Friday, April 19, 2013

ചോരശാസ്‌ത്രം - V J James

The title was confusing. I took it for 'the science of blood' instead of 'The science of Theft'. V J James' claim to fame was the winning the award, during the D C Book's silver Jubilee novel competition. I have no previous reading experience of James.  The book and its overall approach was impressive ( reading the blurb) and hence decided to buy this and read. To his credit, this was a good attempt. However a theme like this is too thin for a long novel. The thief ( unnamed and called the thief through out) learned the trick of opening locks without the use of any device, but with the look ( concentrated gaze perhaps). A trick taught to him by an old retired professor, who chanced upon an old manuscripts on "theftology" or the art and science of theft. The professor wanted a disciple with whom he can experiment the learning of scripture and our hero fallen for the clever trap set up by the prof. To cut the tale short, he learned the trick and grew in stature as a thief and as a result in wealth.

On successful completion of the training, the professor presented him with a 14th century coin of the king, who from then on was a silent witness and companion to his crime. So much can  be said that the 'king' is the lucky charm of the thief. It did not take long for him to get his own disciple. A silent boy, who treat him as God, and leanred smaller tricks and provided ample assistance to the thief during his exploits. However, the thief was clever enough , not to teach the technique of opening of the locks to the apprentice. The rest is predictable,as the initial excitement paved way to greed  and the accumulated wealth needed protection. When you had nothing with you, the entire town's wealth was yours, but now that you own something of your own, you need to protect them. Suspicion and distrust became the way which in the end resulted in his downfall.

Apart from a clever idea, it is not supported by any greater story or a build up. Few interesting characters and swift story telling apart, this does not have much to talk about. Having said that, there are moments of brilliance in his writing.  Short and quick read, probably has limited scope for a good short story.
ചോരശാസ്‌ത്രം (2002)

V J James

D C Books

108 Pages

1 comment:


good ,,adefferent novel