To begin with, the novel is readable, peculiar, not exciting or enjoyable per se… however, there are things that will compel you to think deeply. I am impressed with the monologues. It is because you only find those, mostly. The Memoirs of a Nobody by P Sam is a contemporary novel which might interest teenagers, youths and young readers more compared to other readers who cannot put up with changing narratives in Indian English fiction. It’s a kind of dual-layered movie where a person is reading about events related to a person, told by the same person and with the perspectives of the same person. Ambi is the protagonist whose life is being perused by Aarav. Aarav is living in 2022. The lost book, which he later names The Memoirs of a Nobody, details the events up to 2019, November.
The book opens with an amusing account of youthful adventures. It continues on the path of maturity – linguistic maturity (the author has focused more on her language as the novel develops), character maturity and also a mature narrative. The reactions of Aarav, after reading the book his daughters find on a beach, also tell the story is developing. Ambi’s life is about expressing her views on things she sees, feel and experience… her entries in the diary reveal very much about her personality and her thoughts. However, interesting events are there to keep the readers amused amidst the serious stuff to keep them engaged in pondering with the central character. Events with the Tabla Guy are mysterious and weird to an extent but creates curiosity in the readers. Later, readers will know how these two people come together, perhaps romantically but none of the two acknowledges the same for a very long time.
Arth’s formal entry into the novel happens at a later stage but it impacts the narrative thereafter. Readers can notice the change in diary entries by Ambi at various stages of her life. As a high school student, she is different. As a college student, she becomes different. As a professional, she becomes different. As someone who is potentially in love, she becomes a different person. I have to admit that the author has been successful in making the best words fall in the best places to create the best possible lines to support the thought-chains of her central protagonist. So, in terms of language, the novel presents a very good example.
One more thing that I would like to bring to light is the conclusion of this novel. Though it’s not the conclusion that concludes the tale, it just concludes this part of the novel and I do believe that another part should already be in line. This part’s conclusion will keep readers more than just excited or curious. This is because anyone who goes on reading to the conclusion will certainly become emotionally indulged with this sentimental narrative and Ambi’s predicament. This is a novel of its kind and I am giving it a thumbs up! If you are looking to read something new, original, different and uncommon, this should be your pick! You can buy The Memoirs of a Nobody from Amazon India in paperback or Kindle formats. Click the link below:
Review by a contributor, BookWorm Reviews