One Line Review- A compelling and ambitious addition to Indian literature!
Author Smita Das Jain’s latest book, Twisted Tales and Turns, is a collection of 20 short stories divided into four parts, each with its own thematic flavour: ‘Out of the World,’ ‘Not Too Far Into the Future,’ ‘All Doesn’t End Well,’ and ‘Love Comes in all Hues.’
This book takes readers on an exhilarating ride through a world where reality isn’t always what it appears to be. In this captivating collection of short stories, Jain skillfully weaves narratives that challenge conventional perceptions and lead readers down unexpected paths.
Through her versatile storytelling ability, the author seamlessly transitions across a spectrum of genres, from plain fiction to sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, drama, and romance.
One of the commendable aspects of this collection is its ambition to entertain and educate its readers. Jain’s exploration of various social subjects within the narratives, such as mental health, environmental concerns, politics, the challenges of neurodivergent children, racism, and feminism, adds depth to the storytelling.
The simplicity in language and delivery enhanced the reading experience while delving into these complex issues.
However, it’s worth noting that in a few instances, some stories (for example, ‘It Starts With Us’) within the collection come across as slightly heavy-handed with their messages. When addressing multiple social subjects within a single work, maintaining a subtle touch can be pivotal. At times, the didactic approach in certain stories may risk overwhelming readers with the volume of lessons presented.
‘Twisted Tales and Turns’ stands out in the Indian literary landscape for its fearless exploration of the science fiction genre, and showcases the author’s willingness to experiment and innovate.
Science fiction has traditionally been a less-explored genre in Indian literature, with only a handful of authors venturing into the territory. Jain’s collection offers readers an opportunity to engage with imaginative and futuristic scenarios, transporting them to uncharted territories and challenging their perspectives on reality and technology.
Among the standout stories in the collection, my personal favourites are ‘Masterpiece,’ ‘Top of the World,’ ‘Purchased Love,’ and all five stories of the sci-fi section “Not Too Far Into the Future’. These tales effectively melded engaging narratives with meaningful insights, creating a thoroughly immersive reading experience.
Overall, ‘Twisted Tale and Turns’ is an intriguing collection that showcases Smita Das Jain’s versatility as a storyteller. The variety of genres, combined with the exploration of pertinent social themes, makes it a compelling read. While some stories deliver their messages with subtlety and finesse, others could benefit from a lighter touch.
We will recommend this book to all readers of short fiction and those who enjoy reading a blend of genres, where a plot ‘twist’ will most certainly pull the rug from under your feet! ‘Twisted Tales and Turns’ is a commendable effort that both entertains and offers insightful glimpses into the complexities of the human experience.
This book has something for everyone!
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