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What happens when the evil lurking within men is brought out for the world to see?
Is the Devil just a façade created to cover the will of God?
These are some of the questions that Arnab Ray throws up through his novel, The Mine. The story falls under the genre of horror fiction and is tailored for those with a penchant for the eerie.
Through The Mine, Arnab Ray describes the terrifying experiences of a group of miners who are employed at an ancient site of worship. They starts experiencing nightmares when darkness falls, and during the day, the carvings on the underground dome drive them insane, albeit slowly. An investigation is launched with a group of experts when things get out of hand, and what they discover next sets the tone for a spine chilling journey, one that they need to get out of - alive.
The Mine was positively received by critics upon its release and Pritish Nandy was present during its launch.
About the Author
Arnab Ray, popularly known as Greatbong in the virtual sphere, is one of the well known bloggers in India. He takes sarcastic digs at Indian Politics, society and the Indian film Industry in his blog Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind.
May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss was his maiden book, and it was launched in 2010. Ray has also written for other media agencies like Outlook Magazine, Live Mint and Washington Post.
In a noticeable shift from his generally humorous style of writing, Ray has incorporated an element of mystery and intrigue while writing The Mine. His tone is pacy through the course of this book.
A Computer Science Engineer from Jadavpur University, Arnab also finished his PhD from the State University of New York (Stony Brook) in Computer Science. He works as a research scientist.
|Number of Pages||290 Pages|
The book is brilliant because it does away with conventional ideas of familial ties and dares to explore the darker side of individuals to almost shocking extents. The Mine is a mind-game through and through and is definitely not for the weak-hearted. The book's unflagging pace allows one to finish it in one sitting and at the end of it all, you will be left with a shiver running down your spine. Do not expect to run into spirits or ghosts in this horror-thriller though because here all the phantoms are from the past of the characters who dwell only in their hallucinatory nightmares. The author's play with light and darkness is brilliant and his skill is made evident in the manner he masterfully manages to juxtapose the beginning of the book with its ending. And with this antithetical representation of light, Ray manages to round off his story into a complete circle. All in all, a grand story that will forces you to use those grey cells to ascertain exactly how "The greatest evil lies deep inside".
I have been wondering for a long time why in India, people do not write horror. Either horror is women with open hair, clad in white saree, carrying a candle or its full of weird creatures like owls and cats and funny-looking spirits. While, these can be categorized as horror, they dont really send a chill through your body. They rather tingle the funny bone.
When I started reading The Mine, I expected all this and more because the author is Indian. But I was pleasantly surprised. And I am glad that the Stephen-king-like psycho-thriller has finally arrived in India. And how! The Mine starts with a prolog that will keep you glued. You will not be able to put the book down until the very last word and I would suggest, read it in one sitting. The death descriptions, the philosophical angle of 'The Mine' and the end is the work of a genius. I loved the fact that the author doesnt compromise the end like it usually happens in celluloid. A true masterpiece.
Please take this as my opinion and not review of Arnab Ray’s The Mine. Yours truly has read some books in his life. Though, he was an avid blogger, he isn’t so now. Therefore, you can safely consider him out of the league. Had I being so at the moment, I would have definitely written a page-and-half of what I thought of the Great Bong’s latest book.
Before I do that, a small note that may serve as a disclaimer.
I had been following the Great Bong blog since 2005-06. Though his writing wasn’t as refined as it is now, whatever he wrote was thoroughly enjoyable and struck a chord. Maybe, more so with me because we are from the batch of 1994! However, the best thing about the book was not how a Bengali marriage took place (that I am sure is anecdotal), but how my father loved a few chapters like the on the one on West Bengal politics (Kasai, the administration, Lady Khamata and finally Kasai’s final revelation).
Over the years as he developed as a writer, I evolved as an editor trying to find flaws. In his last book May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss (MIHYAP), he lived up to the billing of a pop culture narrator over the 90s through the first decade of the new millennium.
Way back in 2010, he sent me a note with ‘an idea that was going into the making of The Mine’. Well, confession time now. I thought that the book is going to be in the same class as (to borrow a word from Bollywood and popular Dariyaganj novels) – Makri ka Jaal or Paap ka Sindoor or whatever the Ramsay’s got ‘inspired’ from the literary bylines of Delhi’s walled city.
Before The Mine was released, I had a chat with Arnab over the nitty-gritty of the details that he put in his book after the read the prelude. He stuck to his guns and I was like… HO, HO! Let me get the book in my hands.
He had me disappointed.
However, in my disappointment I was mightily happy.
The Mine is a book that left me spellbound. SPELLBOUND. The start set the tone and I was somehow wondering if Arnab has had it him to maintain the momentum.
The book is so sophisticatedly written with a touch of a veteran storyteller’s masterclass that you breeze through it in the first three hours anticipating what is going to follow next. It is like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher both in their prime racing for the flag in the middle circuits. [Later part coming up soon, stay tuned]
Trust me friends, you will not realize that the book you started to read at 6:45 pm would make you forget your evening till your mom, wife or cohabiting fella yelled at you to have your dinner.
Not a nice break, but you have to go.
And, then finish your dinner in such a way that the fare was the best dish you liked without even taking notice.
Back on the book by the time I reached for the thickness of the book, I forced myself a cigarette break for I knew I had to savour the moment. I wished the book was thicker, with at least a 1000 more pages for such genius needs to be prolonged… extended.
If you are a smoker, the book will reduce your life by at least a year if you happen to keep a carton of your cancer sticks at bay.
If you are a nail chewer, make sure that you have your hands covered with gloves
If you are a sucker for a thriller, make sure no ladies are around to yell at you calling for dinner.
Arnab Ray, aka Great Bong surprised me with his writing and imagination by the way of The Mine. That, he was a mighty good storyteller is known by whoever had been following his blog.
However, with THE MINE, he took story telling to the level (by the way of a short book) of Ken Follett [Eye of the Needle] and Frederick Forsyth [The Shepherd]
All, I can say that within an hour of completing the book, I couldn’t resist the temptation of reading it for the second time. Same thing happened with me in 1989 when I watched the teeny-weeny romantic movies (and, this time no example of any of the 150 odd books I have had read by the time I was 13).
If you have not read THE MINE, go and grab a copy and read it. Arnab Ray’s sheer genius is in the last 75 per cent of the book.
Dare miss it folks!
This book is the work of a true (and probably a deviant) genius!
It's a nice book which keeps you hooked on to every passing pages.I usually take some time to finish any book ,this was for the first time i wanted to finish on the same day even though i had to take a leave from office. i Enjoyed the End ... 3 cheers to the author... I feel the title is very much appropriate to the mentioned characters
Arnab aka Greatbong takes incredible delight in breaking his shackles, at being labelled as humor writer.A taut package providing the right amount of thrills and suspense, would be a perfect companion for those rainy evenings, curled up in bed, sipping coffee.
Coming from someone who wrote 'May I Hebb your Attention Please', I am truly reminded of Robert Blake's verse.
"Did he who made the lamb make thee?"
a good read.nicely depicted characters.really takes you to the hell below the hell.the mine is gripping story till the last page.Read More
Being an avid fan of Stephen King,didn,t think much of this book while purchasing it. Reviews were good and price was reasonabl...Read More
There are books that enthral readers. There are books that make you religiously turn page after page. There are books that hold...Read More
sambit is the culprit who killed reshmi. This ending shivered me down. Unexpected! Worth reading twiceRead More
After reading the much debate and reviews in many sites I was really excited about this novel. After finishing it I found the e...Read More