While living books are those that engage readers into following the content included with a pretext of general curiosity, ‘Society, Suspicious’ carves its niche by factoring in as an alive book. Yes, you read that right. A literary piece that is not bound to the words on the paper or the screen but almost a conversation or a narration between a character from the 1980s or so reminiscing a life anecdote to the point where one cannot question its validity for it fetches no answer. All that is possible is to stop, read, think, and listen. Reaction? Optional.
Calling out American bigotries with politics for a start, the nature and psychology of the narrator seem to hang by a string at the edge of Sanity Alley. The identity, however, is apparent to the rock fans immediately of the latter half of the 20th century. The Lizard King. In a quite relative take on tiring off fame, the readers’ eyes tend to bulge out at the swap life from a dying alley man to this celebrity star. But the humour behind it follows when the author points out that France can be a wise, white-haired woman (without the intentional jab at the wig couture) compared to the juvenile America when it comes to leaving personal boundaries of its people, alone. Prendre note, Amérique.
Wanderlust of the soul, the soul of Jim Morrison, add two and two and it gives you the diverse palette of experiences, travels, theories, mysteries and episodes that the book is built on. While it can range from a buzz read to all our short-attention span friends that get distracted by a single buzz to our committed readers, the cover-to-cover sailors, the word ‘genre-bending’ is not lightly imposed on the book. The author intentionally curves the readers’ flow along a pretzel to ostracise the thinkers from the doers. Although the bridge with the most scenic view comes from the blend of these two, who live life on the edge.
In other words, or word, the book can just be classified as tattling, which is confessed to in the initial stages of the book itself. Does that make you laugh? Yes. Does that make you want to not read it? Definitely not. The formerly dead, music idol that extracts revenge from the “narcissistic America” leaves no stone unturned by making us question whether we, as a species, are political divided or people divided. Although the verdict passed in the book is of the latter, it does sound similar to did the trees shake or did the wind blow first. One can merely act as a fuel to the other. Prompting the so-called sovereign nation to bask in the light of the future, the author has avoided the stigma of political philosophy and taken to a political satire instead.
Characters like Lisa and Gan Genghis bring ironical humour yet questionable morale to the paralegal mind of the narrator creating a symposium in the readers’ mind about debatable decisions taken. A cornered mind is either the best fighter or the worst leader.
Another anecdote brings light to the rising concept of a “victim hero” that gains more empathy, compassion, and fame than the two individual words separately. While the role comes into play during a heist incident orchestrated by the narrator himself, the survival choices gain 10x support than the right choices, should he have chosen the latter. This brings a painful insight what we as a society are embodying today yet not one has the courage to embrace it publicly.
Hitting all the right marks, one cannot expect religion to be out of the debate now would they? “We could plan a murder, or start a religion” is a famous quote by the American player himself. By the end of it, one might wonder about the exact drawn lines between religion, cult and believe it or not, a government! The similarities are uncanny especially between the cult and government. Took us two World Wars to analyse it though. The poem under this shows the power of incitement into the latent culture, a foreshadowing of what is to come later in the book.
An interesting play follows in the chapter of ‘Jesus is a Competitor’. If the title does not ensnare one’s attention, what follows surely will. While the main debate is between the Buddha and Jesus, footnotes cannot go unnoticed on other participants like Gandhi and Hari Krishna but what brawls out more humour is the interventions of Michael Phelps and Muhammed creating a controversial whisp of ideals shrouded in blasphemy. Talk about a scandal in the 20th century show.
We. Me. Cue the kinaesthetic senses. Adding on to stream of judgement and rebalancing truth over idolatry emphasis among the others in the American fascism, the author leads to the question where the ‘we’ used in speeches, promises, political opinions is simply a reflection of ‘me’ in the rear. A heavy weighing question/accusation that one simply cannot ignore. Like the 6-day inmate story or the Roy Cohn’s Protégé, sarcasm and crude callout of the definition of the law surmises the reader’s cognitive response to such ephemeral instances that in fact, have long-lasting scars on the evolution spectrum in itself. How would one call upon this feral, primitive self-explanatory book out in the open? Another beautifully worded description in the book goes as follows – “Part mystery, part soul, part poetry, part truth, part angry, part preacher, part teacher, part mentor, part tormentor, part comedy, part journalism, part confession, part conspiracy”. Each of these parts have parcels of their own waiting to be unravelled.
While the chaos in the book is self-addressed between the various takes in narration, rivalries, showdowns, angst and depravity connotate from these observations enlisted where the poem of ‘&I Ask’ foreshadows again by reiterating the phrase “is everybody in?” three times, weighing in one of each word separately each time altering the weight of the question completely. This socio-political commentary giving conspiracy theorists a run for their money culminates on 01.06.2021 that can only be read further on to decode.