A twisted political satire baked with a hint of dark humour and handful of philosophy. Call Me Al: The Hero’s Ha-ha Journey made for a lip smackingly delicious treat better savoured slowly.
I took my sweet time with this 294 pages long thriller and it truly was a roller coaster ride! There are ten chapters and each chapter is from three points of view. Gregory’s, Altamaash’s, and Ned’s.
Reliving the same scenario in three different ways was not only refreshing but also gives us an opportunity to peek into what goes on in their respective minds. The concept of narration through spirits is commendable. Sheikh took the liberty of using deceased characters to relive the past of Altamaash along with the probable future of him and his homeland, Pakistan.
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Call Me Al: The Hero’s Ha-ha Journey Book Review
A bit of apocalypse was touched and explored but did not go all religious and I loved it.
The narration was as gripping as swift which made for a terrific read. The premise was extraordinary where the many versions of Al were being explored. How he ended up being called Al is also a story of its own. I loved the way conversations within conversations were taking place. Al speaking to himself and concluding stuff on his own was absolutely hilarious and was very life-like. Getting distracted was all too real!
The political scenario of Pakistan and UK were parodied and was absolutely new for me. How far one can go to attain political influence, Al can give you some pointers on that. I had almost 3 shawarmas while reading this one, because damn it, Sheikh made everything sound so delicious and juicy, I couldn’t resist myself from indulging in some fat dripping all sauced up meat and bread.
The very raw and very real thoughts of Al, Ned and Gregory went a long way in good character build-up along with their perception of the others. The crisp and meticulous planning done by Al to bring about the “biggest riot the world has ever witnessed” also tells us how planned and strategic, the writing has been.
All in all, this is one such read which I’d love to recommend to everyone and especially to those who have a political bent of mind.
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