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Book Review: Either Or Else Nor by Varun Gupta

‘Either Or Else Nor’ is not that book which anybody can savour so easily. You got to be persevering and have a ken for depths. For readers that love exploring something not so easily available, yet relevant to their life, must pick up this novella. The length of the novella is just over 100 pages, however, it psychologically stretches like a trilogy put together.


If not the entire story, but some or other part, in snatches, is relatable to everyone. We as people who in the glorious days of youth and revel of adulthood fall prey to love, lust, infatuation, crush, and of course in the back of our mind we have hedonistic desires on which we try to build ourselves so that we can triumph every obstacle. This is common – with that age. However, when we face the reality or falter or get rejected, things begin to alter. With time we learn to accept. Something similar or more than that is found in this novella.

Through the nameless characters, the author sweeps into our minds, as the story of two people chugs ahead through debate and assumptions and theories. Talking broadly about the book, we feel that the author tried to put that love is hollow. People cannot love each other for nothingness. There has to be materialistic substance i.e. power, money, fame, security and so on. To support this theory, the author involved various movie discussion, such as Notting Hill, Christian Bale movies, and so on.

The story is bit different than normal ones – a kind of narrative that breaks all the barriers of banality of narration. Readers will be thrown into a loop from time and again – especially at the end. The biggest obstacle is that characters are nameless and they try sounding resilient with their sweeps, but if more has been given about their present or past clearly, it could have been a lucid novella. Two people who meet after a gap of around ten years seem like best buddies of their prime youth. It is good that the author has balanced the novel characters – both sound disturbed protagonists – they seem like obsessed with life’s vagaries inflicted upon them. When they meet, they are on that soft thread which can make or break anytime. The issue is that they are not able to let go of the past nor they get hold of the future.

The argumentative ambience in the story is worth noting every word. Hope you will get the feel by reading the below excerpt.

He continued from where he had left and said, “You will agree I feel wronged by you?” She nodded, so am entitled to justice. Now in my eyes justice is three pronged. Firstly the damage to the aggrieved party should be restored at the earliest. We both will agree it is not possible as neither the time nor the wound could be healed. That takes us to the second aspect which is guilty party should be made to pay up sufficiently so that he or she doesn’t repeat the offence…”

By all means there is screaming in the novel that indicates that being hurt and ignored is that fire that can never be doused. Psychologically, there is something poignant and unspeakable about the novella. Varun has a good flair for writing. Hope he will come up with more subjective novels in the future, than the heavy ones.

The book is available on Amazon India.

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