Monday, 17 November 2014

Book Review -- What Casts the Shadow

A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

Brandon Chase, with a demonised past and a mind in turmoil, is close to being in shambles. Constantly having had his self-worth questioned by his abusive father, he coats himself with an armour of savage violence, which he uses as his reaction to all the pricks that life gives him. Although a musician by will and by heart, the story shows the different facets of his, helping us get to know him as a person and not just as a musician. He gets into trouble with the police after one of his violent outbursts, putting him in front of Saul Mason, a therapist who transforms his beliefs, thoughts and thus, his life.

It's tough to classify this book as a fictional memoir, or a drama. The highly philosophical abstraction in this book makes for a thought-provoking read, and there's a bit of many genres in this book - a bit of drama, a bit of bitterness from the voice of the protagonist, a lot of reminiscences and a lot of dreams set aflame. That said, it's hard to classify who the real protagonist of this story is. Although Brandon is projected as the protagonist by definition, it's Saul who steals the show in my opinion. Effervescent and calm at the same time, radiating positivity and at the same time having the open-mindedness to knock down and overlook unreasonable conventionalities, Saul makes one wish that they too, like Brandon, had him for a personal healer as well. Brandon's character is well-etched. The conflicting mind-frames, which make him pursue his music dreams on one side, and at the same time, make him see himself as a doomed failure, put him into a vicious circle, and the author brings out the character's complexities well. And at the same time, instead of painting a bleak picture that merely portrays creative people as those struggling inside, the author, through the voice of Saul, opens up one's eyes to how life isn't as unfair as one makes it out to be. There're things to hang on to, and people that care, if only one can have a clear sight to look around. I loved this book, and I would definitely recommend it.

My rating for this book: 5 stars

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