‘Low’ is Jeet Thayil’s new book and an exploration of the yearning for oblivion.
The story follows an Indian poet named Dominic Ullis whose wife has recently died of suicide. On a whim he takes her ashes to Mumbai to immerse them and while there he tries to deal with his grief by gorging on every substance he can get. He discovers a drug called meow meow and rides on it’s high too.
While the premise seems simple, the genius of the book is in the execution. Every musing thought Ullis thinks draws the reader in, as we follow him stumbling though Mumbai, while on more meow meow(sometimes mixed with other drugs) and taking advice from addicts on how to best enjoy it.
The book is not just about his high, but, as the title suggests, his lows and the thoughts they bring. The book explores the way some are drawn to the peace of oblivion through substances or even suicide. It’s an interesting commentary on grief, life and death.
- Title: Low
- Author: Jeet Thayil
- Genre: Fiction
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Price: 599 INR
- Pages: 320
How critics view the book:
“Like traversing a traffic-clogged Indian sprawl in the midday heat, drug and alcohol blowouts are notoriously enervating: Low offers vicarious kicks without the comedown,” writes Rob Doyle for The Guardian.
“Thayil’s prose is precise and poignant. He is among the most innovative fiction writers of Indian English,” writes Ashutosh Bhardwaj in the Financial Express.
Source : indiatimes