Review- Kashmir House by Vikram Dhawan


Book Name           – Kashmir House
Author                  - Vikram Dhawan
Publisher              - Frog Books
Number of Pages – 216
Publishing Year   – 2015
Edition                  - Paperback
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Blurb

“A society is judged by how they treat their women and, a country is judged by how they treat their brave.” An ego tussle between a politician and a bureaucrat perils Deep Assets inside the enemy territory. A holocaust survivor borrows knowhow from slayers of his family for profit. An honourable leader challenges the Witches & Wizards of the system. An atheist adversary who strikes in the name of god. Kashmir, a playground for settling scores.

My review

When I was a teenager, I used to grab classic books to show that I am a serious reader. If I had gotten Kashmir House at that time, I would have grabbed it then not only to show others but for myself as well. I would like to add a disclaimer that my review might be biased because of my Nationality.

Yes, I am a proud Indian. I love my nation notwithstanding all the drawbacks we ourselves tag to her. Same with the book. It might be having negatives but my eyes were blinded due to the surge of patriotism stirred inside.
The book deals with several dimensions of Geo political scenario.

The story is highly inflammable. Author touched the right cords in the heart of every reader especially if the reader is an Indian. The title is very catchy.

Author adapted a narrative style of a screenplay. An unputdownable book. I would dare to say that this is one of the best books released in 2015?

I could not comprehend the climax though. I presume author is planning to come up with a sequel. If that was the case, it could have been mentioned in the book. The book cover is another let down. The illustration was good but the white background gave the impression of an ARC.

I am stuck between 4.5 and 5. Well, for my India and Kashmir, I would go for a five star. Hopefully author will come up with a sequel

One Liner

I love this book.

Reviewed for the publisher
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


About the author

Born in the seventies, to parents whose families fled to india from Pakistan in 1947 after the Partition, Vikram Dhawan grew up in northern India in the eventful 70s and 80s. Playing in the trenches still around many years after the 1971 war, garish sterilisation campaigns, and silent Emergency days, are some of his earliest childhood memories. Vikram is well-travelled, well-read and passionate about world history and is inspired by personal experiences of soldiers, spies and survivors of wars across the globe.
 Source :-  http://rakhijayashankar.blogspot.in/2016/01/kashmir-house.html

 Vikram Dhawan
 Thriller
 Leadstart Publishing, www.leadstartcorp.com
 2015
 Paperback
 210
 I received the book from Leadstart Publishing, Frog Books

Kashmir House is a fast paced thriller.   For a first time author,  Vikram Dhawan has done a remarkable job.

It is the first time I have ever read a book on Kashmir.  We keep hearing (atleast the rest of India) about the army,  terrorists, infiltrations, attacks about Kashmir.  But the news has been repeated so many times,  it just glazes past our consciousness.  And I am surprised why there is no book on the conflicts happening in Kashmir.  Perhaps,  the publishers are thinking about the economics of printing such a book.

I started the book expecting the displacement of the Kashmiri Pandits.  But,  the book is a true thriller.  It just happens to be set in Kashmir.   It could have been set in any conflicting region.  It shows how the people and especially the military on both sides of the border work and how the news is shown to the world.  It reinforces that any decision made for Kashmir,  will upset too many stakeholders including India, Pakistan, US, Russia, Middle East.  And therefore, the wishes of the people who live there is of no importance.

The book is one dimensional, completely focused on the issue of Kashmir House where genetic manipulations are being experimented on human beings.  I believe Vikram has a larger book in mind with Kashmir House being just a part of it.   The communication between the characters is shown in a different format unlike the typical ‘he said, she said’.  It helps to a certain extent to increase the pace of the book.  But,  it leaves out the many details of the characters like what is the expression on the face of the character, is he pained to make a certain decision? So, the rest of the scene needs to be imagined.  This could be a drawback to some readers.

I would recommend it as a good read for a thriller fan set in a different location.

