can someone spook you in just two pages. The stories also evoke enough curiosity for you to keep reading and wait for the suspense to unfold but also don't keep you waiting long enough for you to say, 'Come out already, you ghost'. And for any story to be good, it needs a master storyteller. And this is where the author comes in. Mr. Sriramana Muliya. You can clearly see(or read) the experience of 10yrs in writing(on his blog) and many more years he spent telling stories and spooking others. The plots are air-tight, no loose ends left out, no unwanted details and most important of all he doesn't underestimate the intelligence of the reader. He doesn't spoon feed you every aspect of the story. He leaves out enough to the reader's imagination. That is a mark of a truly intelligent author.

To finish this off I will tell you something. Something that I experienced. The book and its stories are not something you read and expect to be scared out of wits immediately. You would be very wrong then. It is when you go to the bathroom and forget to turn off the lights and then in the middle of the night the door opens due to the breeze and you see the the lights on and you don't remember you not turning on/off the light. Then you wonder, how did the door open, why are the lights on. You know ghosts aren't real and they don't exist. Or do they.?? Then, at that moment you realise, the book was successful in what it was meant to do. To spook you.

The only thing that will make you feel bad is the length of the book. You finish reading it even before you realise. But don't you worry. You can always head to his blog and get spooked until he publishes his next book. So go ahead and buy your copy today, from here. Unless you want one of his ghosts to come ask you, "Do you feel spooked punk?".


  1. I'm halfway through the book. Its brilliant.

    I'm waiting to finish it so that I can review it :)

    1. You bet. And am waiting for the reviews to come up. :-)