Turbulence by Samit Basu

There aren’t too many Indian authors who have written about Super Heroes. In fact as of now I cannot think of a single one who has. So one does tend to get a little sceptical when embarking to read an author who has written about Super Heroes in the Indian context. I love the heroes with super powers – the power to change the world and end all misery and that is why Heroes is one of my favourite shows on television. Having said that, for a book to become something more than just words and action sequences about how heroes use their powers, it needs to cross the boundary from being a binding of just words to something special. Turbulence by Samit Basu has crossed the boundary for me.

Turbulence as the cover is all shiny and new. It is about a plane crash, about a flight from London to Mumbai that leaves all its survivors with superpowers and it seems that someone is out to kill these novice super humans. Enter Aman Sen, an internet hacker who has made it his responsibility to save these heroes.

So while I thought the plot was great and the storyline had me captivated from the word, “Go” – there were times while reading the novel when I was bored and that happened only during the fight scenes. That could have been done away with to some extent with some more editing.

There would have to be favourites in this kind of a book and that is a given – from a kid who turns to a Ninja nightmare to Vir Singh who can now fly like a bird (he was a flight lieutenant) to Tia a housewife from Assam who can split into innumerable selves to my personal favourite Uzma Khan (read the book and you will know why is she my favourite).

All of us want to be super heroes. It has been everyone’s fantasy for sure and I am willing to put my money on that one. We all dream of wanting to be famous through our super powers though we do not want to admit it and that is also one of the subtexts of the novel.

The novel does not contain any jargon (thank god for that!!) and makes the storytelling simple. Anyone can read it. You can almost visualise what is happening in your head – it is almost like watching a film. The prose is racy and yes for the lack of a better word, I will say unputdownable. Basu is brilliant with this one. Please go ahead and read it. You will want more… (not saying it for the sake of saying it)…

Turbulence; Basu, Samit; Hachette India; Rs. 250

8 thoughts on “Turbulence by Samit Basu

  1. Ashish Kumar

    I finished reading turbulence yesterday. I partially agree with your review. The book had more potential, but it failed to completely utilise it. I got bored at several parts of the book, and for me, the book was very “putdownable” (I know that’s not a word). The major problem with the book was that it somehow lacked the thrill that should be in such a book. Also, it was easy to guess who the “mystery mob man” was (I guessed it when there were 100 pages to go).

    I have one general comment on your blog. You rarely give negative reviews. Since the last few months that I have been following your blog, I don’t recall coming across a negative review. Although I am very grateful to you because you encouraged me to read “magicians”, which I loved. But I am becoming sceptic of your reviews now, because there are just no negative ones. I find it hard to believe, that you like all the books you read, or that you never come across a bad book.


    1. thehungryreader Post author

      Hey Ashish,

      True that…it did lack the thrill, however it was a great read nonetheless….I rarely give negative reviews cos I rarely read bad books 🙂 I do not pick bad books. Simple.


  2. Ashish Kumar

    Good for you. My success rate in finding the books I like is around 40-50%. Wish there were more book review blogs.

      1. Ashish Kumar

        Thanks for the recommendation. I will keep it in mind for my next purchase. Currently I’m reading “In Cold Blood”- by Truman Capote, and I’ve got “little bee-Chris Cleave”, “under the dome-Stephen King”, and “the given day- Dennis Lehane”, queued up in my shelf.

      2. thehungryreader Post author

        Hey Ashish, where from are you in the country?
        I am planning to do a special on Classics…may be sometime soon….Love Capote….so raw and intense and yet wants to portray it beautifully…

      3. Ashish Kumar

        I’m in Mysore since past 2.5 years. Yes Capote is good. A special on Classics would be great. I know I have missed out on so many classics.

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