Title : TOKE
Language : English
Author : Jugal Mody
Genre : Fiction
Publisher : HarperCollins ( 2012 )
ISBN-13 : 9789350293409
ISBN-10 : 9350293404
Binding : Binding Paperback
Price : Rs. 160 ( Buy from Flipkart.com for Rs. 132/- ( 17% Off )
Pages : 224
The Book Summary : So Lord Vishnu showed up one morning when I was really stoned and asked me to save the world from turning undead. How did I save the world? I didnt. We did. And while saving the world, I got to forcefully kiss the girl of my dreams. Many times. My best friends got to smoke a lot of good shit. A lot more than they would have otherwise smoked in that much time. They also got to crash an airplane into a slum outside Santacruz airport. But dont worry, there were only zombies around when that happened. We were joined in our quest by two Japanese girls who can kill people with their pinkies, one of whom forcefully kissed Danny. Yes, there was a lot of non-consensual kissing in this adventure. With tongue. Hi. Im Nikhil. This is my story. And I swear I have a T-shirt to prove it.
My Point of View ( P.O.V ) : This is a story of an average, ordinary working guy named Nikhil Parmar ( a software engineer ), who is perhaps someone you'd meet or bump into someplace, any day. At home he is nagged at daily by his parents, and at work his supervisor is over-demanding and constantly finding faults. Nikhil is unpretentious, has a really whacky sense of humor, is lazy, doesn't really like his job and to add to his dismay is loaded with bundles of responsibilities as well. But he is stoned most of the times. One day, he meets up with his old college buddies and gets on a high 'smoking pot' - and that's when he meets Vishnu ( God ), who appears before them and gives a 'purpose' in their life. The book is unusual and very fresh, quite different from the other clutter of books found flooding the market these days, and that essentially is its USP. It is unconventional. With mythology/religion added into this story of the usual, modern-day dude, it's bound raise our curiosity level many folds as well, specially when the mythological character is so unlike the typical image that we carry in our minds ( thanks to the comics we've read about them in school or the T.V serials that we've seen while growing up, so far ). Vishnu - the mythological representation is a cool 'hep' dude ( I somewhat have a secret crush on him now ), in a ultra-modern avatar. He dresses in an uber-cool rocking style, loves marijuana, and is plain hilarious. His 'apsaras' are the dancing blondies.
Already having a rather low sense of responsibilities, the protagonist is then given a humongous task by Vishnu, of saving the world from destruction ( an upcoming apocalypse ), when entire humankind will be turned into robot-like zombies and the skies will become green, by a maggoty virus. Its thus a race against time, with only 72 hours given for the job. And to do this massive task, he has only his friends/colleagues as allies, two from college ( Danny and Aman, both stoned ) and two from work ( he has a secret crush on his colleague, Suparna, whom he has no courage to speak to or tell his feelings, while the other, Alok is a geek ). There are two other girls ( japanese twins ) with impressive fighting and sword handling skills, in this mission as well ( both of them by the way, in turn, are smitten by his two college friends ). All of them are given the 'helping push' by the mythological characters ( i.e Vishnu, Shiva etc whole lot of others ), but the ultimate task of saving the world finally, rests on their shoulders and they have to do it on their own. Interestingly, the marijuana 'pot' is used as a vehicle to reach Vishnu, and all characters in the book are quite 'stoned' throughout.
The story moves fast, funny and though there are lots of imaginary stuff going on ( that includes many unexpected twist and turns, the fight of good vs evil and vice versa etc ), the author has smartly put in the effort to create the plots in such a manner, that you enjoy it thoroughly, even though you may not be entirely convinced about them. Sometimes the 'stoned-out' scenes can be quite over-dramatic too, without any logic and over the top, that goes off-track a bit from their initial 'mission' as well, which they get back into in a haste, towards the end. The characters however are quite believable and relatable too, on many accounts ( especially the office events that are easily identifiable ).
What with the rescue button, video conferences with God, talking crow and many more insane things going on, this rather short book is ideal for a quick leisure read. It'll surely make you laugh ( a lot ) and forget the usual hum-drums of life for a while. I'm not sure what genre to describe the book as - because it has ingredients of sci-fi, thriller, fantasy, mythology, humour all mixed into a heady potion called 'Toke'. Read it to believe it. For those caught up in the busy, competitive chaos or mundaneness of corporate life, this book is an ultimate escape to a crazy, fantasy world for a relief of sorts.
Positives : Well sketched characters with witty, humorous and lucid writing style, makes it for an easy and fun read. The story is indeed fresh and not run-of-the-mill sorts. However, I must warn readers that there is an over use of the F-word throughout the book, which might not be palatable for all. Highly recommended who loves sheer, senseless adventures. It'll make a great movie or comic book too.
Negatives : None.
Who will enjoy this? - Everyone!
Buy or Don’t Buy? – A Must Buy!
About the Author : Jugal Mody believes in fiction. Before handling web and social media for Filmfare and Tehelka, he worked in gaming. As a rule, he only writes to feel like a dog sticking its head out the window of a moving car. This is his first book. https://www.facebook.com/TokeANovel
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