BOOK REVIEW OF- Psycon
By Varun T
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Notion Press, Inc.; 1 edition (25 April 2017)
THE PLOT IN BRIEF-
Hailing from the small town of Satna with humble beginnings, Varun has come a long way by establishing a prominent name for himself in the FMCG space. Varun’s professional stints are replete with awards of recognition but his heart has always been in the literary space since his association with Guts & Glory, a book published by SIBM Pune in association with Rupa Publication. Now, he longs to write about the complex interplay of societal norms and self-interest, redefining the demarcations between good and evil, in a world driven by propaganda, where truth is never absolute and public perception is the king. A die-hard fan of the honourable Prime Minister of India and a keen observer of the evolving political environment in the country, he has dared to challenge the existing notions of the society with his endeavor: PSYCON. The book does not merely scratch the surface of societal evils like black money and corruption but also rips apart the draconian system, under which such evils prospered and became the accepted norm. The royalty earned by the author from this book will be donated to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
The title itself displays the essence of politics and thriller which is entangled with the plot. In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. Keeping this pivotal point in mind, the author creates several sub plots which relates to thrill and finally amalgamates the presence of politics and suspense. The title is enough to make you question that what looked like morning was the beginning of endless night
REVIEW OF THE BOOK-
I’ve always been suspicious of the assumption that great intelligence would be an unqualified benefit— that the madness that so often accompanies it can be cavalierly dismissed. So I asked the question: Suppose there were an entire subpopulation of extreme geniuses, well beyond anything that would occur naturally. What would that really look like? The book beautifully weaves the plot keeping Prateek Subramaniam and Yashwardhan as the protagonists. Travelling through various sub plots like the monetary equations, political pressures and the diplomatic affairs, the first part of the book is apt for the backdrop of the entire plot. It is only on the battlefield of ideas that the best ones can be recognized and ultimately prevails. It unpacks the idea that only those afraid of the truth seek to silence debate, intimidate those with whom they disagree, or slander their ideological counterparts. Those who know they are right have no reason to stifle debate because they realize that all opposing arguments will ultimately be overcome by fact.
The second half of the book shifts the focus from politics to a thriller. Technos and clerics have much in common. Both take a world that can’t be fully understood and try to explain its fundamental properties. Clerics postulate beliefs that can never be proven; they demand you accept these postulates as your Faith, which will guide your actions and thoughts. It’s a top down way of thinking; start with the big picture and derive rules for living. Fundamental knowledge is static. Even the derived rules rarely change. Technos work from the bottom up. They build a baseline of observations and formulate theories to explain these phenomena. Nothing is sacred; with new observations, theories are discarded or modified to fit the facts. Technos and clerics; how could they not be in conflict? The idea of the conflict happens to be a ajor turn in the plot, since it changes the direction to a more intense and a background filled with revenge. In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else’s mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one’s own place and economy. In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers… Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else’s legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed? The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth – that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighbourhood, and community – and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means. Varun T has beautifully crafted the book keeping friendship, family, society and the entire world in place, diplomatically oscillating between the political and the technological point of view.
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4 stars out of 5
Originality of the plot and sub plots- 7/10
Net emotions in the story- 8/10
Usage of words and phrases-8.5/10
The title, cover and the illustration-8.5/10
The net impact on the readers- 8/10
About the Author