17 April, 2021

Cast Of Caricatures

It is easy to suspect that the cartoonist is only playing with his readers, using caricatures instead of characters, and lurid stage sets instead of a plot.

Cast Of Caricatures
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Cartoonist Ravi Shankar Etteth's tale of blood and widows opens with a locked-room murder at the Madagascar embassy in New Delhi. Enter crime-connoisseur Jay Samorin, soon to be joined by supercop and widow, Inspector Anna Khan. En route to their inevitable coupling, we learn about the orphaned Samorin's early martial arts training, his vamp-angel widowed Aunt Savitri and his childhood-nemesis-turned-millionaire-painter, Dhiren Das. The conclusion features ancient vice, dastardly plots, chess-players, yet more widows and a fosa.

More typically spelt "fossa", this shy Malagasy carnivore is symptomatic of what's best and worst about Etteth's second book. The exotic touches—unorthodox love bonds, weird murder tactics, dangerous leopard-sized pet—make it almost worth reading. But just as the fossa, a relative of the mongoose, is inaccurately referred to as a "cat" throughout, there's a looseness with words and ideas that blunts the edge of reality. It is easy to suspect that the cartoonist is only playing with his readers, using caricatures instead of characters, and lurid stage...

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