I have had a fair share of reading books which were a complete waste of paper and the reader’s precious time, and trust me there have been many. That being said ‘Con Kabir’ by ‘Anonymous’ (Justifiably so, in all honesty I assume it’s because assigning credit to oneself for a piece of abomination can often be a matter of utter embarrassment) has leaped to the top of the list, probably why there is a certain sense of tranquility when you realize that you are reading this review digitally and that no trees were harmed in the process. So much so that I too, wanted initially to write this column anonymously so as to not harm my cred in my book club.
Con Kabir is a tough book to read, unless you can translate them verbatim to Hindi and are high on LSD, in all probability because you like watching horror films with bad lighting, dim witted plots and incredibly stupid acting just for the lulz (Yes, you read it right). If you fit that category, then feel free to spend a couple hundred bucks, sit with your closest friends and have a hilarious evening of finely calibrated book reading inebriation with a bad case of ‘what-did-I-just-read?’ hangover. Or read further below if you are cheapskate like me. Just like the author was, when he hired an editor, as you would find more grammar errors than in a 4th grade student’s English notebook.
Con Kabir is an adventurous thriller of conman Kabir and his friend Ali who have sought out to shape the world in their own perceived image and a complicated past. Con games ranging from street cons to business cons lead up to a massive global terrorist plot where the ultimate con is revealed. The author launches into the bold debate arming himself with Kissinger’s idealistic yet empirical ‘the one who controls money, controls the world’ saying.
Sadly, the plot overreaches without understanding much of the realities and using research that much seems like to have been accumulated from conspiracy blogs and Wikipedia. The story is filled with pacing problems, bad storytelling, righteous indignation and political grandstanding that deserves its place only in your nukkad tea shop. Moreover, you will hardly find a breathing space when you read the characters interact, let alone proper syntax and parsing. It is a major turnoff for any avid reader if he or she has no earthly idea as to how to decipher what a certain character just said or why he said it. Maybe editor did not want to edit because it was a behemoth task or probably he successfully conned our young and naïve author, who knows?
But I digress.
Safe to say, this book does not belong in any shelf of any respectable bookstore. That being said, the author has heart and has bold ideas. It’s a passion that needs immense shaping and basics that need being built appropriately. Writing a story, any story, needs hardwork and the mind of a child with ever-wondering curiosity to mirror the same reflection in the reader when he is reading the book. I’m afraid there is yet no way to con your way into someone’s bookshelf. Next time maybe I’ll feel better writing a more profound review when he finally feels like coming out of the shadows of anonymity, which I think, again, is the only right advice his/her editor gave him!
About Simon Ghosh
Simon considers himself a reformed stoic with an insatiable curiosity about the life, the universe and Batman. His love for books, films and music stems from his love for storytelling. You can be instant friends with him by just sharing your love for F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Oscar Wilde and Hannibal Lecter. He thinks intellect is sexy and humility is even sexier.
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