I Played A Game With Life, by Richardson Susairaj

When you read the following words on the back-cover “A girl enters when he least expects her to,” you expect something surprising. You want to know why was it least expected? What happens? 
But, there is a saying, “No surprise in the author means no surprise in the reader.”
I Played A Game With Life by Richardson SusairajThe characters: Lack depth. The story has been told from the narrator’s perspective. But that is all it remains. No character is explored fully; neither through dialogue nor through the narrator’s descriptions. They enter and leave the story (for example, Lucky) just to serve singular roles or to say one meaningful, enlightening line. Sam, the narrator sounds like a thinly veiled version of the author himself. A character in a book is for a reader to understand through his actions or words. But Richard explains every mannerism of Sam’s. It sounds, at times, that he is putting his own behavior on paper and trying to justify his behavior.
The language: swings between Chennai colloquialism and dialogues picked up from English sitcoms. There are some phrases, like “I did my UG…” While in Chennai, UG is the accepted term for college education, a better phrase would have been the more widely accepted “I completed my graduation.” “UG” in some parts of the country implies something totally different! (wink!)
There is an excessive usage of unexplained short-forms. The above-mentioned UG is one such example. Also, while terms like “I’ve”, “I’ll”, “Won’t”, “Can’t” etc. are acceptable in dialogue, it is not a norm in the narration itself. In the narration, it is always better to expand these to “I have” etc.
There is redundancy in some descriptions, e.g., “A shirt maroon in color.” Maroon is a color; it’s redundant. “Maroon shirt” would have been enough. Similarly “She followed me like a dog follows its owner.” This could have been “She followed me like a dog.”
The dialogue: tends to get lengthy in places. Nearly every conversation moves at the pace slower than real conversations. Every single dialogue in a conversation need not be put down on paper. Also, not every dialogue needs to be explained (e.g., “I said “What’s up” and sounded like a guy on a New York subway” or “He is an Anglo, so he suffixes every sentence with a “Man””) These are commonly used phrases, that need not really be explained. They are not restricted to subway guys or Anglo-Indians.
The technique: The author has a good sense of humor, which is clear from some parts of the book. But, he appears heavily influenced by sitcoms. He makes various references to these here and there.
At times, you feel the author is a little too “testosterone-y”. The chapter “Squeezing Toothpaste” seemed totally unnecessary. Plus, the next chapter talks about him checking out female models on TV. Right, so we get it, that’s what guys do, but should it be emphasized on every page?
The pace is a little slow. We keep waiting for the surprise element (“when he least expected her to”) but it does not quite arrive.

While some books suffer due to lack of proper content, this one suffers from too much unnecessary detail. Rating: 2/5

Note: This book was sent to me by the author for review. This review is not influenced by anyone in any manner.

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