[Book Review] Fizz by Kannan – What if there is an actual nuke ‘attack’?
‘Fizz’ the debut novel by Kannan sketches the Indo-Pak conflict in an engaging and amusing way. The book moves at breakneck pace. There is a lot of chaos and confusion but everything converges towards the judgement day where a nuke explosion will change the face of the subcontinent forever.
Synopsis: When a half German and half Jew arms businessman devises a scheme to create conditions to have a conducive world atmosphere for his arms, he chooses a Pakistani Colonel, who has the motive to plan an attack on India.
Only, the attack would be a strategic nuclear attack that should appear like an earthquake under the Himalayas. Colonel Pasha enrols disgraced Qadar Khan, once hailed as ‘Father of Nukes’ in Pakistan but living a hermit’s life.
For Khan, it is the last chance to reclaim lost glory. China immediately accepts the proposal and was ready to provide the ‘device’ and arrange logistics for successful execution. Well, China has its own share of Uyghurs to take care and they decide by helping Pakistan to carry out this plan they can get rid of their own problems.
Also, they get a chance to test their technology in a practical condition. Pasha sends Habibullah, a mujahedeen to scout a perfect location where he can detonate device, without getting caught. Habibullah, unaware of actual plan, embarks on the dangerous journey in the snow clad mountains, with a gang of mujahideen.
A young physics, an old disciple of Qadar Khan was sent to China to get trained and execute the plan. Rizwan couldn’t refuse when he was told Qadar is in-charge of the operation. When the scheme was leaked in world press, America tries to intervene.
Nationalists in India rise against the scheme and want the government to go for pre-emptive actions. Indian Muslims want safety from the majority Hindus, in case of a devious attack by Pakistan. Arab terrorist organisations wanted control over the Pakistan’s nuclear device. When they were negotiating with the head of ISI, an Israeli agent gas them.
Dead body of ISI head in Dubai proves the complicity of Pakistan. And the Prime Minister of Pakistan was unaware of Pasha’s scheme! Indian government prepares to counter the purported attack, with equal force and starts deploying nukes. American President sends a commando into the bedroom of Pakistan’s Prime Minister with a terse message to act against Pasha. Pakistani establishment declares Pasha a traitor and arrests his family.
Disappearance of Qadar, originally born in India becomes the much hated figure for his scheming against the land in which he was born. Rizwan, who only knew the intelligent side of Qadar could not understand the things and believes in Qadar. ‘One can take Pakistan out of India, but can never take India out of Pakistan’, How the Indian born Pakistani, Qadar executes the plan conceived by Borg?
What about his childhood friends, who are Indians? Will the nuclear device is detonated and who would be blamed? How India deals with the pressure mounting on it from its own people and international powers? Does Pakistan really care for Kashmir?
Post Script: The book is dotted with amusing episodes. One, in which the Sultan of Oman explains to the POTUS how a US President can never be the Sultan of Oman but technically, a Sultan can be the President of the United States is hilarious. Another, in which a young scientist calculates the energy released from controlled nuclear explosion using basic math and some ‘sketching’ (yes sketching) is quite amusing too.
What are the geographical challenges Habibullah face in the cold desert and start introspection of his past deeds? What would patriotic Pasha do when charged with treason, while he was on his way to execute the most lethal attack on India?
Almost like the surgical strike by Indian army, the commando sent by American Cowboy President wakes up Pakistani Prime Minister in his bed room.
How tough Americans negotiate? How the Chinese make decisions, almost like a board room meeting, with everyone sees a solution in the nuclear problems?
Or how Russians authorise their one-in-all President for any action? How efficient is Israel’s reach in today’s world? Fizz by Kannan is a fun read.
Not many Indian authors have explored the world-politics-fiction genre, Kannan does it with supreme ease. Fizz deals with real subjects using a fictional narrative. A Must read for Geo-Politics (and humor) enthusiasts.
Few Lines From Fizz by Kannan
The advantage of having a scientist to detonate the bomb, rather than a soldier, is that he can take a decision based on his knowledge and wisdom. Soldier is trained to follow instructions, while a learned man evolves by questioning the orders.
Silence won’t serve any purpose. If you have the audacity to spoil something, you should have the ability to plan something else too. I knew the faith quotient I enjoy is negative.
He can’t control even a single wife, but has two. In a way, he is like your unofficial prince of India – he wants the power but not the responsibilities. Even power, he cannot digest.
What are you waiting for? Go grab a copy of Fizz
Source :- http://www.thefrustratedindian.com/2016/10/fizz-kannan-review/
Fizz by Kannan traces the history of the Indo-Pak conflict where we find fascinating characters, moralists, poor, generous, forgiving, fixers, conservatives, liberals, and not least organized crimes.