Source :-   http://www.kaapitimes.com/2015/11/kashmir-house-bookreview/

Book Review: Kashmir House by Vikram Dhawan

War is a continuation of policy by other means.” – Clausewitz

Kashmir, described as a paradise on Earth has become one of the longest outstanding geopolitical conflict between two belligerent nations resulting in endless bloodshed, rise of terrorism, human rights violations, etc. It’s not that the conflict cannot be resolved if willed by those in power; however, it has become a golden goose for corrupt politicians, ISI, religious zealots to justify their relevance and therefore, ‘Like most geopolitical conflicts, Kashmir is held to ransom by a handful of individuals in positions of power, albeit without accountability to the people of Kashmir.

Using Kashmir as a backdrop where peace is transitory, Kashmir House narrates a story of disgruntled spies betrayed by the very nation they are ready to sacrifice their lives for, of a holocaust survivor who sells dangerous secrets for money, of a dangerous human experiment, of a brave new leader not guided by the traps of power and money and of a treacherous enemy who does not play by the conventional rules of war and fair-play. Beginning with an urban myth of ‘the sightings of weird soldiers’ whose very existence has become a taboo, the story moves to the inner power circles of Pakistan to the narrative of two soldiers who have been abandoned by their own nation, ‘The Indian Government, as a gesture of ill-advised goodwill towards Pakistan, compromised all its spies and secret agents operating within Pakistan. As always, the Pakistanis tricked us yet again, they went after our agents with vengeance, without bothering to inform India about their key agents operating here.’ However, in a nation where everyone has hidden agendas and their own interests, is it just naivety of a leader to trust an enemy known for its deceitfulness and duplicity or are there other factors that drive the leader to forsake their soldiers in a hostile enemy territory.

Narrated in a conversational style, the author tells the story of Kashmir from the viewpoint of the key players involved in the conflict, from the point of view of Pakistan who ‘…won this lottery…of being bang in middle of the most volatile region in the world’, from the viewpoint of Indian soldiers whose ‘…morale is hitting rock bottom, thanks to their bureaucrats and ministers’, from the point of view of a determined new leader who is ready to defy ‘the witches and wizards of Indian politics’ and an agnostic cleric who plays the role of a mediator between the corrupt politicians and the ISI. Against all this lies the Kashmir House, ‘A house of horrors, your worst nightmare, all sorts of impaired women and their children held against their will and subjected to experiments not even fit for guinea pigs.

Written as a political thriller, the story moves on a rapid pace and details the events from the viewpoint of different characters and also exposes the hidden motives and agendas that often guide the actions of those in power.

Although a work of fiction, it seems that the author has done an ample research to give the book a semblance of reality. In one of the interviews, the author has himself explained that the story has been weaved from ‘first-hand accounts from retired spies, bureaucrats, serving army officers, journalists,…Kashmiri friends, schoolmates and acquaintances’ who gave the author an unique understanding of the politics of Kashmir.

Despite having fast paced action and thrill, the ending of the book falls short when compared to the rest of the book; unlike conventional thrillers, the book leaves a lot of gaps and loopholes and question marks, it might be because the author is planning a sequel which might be great or because the author wants to leave the book open ended as the politics of Kashmir which is still unresolved. Either case, the book is a good read and gives a glimpse into the politics of Kashmir.

Title: Kashmir House

Author: Vikram Dhawan

Genre: Political Thriller

Publisher: Frog Books (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd)

Pages: 210 pages

Rating: 4/5

Buy it from: Amazon Flipkart

About the Author:

Born in the seventies, to parents whose families fled to India from Pakistan in 1947 after the Partition, Vikram Dhawan grew up in Northern India in the eventful 70s and 80s. Playing in the trenches still around many years after the 1971 war, garish sterilisation campaigns, and silent Emergency days, are some of his earliest childhood memories. Vikram is well-travelled, well-read and passionate about world history and is inspired by personal experiences of soldiers, spies and survivors of wars across the globe.

Source :-  http://rainingreviews.com/2015/11/26/book-review-kashmir-house-by-vikram-dhawan/