The Atlas of Reds and Blues Book Review: Brutally honest, narratively truthful

Still she follows him and watches from afar, so she can make a story out of it one day. While in the basement, her hero decides aloud that he doesn’t like her jotting down everything he says, likes it even less that she’s writing a story about him, about the kids, about their life in Southern white-sheeted suburbia.

Above paragraph from The Atlas of Reds and Blues (page 182) best describes author Devi Laskar and her attempt to keep readers connected with the plot all throughout. Unlike many novelists, the author has adopted a direct approach by touching upon the life changing tragedy where the central character lies bleeding on her driveway after been shot by police.

As a reader from time to time, you are introduced to various shades of emotion like fear, anger, pain, anguish and so on — part of which is connected to the past and some responsible for the happenings in future. What remains in the present, is constantly changing complexities of one’s existence.

Along with characters coming in and moving out, the author has tried her best to keep up with the flow and plot of the story. At times, just one sentence on the entire page, leaving most of the space blank does bring in a thought of sheer waste of paper.

Nevertheless, as a reader when you connect that one single sentence with the last paragraph of previous chapter or with the first of the following one, you realise it was not done only to increase number of pages but had a definite purpose and role to play.

The Atlas of Reds and Blues undoubtedly makes an interesting read if read with minimal breaks or intervals. Don’t be surprised, if you go back couple of pages only to connect with the one you are about to read. It can happen more than once. After all, between the Reds and Blues, there are several colours of life, which you as a reader would not like to miss.

Book: The Atlas of Reds and Blues

Author: Devi S Laskar

Publisher: FLEET (Hachette India)

Pages: 258; Price: Rs 550