Author: Sandeep Gautam
Price: $10.80 for Print, $2.5 for downloads.
Can be directly ordered through Sandeep @ Rs. 300/-
One of my favorite genre of books is philosophical fiction, and the latest in the genre I read “The Sculptor and The Sandman” by Sandeep Gautam.
The book was a different experience all together; it was a mixture of different components that formed the backbone of the book. The strong and relevant philosophy is loosely intertwined with a story set on the Dwarka beach between a coconut vendor, a sculptor and a sandman. The best thing about the book is that it opens up a multiple stream of thought and gives you enough space for imagination to ponder over.
I focused on three philosophical thought lines pursued by the author, first being the contrasting economics with the blind passion of an artist. The age old battle between the creativity and the economics of it with the stark contrast of the two, done beautifully by the author with Sculptor and his economics and market dynamics vis-à-vis sandman struggling hard to find sanity amidst his Roark like talent.
The Second line being the politics & vested interests that the author highlights by creating a closed net amidst the characters with mutual benefits, self interest leaving the passionate Sandman out. The guilt associated with the pursuing the material benefits subduing the greater principles and ethics, has been also accounted and portrayed to root the philosophy with the real world.
The third line subtly touches that how destiny makes it equal and fair in a long run. Though not in the way one would have expected to it, the justice from the destiny is rather highlighted in a way which is more like on your face approach towards writing making the reader realize the irony caste by the destiny and how fate is a key factor determining the results of life’s contests.
Though the strands of philosophy are beautifully mixed, the book leaves the reader incomplete in two areas. The characters in the story fail to connect with the reader, like may be the seagull does. The reader fails to understand the motives which are driving the philosophy.
Secondly the though the author has picked up some areas which touch the chord with the reader philosophically but still the lack of emphasis on outlining the details to the reader and connecting the story to the real world situations. The overall relevance of a real world dynamics omnipresent in the first half of the book, but somehow as the philosophical angle begins to delve deeper, the connect between the eludes the reader.
Summary- A very decent book to read if you enjoy reading the Philosophy & fiction genre. Not a long drawn time consuming marathon read, but a quickie philosophical bite with some good insights. Given this being the first from the author the book has fresh and a different perspective but lacks the finesse of the seasoned writers of the genre. The one drawback of the book or publisher I felt is the book is very steeply priced especially in the light that the bestsellers in the same genre like Bach’s Jonathan Living Stone Seagull are priced way lower.
Rating: 2.25/5 (Pick if you like the Genre)
Ps. Sandeep Gautam, the author for this book is also an avid blogger on cognitive and developmental psychology. You can read his insights here.