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Showing posts with label Oliver Lafont. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oliver Lafont. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: Warrior (by Oliver Lafont)

When it comes to fiction, I usually rate a book by the shortest possible time taken from start to completion. It boils down to a ratio like number of pages divided by the number of days. Anything that scores more than hundred is top dog. And it took me just 2.5 days to chow down the entire 375 pages on this one :):).

Coming to the storyline. An immortal son of Lord Shiva. The imminent End of Days. Space travel. A heavy does of quantum physics. And a rag tag team of soldiers facing an unknown enemy. Imagine the endless possibilities that can arise when one decides to throw all these components together into one heady cocktail. It can either make one land flat on one's face or one can end up with a sparkling read that is a sure shot winner. And trust me, this book falls into the latter category.

Oliver Lafont is a fine story teller. He adds elements of mythology, science, human emotions and heroism into the narration and yet does not allow these numerous elements slacken his grip at any point. The language is easy to grasp and yet at par with international authors. Since this is his debut novel, I would rate him to be much better than quite a few of his Indian contemporaries who are in the business of churning out one hopeless plot after another.

But at the same time, there are a few flawed bits. Some parts could have been left out or modified to add substance to the plot. For example, some of that banter between Saam and his girlfriend which lacks chutzpah, the meeting of the Peerless which looks contrived and even the first meeting with the geeky IIT professor which seems too gory without a proper reason. But then there are some bits like a parallel Kurukshetra war fought in another world (aka another dimension of time and space ) which make one wonder if the concept of good and evil are anything but absolute and need to be calibrated in terms of relativity. Nonetheless, this one slowly grows on you and keeps you captivated till the end.

This is a book that allows one's imagination to take a lot of wild twists and turns which may or may not be a good thing for some( personal preference ). Not going to spoil the suspense by revealing more of the plot. Grab a copy of this one and you won't regret it.

Buy it online from Amazon.

Do read the author's interview here .

[DISCLAIMER - A copy of the book was provided by the author's publicist but that has not influenced my opinion in any manner.]

Monday, March 30, 2015

Interview with Oliver Lafont ( Author of the mytholgical thriller 'Warrior' )

Yep. I am on a high these days. One after another good read keeps up in that uber utopic mood. It seems a mere coincidence that whatever I pick up is at least tinged with mythology if not entirely based on it. And that is why I readily agreed when I got the chance to interview the multi-talented Oliver Lafont and review his maiden publication 'Warrior'. In case you are wondering about the guy, he played the very cute ( but price tag flashing ) fiancee of Kareena Kapoor in 'Three Idiots' . I still get a 'LOL' when I think of his 300 dollar shoes :) !!!

Lafont is a multi-talented and versatile personality who not only writes fiction, feature film screenplays, and editorial pieces, but also acts in feature films, endorses some of India’s most popular brands on television, and lends his voice to many media in many languages ( the guy can speak fluent French, Hindi, English and Spanish ). A French polyglot, Lafont pursues his eclectic interests at the highest standards having worked with some of India’s most acclaimed directors on films like 3 IDIOTS, Guzaarish and two HOLLYWOOD films, and continuing in the same vein with his new novel coming out with Penguin India. He is a familiar face due to his work in over 70 adverts on television.

His novel ‘Warrior’ is a high octane, action-packed story that travels all over India and beyond. The hero, Saam, is an immortal warrior who is forced to come out of hiding in today’s Mumbai to pick up arms again and take to the road. His epic journey spans three days across an India torn by unnatural cataclysms, and even stranger lands. To bring back peace Saam must stoke his consuming hunger for war - but at what cost to himself? 

A truly 'unputdownable' book, it touches upon a plethora of elements like thrill, romance, mythology, friendship and even more. I would have happily sacrificed food and sleep for finishing all 375 pages in a single go had it not been for my hyper toddler. No wonder, the book was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia prize. 

Lafont seems to be a guy who really knows where he is headed to. Read on for his take on mythology, his passion and life in general -

Interview with Oliver Lafont 

Q. How much relevance do superheros hold in today's technology driven world ? Are you inspired by any superhero in particular ? 

A. Superheroes have always had relevance and importance. When I look at mythologies around the world, the gods and demigods and demons of yore are all, to me, the ancient expressions of today’s ‘Avengers’ and ‘Superman’. I don’t think technology will or could change that. I think humanity wants superheroes, wants examples of people who are extraordinary, whether they’re real or fictional, to inspire us to be extraordinary ourselves. 

I’m not inspired by any superhero in that sense, but I like Superman most. 

Q. Since you have churned out a book that draws heavily on mythology, I would like to know if you are just moving with the current trend ? Or is it something that fascinates you ? 

A. I’ve always read and written fantasy, from a very young age. When my family moved from France to India I was seven years old, and my introduction to Indian culture happened in part through reading about India’s fascinating mythology. I originally wrote ‘Warrior’ as a feature film script when I came back to India from university more than a dozen years ago, so that was before the trend you mentioned. Indian mythology has always been particularly  interesting to me because of its amazing multilayered qualities. 

Q. Why is the plot based out of Mumbai ? Is it simply because you are familiar with it or is there any other reason behind it ? Since the city has already captured the imagination of the global audience thanks to movies like Slumdog Millionaire, are you merely trying to capitalize on it ? 

A. I chose Mumbai because I consider it the most cosmopolitan and aspirational city in India. Saam, my hero in ‘Warrior’, has returned to Mumbai to lose himself in this populace, wanting to be as anonymous and ordinary as possible. At the same time since Mumbai is India’s most global city, the drama of cataclysmic events occurring here felt most poignant on that scale. As I mentioned earlier, I first wrote ‘Warrior’ as a feature film script in 2001, while ‘Slumdog Millionnaire’ came out in 2009. 

Q. How would you rate your Hindi on a scale of 1 to 5 ? Have you ever dubbed for any of your characters ? 

A. I didn't speak a word of Hindi when I returned to India after university, and it did seem a bit daunting initially. I started with the alphabet and taught myself the language, and I’m pleased to say 
that my acting work has never been dubbed, that the directors I’ve worked with have all kept my own voice. So I’d like to say, as a non-native speaker who did the best I could, a 4 out of 5. 

Q. As I am also a food blogger, I would like to know if you ever find the time to rustle up a meal for close friends or family ? If yes, what do you cook for them ? 

A. I don’t cook much, but I think I make a good batch of crepes. That always seems to make my family and friends happy! 

Q. You are an accomplished actor, screenplay writer and author. But if you had to pursue a single interest, what would it be ? 

A. All the things I do are, for me, different aspects of storytelling, so I’m already pursuing a single interest. I might create a graphic novel tomorrow, or design a video game next week, and it’s still the 
same single thing that I’ve been passionate about since my childhood. So that’s an easy answer: storytelling. 

Q. Do you plan on penning down another book ? If yes, will it be a sequel to the first one ? 

A. There’s no question that I’ll be writing more books. In fact I already have a couple other finished ones which are with agents and publishers. As to writing a sequel, there are some ideas, but for 
now I’m only focused on promoting ‘Warrior’.

Keep watching this space for the review !!! Meanwhile do check out the book trailer.

Updated - Check the book review here !!



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