88. Book Review By Ahmed: : Either Or Else Nor by Varun Gupta

Book: Either Or Else Nor by Varun Gupta

Sometimes, you come across a novel that shook you to the core. It holds a blurry line between your present and the past. It takes you to the backyard of your memories and when you thought of actions that you did in the past, you thought of commitments that were associated with it.

I know you must be wondering that what I have been blabbering all the time, I am talking about the novel ‘Either or Else Nor’ by Varun Gupta. It was a short novel, one reading was done in one night, but I could not get out of it even today. Simply, a few books refuse to leave the cask of your subconscious mind, especially when you have had the same kind of life or events. I mean to say that some books delight you, but there are very rare books that actually reciprocate some of your life events. In that case, you submit to the book and get along with it.

I read the novel on Kindle. It is based on two people’s meeting presumably. A man and woman, since they were meeting after many years, I guess they were in their early thirties, if not less or more. Anyway, the story starts with the guy receiving one mobile message from the woman, who says: “Let’s talk till we have nothing to talk.” Imagine the terms of their understanding. The text clearly defines that the two persons are well aware of each other. Or they might be buddies or partners or lovers in some point of time. You cannot guess anymore, you have to be in the novel for the reality to be exposed.

Throughout the novel, the characters are nameless, even the people they allude to in their conversation, apart from the Hollywood movies gossiping.

This is not a simple going story, the kind of conversation they get into is not the simple palaver, rather it is guided by a delicate thin thread of love, but at the same time vulnerable by ego clashes and hurtful sentiments of old days. Between all, they have to keep it maintained, like a perfect flight. Slightly angled bad, it is going to crash.

Another USP of the book is that it is full of one-liners and quotes that I personally liked, no matter what. Since the book is short, I cannot get more into the story and plots or anything else concerning the spoiler alerts. I better leave it up to you. As a debut writer, Varun shined with philosophical prose, but he needs to sound a little cultivated author. Overall, a heady mix of romance and philosophy and heartbreak.

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