Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Whisper of the worms by Marcardian

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.


Paperback:317 pages
Publication date:2012
Genre: Christian fiction, Mystery

Book Description(via goodreads)

A crow eyed peep in to the backyard of a banking organization.

An unusual portrayal of the life and times of an ordinary mortal and his subdued fight for survival.

A moving story of the commercialized people in an imaginary country called Marcardia, portrayed through their psyche and polity, makes one think, laugh, and get emotionally choked...

Listen to the Whisper of the worms to hear the muffed wail of the humans on the run, lured by the carrot, forced by the stick.....

My review

In the fiction books I have read so far, this book was totally a different read in terms of story, characters, place, pace, genre, etc. When I first started reading the first few pages , I was 100% sure I will not like it. The reason-the story was snail paced and I did not like the way how the words flowed in the initial pages. But as soon as the story progressed, I just couldn't get my eyes off the book. Once you have read the book, it takes some time from thinking about all those breath-taking philosophical quotes. I just enjoyed it.

Marcardian's Whisper of the worms is a compelling story of Thobias Mathai, a 59 year old NRI who is diagnosed by a dreadful disease. Now his days being numbered, his life takes a new turn. He hides about the doctor's diagnosis to his loving wife, two obedient grown sons and a gorgeous pet daughter instead with their permission,  he goes to his home country, Kerala, to visit his mother after twenty five long years. At this point, the story captures the minds of the readers and puts them all in a situation that no individual can deny Thobias feelings, emotions, sudden god fearing attitude, helplessness as utter imagination.

Here we can say the success of this novel ultimately lies in the first half of the book. That is the hints of Thobias childhood days with his parents, friends, teachers, then his adulthood days spent in office through flashbacks is well delivered and also the depth of each scene is sure to create a strong imprint among the life of the readers.

His mother Thresakutty's superstitious beliefs about owls made a feel that it actually is true. In one place, boy Thobias secretly imagines himself in a death coffin out of curiosity in order to know how others will react to it. This gave an out of the world experience. Even an atheist will rethink about his faith towards God. People who leave everything behind to earn a living by working abroad must have to reconsider it for their parents sake or else it will haunt them like a ghost.

The second  half of the book was nice but I couldn't be able to believe any of it. The sudden shift in the story and the mere fact that this kind of cheating and false accusations by other staff members happens in a Bank was unthinkable. We are continuously made to worry more about how Thobias is going to prove his innocence rather than his disease.

The way in which one lady staff member was portrayed also did not add to the liking. I had to overthink to find out whether it is really the real state of the banks nowadays. The author  enriches casually about promotions in a bank given not out of seniority, age or hard works of a person .True to some extent, this was believable as this is a nagging problem in companies including.

My final conclusion about whisper of the worms is a two beautifully mentioned quotes from the book itself " Forget those things which you don't have any control and be happy with what you have got. Just look down. There are people who are suffering far more than us", Dust indeed you are, And it is to dust you shall return.The ending pages really made me hallow inside. It is hard to let go of this book.


Excerpts from the book

"Do you want one more birth?"Thobias asked himself. "For what? "he searched his own mind for a truthful answer. His mind did not reply. Maybe, it expected a better life and kept silent.

"You know birth to this world is the luckiest thing to happen, "Clara sister used to teach in catechism class. "One gets a chance to live on this beautiful earth, gets love and can join God in heaven."

"Ha, ha" he was not impressed at all. "When he was alive, how many days did you stay with him(father)?"It was a hard question and Thobias sat on the wooden chair without permission and without any reply.

"It is common somebody suffers due to the fault of others. Children suffer due to the fault of their parents. Citizens suffer due to their faults of their leaders. Companies suffer due to the fault of their directors. Naturally, the subordinates have to suffer for their boss. You too make those faults, and let others suffer it, if luck smiles at you sometime."

"You cannot change the world why you should change it after all?"

"You will wonder at the list of people waiting to serve you there. Serving the people is the biggest and noble profession in their world. There are people who dedicate their entire life to serve others without expecting anything in return. They form herds called....................

Verdict Without a doubt, this book is a must read book by age groups starting from late 25's to late 60's.After reading the first half which was slightly similar to bible parables,  I told my grandmother who has spent most of her childhood days in Kollam,Kerala and also my mother(less than a decade)as this was their only favorite subject, they were both sad when I told the book is available only in English. This book will be a huge success among the majority of the Christian audience and people who have been working in banks or returning to India.

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