The Alchemy of Desire – Tarun J Tejpal

“Love is not the greatest glue between two people, Sex is.”

Every line is so brilliantly written that it could be read twice and ruminated later on. The author Tarun J Tejpal, editor of Tehelka, a national newspaper has delivered an inventive genius. Story holden me so strong that i never realized how much time i am giving to this book. Beautifully written, compelling, lyrical. Fascinating characters and superb evocation of India and its people. A truly common man’s story narrated by normal person. All ups n down of life, happiness, irritation, anger, sweetness. There are two characters mainly, one is Fizz, who is sensible, caring, understanding and adorable character and her nameless hubby a writer, reader, moody, caring and a situation driven man.

Story is all about a couple who loved then married, moved from one city to another, fulfilled few dreams then something happened with them and story took a drastic turn.  In turn-of-the-millennium India, a penniless would-be writer halts work on his novel only to feed his ceaseless desire for his beautiful wife. Then a chance occurrence moves the lovers to a sprawling old house in a mist-shrouded spur of the lower Himalayas, where a set of diaries written by a glamorous American adventuress is uncovered during renovations. Her words irresistibly draw the writer away from his beloved, thrusting him through the hole of history into another world and time, revealing dark secrets and overturning all certainties.

The novel’s strong point is definitely the first half, dotted with splendid portions including certain conversations between the narrator and Fizz, some with the servant of the acquired house over chai and the descriptions of certain other minimal characters. The disentanglement of the marriage of the narrator and his wife, their sexual escapades and insecurities culminating into their understandings is remarkably well done. The second half picks up and unusually merges with the pace of the first half, much like a progression of sorts.

Whatever. The main character was a jerk, so obsessed with the past that he ruined the most meaningful relationship of his life. I hated him. I liked the details of the book, though, and it was beautifully written.Inventive, playful, heartbreaking, brimming with ideas and memorable characters, The Alchemy of Desire is a major literary work by one of the most significant new voices of a generation.

“Sex is not the greatest glue between two people, Love is.”

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