Vikram Paralkar

Författare till Night Theater

3 verk 199 medlemmar 15 recensioner

Verk av Vikram Paralkar

Night Theater (2019) 162 exemplar
The Afflictions (2014) 35 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Mumbai, India
Pennsylvania, USA
medical researcher



A bitter, misanthropic doctor, exiled in disgrace to a government-run clinic in a small village, deals with a corrupt and frustrating bureaucracy both in this world and in the afterlife. Very bleak and existential, with a glimmer of hope, but nowhere near the bright ending of “a greater understanding of life's miracles” that the book description led me to believe.
Charon07 | 11 andra recensioner | May 29, 2023 |
Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I borrowed this on audiobook from the library.

Thoughts: This was an odd little audiobook that I threw on my TBR list because of some list somewhere about books with intriguing older protagonists. This wasn't bad it was just weird and a bit slow at points.

The story is about a surgeon in India who is struggling to help a very small town with their medical problems because of a lack of funding and support from the government. Then a dead family wanders into his clinic late at night. The father of the family has made a deal with an angel and if the surgeon can fix their wounds before dawn they will be reborn but forever trapped in this town.

This story has a couple of pretty good twists and turns. Much of the story is descriptions of meticulous medical procedures being done to try and save the dead family; which was kind of interesting but also a bit too much. The story jumps back in time as well to show us how this surgeon ended up in this small town.

I thought it was fine. The narrator does a decent job but his Indian accent does get heavy at point and was a bit hard for me to understand when there was a lot of background noise. It's not something I would read again, and it wouldn't be on my top books to recommend. However, it was interesting enough to listen to while I was decluttering the house, folding laundry, and doing some yard work.

My Summary (3.5/5): Overall this was an odd little story that I didn't really love or hate. There are some intriguing parts to the story but the meticulous descriptions of the medical procedures take away from the story some and add a heavy gory element. I did enjoy the ending quite a bit. So, mixed feelings on this one.
… (mer)
krau0098 | 11 andra recensioner | May 25, 2023 |
The intriguing premise is what drew me to this novel. Sadly, despite having all the elements for something exciting, philosophical, spooky, or moving it delivered nothing.

A wrongly disgraced surgeon has moved from the big city to a tiny clinic in a small rural village. He is cold and dispassionate where his patients are concerned and mostly disgusted with how his life has turned. He is short tempered and patronising with patients and his assistant at the clinic.

One night a family comes calling at the clinic needing his assistance. A teacher, his pregnant wife, and their young son have been brutally attacked and have, in fact, been killed. The wounds that they died from must be mended before sunrise when they are expected to be given new life.

Wow! That sounds amazing, right? Yeah. That's what I thought. But fml this was an absolute slog. I fell asleep half a dozen times while reading and the book isn't even very long. This really should have been a short story. Somehow the author managed to take a bunch of interesting elements and create an absolute snoozefest.

Honestly, reading this felt like coming out of anesthesia. I was groggy and irritable and just wanted to get out of there.
… (mer)
Jess.Stetson | 11 andra recensioner | Apr 4, 2023 |
In a run-down clinic at the outskirts of a rural Indian village, a once-successful surgeon is bringing what remains of his career to an unassuming end. Saheb, as the villagers respectfully call him, tries to do his job decently, despite lack of facilities, a sorely limited budget, stifling bureaucracy and institutionalised corruption. As for assistance, he must make do with an untrained pharmacist and her handyman husband. But he is soon to face his biggest challenge yet. One night, a young family – father, pregnant mother and infant son – present themselves at the clinic, suffering from horrific injuries inflicted by a band of bandits. It was a savage attack and no one could possibly survive the wounds they show the doctor. In fact, the would-be patients are dead, allowed to return to Earth by a friendly official of the afterlife. There’s one problem though – at dawn, blood will once again course through their veins. In the course of one long night, the doctor must successfully complete three complex surgeries, not to save the living, but to resurrect the dead.

The dead tend to haunt ghost stories and horror fiction. Vikram Paralkar’s Night Theatre (originally published in India as The Wounds of the Dead) is neither of the two. Its horrors, if any, lie in the detailed surgical descriptions (Paralkar is a hematologist-oncologist and, presumably, speaks from experience) and in the quasi-existential sense of futility instilled by the evident moral failure of society. If pressed to classify the novel, I would describe it as a work of magical realism. Indeed, despite its fantastical premise, it feels strangely plausible, its plot driven forward by an inherent logic. By a happy irony, Paralkar manages to use a surreal tale as a vehicle for social critique. At the same time, the otherworldly elements provide a springboard for ruminations about death and the meaning of life.

I must say that the book’s blurb intrigued me, but little did I expect to discover a little literary gem. By turns tragic, darkly comic and ultimately moving, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can’t recommend it enough.
… (mer)
JosephCamilleri | 11 andra recensioner | Feb 21, 2023 |


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