April 18, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Farce and the furious

1 min read

ShovonChowdhuryIndrajit Hazra reviews The Competent Authority by Shovon Chowdhury in The Outlook

When I started reading this, dimly aware that it’s a satirical novel, someth­ing was amiss. As signs of a comic opera on a futuristic India began to unf­old, I realised that if I swivel my brain round to read it as a work of comic science fiction, a kind of Alfred Bester minus the space-jumps and a Douglas Adams with the nerdy existentialism rep­­­­laced by dorky social realism, this was a fanatically fantastic book that uses our relationship with national news headli­nes and prime-time television as ingredients for a romp-’n-tweaked Great India Novel.

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