*I was sent this book, The Eye Opener, for free so I could read it and create this review. Read my Disclosure for more details.*
Each story has a male protagonist who struggles with an internal issue. While these are short stories, they are well laid out and have a good amount of character development. There is a lot of introspective musings, and less actual active story, but it works for the themes Indrajit is exploring.
The first story, The Alignment, focuses on a man who is hiding financial troubles from his pregnant wife. Things quickly spiral out of control, financially and in their personal lives. Deception leads to heartbreak on many levels. You truly feel for these characters.
The Changing Turf is a story of a man from India arriving in New York City to pursue his doctorate. He quickly discovers life here is vastly different than back in India. A local soup kitchen enlists his help, but in a major turn of events he finds himself needing the food they serve by the middle of the story. Credit scores and suicide attempts feature in this short story. It wraps up with a satisfactory ending.
The last story in the book is The Eye Opener. A young convict, recently released from prison, is struggling to get his life back on track. Convicted of a crime he did not do, and reeling from his brother’s death, Cedric feels lost in a society that refuses to help disadvantaged youths. His counselor suggests he enter a trade, so Cedric spends many pages thinking on what he would like to pursue. His internal thought process is often distracted by thoughts of his family, and how he can help his mother recover from the loss of her other son. This story has many facets, including a girl, and a crime, but Cedric’s main focus is always the betterment of himself.
I enjoyed this collection of stories. In fact, I carved out time to finish reading the book. The writing was easy to read, though I usually prefer more action and active language in my stories. There’s something about the introspection of interesting characters that pulled me along here. I genuinely wanted to know how their lives played out. I think that’s a skill worth of mention for a writer!
This is Indrajit Garai’s second collection of short stories. I reviewed his first collection as well. You can read it here.
Read more of my book reviews here. If you’re interested in having me review your book, visit my Book Review page. I’m always open to reading something new, though I’m becoming more picky with my books.