In a world of its own.
Few pages into the book, you will realise you’re tricked. By the ghostly apparition on the cover. By the title. This is not the ghost story you signed up for. Picking a book by not reading about it, doesn’t seem a brilliant idea all of a sudden.
But you resist. Not for resistance sake, but for the fact that it’s a long train journey and your Kindle’s not charged and the co-passengers aren’t exactly the interesting strangers you’ve seen in movies. You start getting closer to Nick, the protagonist, a dotting grandson, a could-be-better husband, a should-be-better father. You learn about his struggles to keep his disjointed family together along with waiting (almost impatiently) for his 101-year old grandfather to breathe his last.
Another World is about old wounds and how it trickles through time to haunt the present. It is unflinching in the way it tackles uncomfortable themes like sibling rivalry. Yet gentle enough in its wait for the deathbed to lay smooth. It equates time to a fluid coagulating around moments of deep pain. And that’s when you realise that the real horrors don’t lie in levitating bodies and evil spirits. It is when you confront truths you’re trying hard to run away from.
By the time you flip the last page, you are sedated by the words and like an addict, want more of it. In a ghost story, where the ghost just makes a guest appearance, you guess that’s a job well done.
“The past is gone. It is the present tense that ambushes me.”
“Suppose time is not an ever rolling stream, but something more viscous and unpredictable, like blood.”