Since the ’90s, the Indo-Pak conflict gradually began to change their nature, and low-intensity conflicts began to take on even the outlines of a war of intelligence. At the centre of the plot is Pakistan’s ISI who immediately grabs the opportunity to nuke India through the defamed Qadar Khan.
Khan in due course have to make the decision to take the side of the government or made by one of the conspirators who wanted to subvert order in the country in which Khan was born, so that he can reclaim lost respect in Pakistan, his adopted country. Under international demands from dollar donor countries, his family is arrested.
Syed Ashraf Pasha, a patriotic ostentatious general of Pakistan and the man projected as future Army Chief denies any plot that he was executing, but sows doubt and suspicion, and was regarded as traitor for betraying the cause. You will have to read the entire book to find out to find out whether the nukes are finally detonated and what happens in the aftermath?
Here, this book contains a piece of hidden reality narrated through the words of the author and presents the motivations of those who moved for and against, their land of origin, their values, their goals. And then there are those who betray homeland and ideals and that changed the flag several times, forced by events or by utilitarian reasons.
A story of plots, conspiracies of big powers with organized crime, who can anticipate who will be the winners each time. We find heroes who are labelled traitors and traitors as heroes. The betrayal of an ideal and of a whole community can be one of the most tragic consequences for someone and exhaustingly dehumanizing, always fought face to face with the enemy.
The red thread of the novel, which runs through the narrative is the imbalance between India and Pakistan that still remained unresolved. A fascinating novel, burning, poignant and desperate, that shows the intricacies of the Indo-Pak conflict where you will understand more about the history of the conflict in this novel than in school textbooks albeit in a fictional manner.
And then there are fantasy figures that lighten the story, who darn historical flap and help us breathe a sigh among many raw and tragic images, as raw and tragic is war. A beautiful book with the prose elegant and flowing with the pleasantness of the construction, the interest of the content that prevent dropouts and almost regretfully you get to the last pages, giving the farewell to real people and those that seem a real fantasy.
The pace is relentless and lively, the plot and the fluid narrative are compelling and after reading you will find curiosity to investigate over a period that was far more complex than what they tell us on the newspapers and television.
Many would say that Indian and Indie authors are still getting into their groove. Some might think that this is a misconception, but the ground reality is something different. Indian fiction today is chock full of mythology, coming of age, romance, paranormal. Come to think of it, there’s not even a decent investigator series when it comes to the Indian literature scene
So, when an Indian author tries to write something different from the above genres, he or she immediately wins some brownie points – which Kannan does, writing his thriller, Fizz…
The book revolves around India’s enemies coming together to precipitate an attack on India., Only this time, it’s not a frontal or an all out attack. The dastardly team decides to take a more silent, easier way out and what happens to the characters after their decision to finally come together against India.
While such a project is rarely undertaken by an Indian author and therefore wins brownie points, the book falters at several points. The book fails to capture the interest of the reader because of several reasons, one of them being the manner of writing.
Fizz… is a classic example of how a good book is unable to achieve the adulation it should because of a writing style that is only known as ‘Indian’ in writing and reviewing circles. Though this writing style might be perfect for Indian stories set in small town, the author tries to take this writing style to the very pinnacle of fiction writing – political thrillers – and this is where it falters.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Rizwan was feeling nervous. Even on the day when he witnessed the nuclear test, he did not feel so much anxiety.
Now, wouldn’t this sentence become much more pacy and have a increase of intrigue when written like this:
Rizwan felt a jolt through his nerves as he began the operation, an abnormal amount of anxiety surged through his senses. . In fact, even on that day, he hadn’t felt such anxiety.
Another sore point is also related to the writing style and that’s where we come to the dialogue section of the book. The words that are set as dialogues seem quite out of place and therefore tend to jar the reading experience. Also, the dialogues are devoid of any emotion, taking away the sting from them, and therefore the book.
The next issue is about Indian authors, at large, not plotting and planning the journey but placing their central characters directly at the destination and taking the story along.
There was a time when Indian audiences were not exposed to such thrillers like Fargo, Breaking Bad, etc and this could be pardoned. But for upcoming writers today, there is ample evidence that audiences lap up the how, what, whether, if along with the then.
How interesting would Breaking Bad be if Pinkman would immediately agree to work with White? These are the little things that Indian authors should create their books on and they’d be surprised how well it ends up at the finish line.
Source :- http://thepageturners.in/book-reviews/book-review-fizz/