‘The Life of Adventure and Delight‘ comes with a happy rainbow jacket, smiling at you and building trust that no matter how dispiriting your life is at the moment, you’ll feel much better having read it. How exciting to discover the good in people and in this world through eight short stories, eh? You’d think. The good vibes are all out the window two stories in (and believe me these are the merriest), but you continue reading anyway because now the writer has gotten under your skin.
The stories bind the ever-changing patterns of human emotions, and highlights that it’s not easy to maneuver the life in the way we’d like to go, for there are much bigger elements at play beyond our control. The title is misleading, because the characters in this book are neither adventurous nor delightful, and their constant yearning for happiness is loathsome, but somehow they manage to connect with the worst-day-you so much that you’re compelled to read it to the end hoping that life turns out all happy for them. But as usual, life has its own plans.
It’s inhuman to remain unaffected by the author’s nuanced narration. Very few books manage to bare heart of all the characters so well, and this book owns that. There are a lot of people I will be seeing in a different light here on. Want to gain perspective on Indians living here or abroad? Well, here’s the book you read.
This is a short-story collection meant to be devoured slowly with an open mind. This was my first book by Akhil Sharma, and I’m sure that I’ll be reading his auto-biographical account ‘Family Life’ soon which has been recommended by many.