Published by: Half Baked Beans Literature
Compiled by: Harsh Agarwal
No.of Pages: 252
Price: INR 175
Synopsis: Times’s Lost Atlas is an anthology of eleven stories of various genre, compiled into one, to take us through the most impacting events of our lives happened during the previous decade. The book is about the events that shook the world, that shaped the world as it is now, told through a concoction of tragedy, romance, mystery and thriller, brewed to perfection to ensure a nail biting experience.
Review: I am extremely lucky to read such a different kind of a book where stories are woven taking one significant event that has happened and shaped our world as it is now. Few of the stories are exceptional in the way that they have been told, as it gave me goosebumps and left me with many uneasy questions in my mind.
As it is an anthology, it will be best to review the book based on each written story but without divulging the significant past event described. So here it goes:
1) Beneath by Budhaditya Bhattacharjee
This a story about an informant who gets foxed by a CIA agent for whistle blowing and gets the due punishment for it. The story is excellently told with keeping the suspense till the end. A thriller is a one that keeps you turning pages and I did kept on turning pages. The narration is perfect for generating the thrill and suspense element especially the first few paras. The story will make you ponder on a prime question and that is, How safe are the whistle-blowers all over the world? Overall: 3/5
2) The Motown Conspiracy by Sakshi Shrivastava
This is one story that completely blew me away. It is a story about a big car manufacturing company that is on the verge of bankruptcy and what role does the government play. Will the government help or it won’t? The plot of the story is what I fell for; excellently narrated and a well thought of story. For once I thought, did this really happen? Such is the style of narrating. Overall: 4/5
3) The One and Only Purpose by Geetha Madhuri
I liked the novelty of the idea behind this story. The message of peace, hope is wonderfully set across with the backdrop of a significant event in the last decade. The event itself was mammoth and spectacular and so was the story and it’s narration. Overall: 3.5/5
4) In The Dark by Pooja Wanpal
This is a story of a boy who is accused for an alleged murder of a very very important person who happens to be a politician. The narration is simple yet keeping me hooked till the very end. Overall: 3/5
5) The Rising by Malavika Roy
This is another story that kept me on the hook till the very end. It is a story about a journalist who goes to cover some sort of uprising in the neighboring country and gets himself into a near life ending situation. What I liked is the story especially the character of Prabhat who even in trying times and situations is concerned about the little girl. Overall: 3.5/5
6) The Filch by Namrata
This is another story that I liked for the start it gave, the characters especially of Samuel which I can easily associate to someone, the plot with just the required tinge of romance and the end. Not even for once, it did let out the suspense untill the very end. And yes, brilliant narration. Loved it. And this story also leaves with an interesting food for thought and that is : You cannot trust anyone when on an extremely important event of your life, but only yourself. Overall: 4/5
7) A Symphony of Concurrences by Vishal Bagaria
This is a story of a banker and a con man who plays a perfect heist everytime he sets out on the backdrop of another significant event of the past decade. I liked this story for it’s plot, characters and the suspense it developed till the very end. Not even for once you will figure out who is playing the role of a perfect con man. Superb! Overall: 4/5
8) Pangs of Pain by Shruti Jain
This is a story which will leave you with questions on humanity, life and death, trust and with a big Why. A beautifully told story which oozes with emotions on almost consistent basis on the backdrop of a natural calamity. It is a story of a father and his two kids and their trials and tribulations, how they fight the calamity, their strength and whether they come out victorious is to be found out. Overall: 4/5
9) United We Fall by Anurag Anand
A very very brave attempt by the author on what is his first attempt at getting published. This is a science fiction with all the required jargons with a thorough research on the plot and the terminologies to be used. The story is pretty engaging and worth a read. Overall: 3/5
10) Innocents at War by Adwitiya Borah
This is also another story which will leave you with questions on the mind about humanity, caste, religion and overall The Almighty. It is a very touching story of a news reporter torn between the riots, his duties and how he saves another people and eventually comes home without losing his life. The narration is catchy and can imagine the scenes, the way it must have happened in reality. Overall: 3.5/5
11) The Victims
Talking about the events of the past decade and how can one not talk about the most thrilling and worst tragedy of mankind. It is a story of a man who has witnessed one hell of an attack which has shook him completely and how he copes up with it. A heart wrenching lines at the start and at the end makes one feel go numb. Excellently narrated with a very well thought of plot. Overall: 4/5
Overall: This is a book which will make you sit and ponder, ask questions that one cannot easily answer. I say it is a must read book for everyone who wants a slight change from their favourite genre. And I am pretty sure you won’t regret. A double thumbs up for coming up with such stories and such a unique concept. Grab it ASAP.
Ratings: Do I need to say anymore apart from the above?
P.S. Thank you Namrata for sending me this book across as I would have definitely missed something.