I have said elsewhere on this blog and in comments on other blogs that I rarely put a book away after I have started reading it, even if I’m plodding through the book. I will read it anyway because I always find something that redeems the book in my eyes. And sometimes I feel I owe it to the author.
In the case of Kabuko the Djinn, 2013, by the London-based journalist and author, Hamraz Ahsan, I didn’t make that exception because, much as I liked the storyline and writing style, which is really good, I lost interest after the initial few pages. I didn’t feel like reading further about the occult and the mystical world of the djinn who enters the body of a young boy, around which this story revolves.
There are two reasons. One, I wanted to get back to the fast-paced fiction, the thrillers, the mysteries, and the westerns, that I’m fond of reading. I’m a brainwashed prisoner of the American paperback. And two, however absorbing Indian fiction is, given its literary style, the narrative is often long winding, as I felt about Kabuko the Djinn. Indian fiction is also more descriptive and almost academic in tone.
I understand that you cannot judge a book by reading only a few pages and I’ll probably try and read it at some point in the near future. But not just yet. I’ve to be in the mood for a fictional tale involving “mystics, myths, and magic.”
For now, I’ll leave you with the synopsis of Kabuko the Djinn which has received much praise from more discerning readers.
“Kabuko the djinn is the evocative story of a djinn who journeys through human life in search of occult knowledge. Wishing to study the dynamics of the human species for himself, in order to unearth the secrets of human power, Kabuko enters the body of Ajee Shah, a boy born in post-independence Punjab, Pakistan. As Kabuko loses himself to the trials and tribulations of living an ordinary yet intrinsically exceptional human life through Ajee, sex and the supernatural collide, entangling them both in a cataclysmic event that is to change their lives forever. Woven throughout this tapestry of youthful yearnings and a desire for transcendental knowledge are real secrets of the Islamic occult, true stories of Muslim saints, and the folklore of the Punjab.”
I’m grateful to Fingerprint, an imprint of Prakash Books India Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, for my copy of this book. You can order your copy from Amazon.