Author: Zoran Drvenkar
Translated from German by: Shaun Whiteside
Price: Rs 299
I didn’t pick “SORRY” up from the crime section in the book store. I picked it up from the New Arrivals section and honestly it was the cover that attracted me… not even the synopsis quoted in the back cover!
SORRY is a tale of four friends Kris, Tamara, Frauke and Wolf who come up with an estranged idea of opening an agency that apologizes for other’s mistake for a reasonable payment… the agency being aptly named as SORRY. The book begins with the four of them being tossed about in the regular upheavals of a commoner’s life. Unsatisfied with their jobs, family problems, and all the other scheduled frustrations… they realize people do not have enough guts to apologise for their own mistakes and decide to turn it into a money-making business. A simple idea that leaves them swimming in cash as their agency becomes an overnight success.
All this fame is young still when they get a call from their next client – A psychotic murderer who threatens them to apologize to the dead body of his victim. Standing face to face with a brutally murdered woman, whose corpse has been left nailed to the wall, the four friends realize that their life has just entered a hellish phase… and that is where the story begins.
Who is the killer? Why did he kill her? Someone is out there… someone sinister who is mocking them for playing God… and hell is just the beginning… and that is all that I will reveal.
As for the review, SORRY is an exceptional book but at the same time it might NOT be for everyone… It challenges all the known facets of narrating a story. The author, Zoran Drvenkar breaks all conventions of writing… this book follows a completely new and wonderful style of narration which keeps jumping from third person perspective to second person and even to first person perspective. The complicated minds of otherwise simple seeming people are very effectively exposed by this form of writing. This bold experiment in narration can be quite confusing to an unskilled reader but even such a reader will gradually understand the flow of the book.
The book reflects upon psychology of guilt and atonement and interlaces it delicately with other social issues which the author just touches delicately but is smart enough not to go lecturing into.
The author plays a deadly interesting game with the readers and the protagonist. It is not unlike the books where the revelation is sudden and shocking. This one is more delicate and graceful. What is most interesting is the pace of the plot. This is an extremely fast paced book but most strikingly you are not driven to turn to the next page just to find out what will happen. Instead you get carried away and are enthralled in the darkness that the book emanates. It lifts you and you flow with the narration without even realizing how and when you move ahead in the plot, giving the book a more relaxed pseudo-feel to it.
On a final note… SORRY is not just original, dark and deeply engrossing… it is a piece of art.