When I teased an excerpt from this book earlier this week, I mentioned that the book was about the relationship between a boy and his father. I was a bit hasty in slotting the book in that way, because it turns out that it isn’t so much about a father-son relationship, but it’s more like the protagonist’s relationship with himself.
Sounds intriguing? Read on.
About the Book
Struggling through a troubled and painful childhood, Sohrab is cursed with an enormous gift: the ability to read and influence the minds of those around him.
Armed with this powerful knowledge, he embarks on a remarkable journey that takes him across the world. Though he finds immense success, he is forever torn between good and evil. Unable to find peace with his alter ego, Sohrab is destined to destroy all that he has created in his tumultuous life – fame, love and adulation.
In a fascinating story that spans five decades and takes us from the foothills of the Himalayas to the dubious by-lanes of Paris and the mysterious yet hauntingly beautiful countryside in the Hungarian Urals, The Mask Diaries will make you confront your own masks, the ones that remain hidden beneath your smiles and tears.
~ Synopsis from goodreads
This book is pretty interesting – not so much for the story, but because of the spiritual/existential take on life that is conveyed through the story. In style, it is similar to any of Paulo Coelho’s works, where a thin storyline exists as a wrapper for a detailed exploration into the human psyche.
In The Mask Diaries, the focus is on the mask that people wear to protect themselves from getting hurt – a mask composed of pride, anger, and indifference. The protagonist Sohrab has a traumatic childhood – motherless, a distant father, and bullied at school. Until one day, he suddenly realizes that he can put on a mask – a mask that projects an aura of confidence, and that he can use to distance himself from the world.
Initially, the mask helps him out in sticky situations, but soon the mask begins to take on a sinister persona, and overwhelms Sohrab’s true personality.
When Sohrab – the successful adult magician falls in love, he is torn. How can he fight the evil intentions of the mask? Will he be able to throw off his mask to enjoy a happy life with his beloved? Turns out the mask has different intentions altogether. And to learn whether Sohrab gets his happy ending or not, well, you have to read the book.
This is a book I recommend for the unique nature of the story. A lot of philosophical issues are discussed in the story in depth. This book is short ~ 200 pages, but it packs a punch in the story it tells.
Definitely a must read if you are looking for a meaningful book to read. This book will leave you introspective and a little more thoughtful about the mask you present to the world.
Cause let’s face it, we all wear some sort of mask in our day-to-day world.
Huge thanks to the publishers for sending a copy of this book for review consideration.