In September 2014 blogadda conducted a game of blogs. Five characters and their descriptions were given to bloggers who were divided into thirty teams. The teams were to weave stories around the given characters. Six degrees is a compilation of the three winning stories. The stories -the awakening, entangled lives and missing- a journey within all belong to different genres and are unique.
I liked the awakening for its brilliant use of characters. All the characters get equal footage. The characters are well etched. The connection between the characters is well established. When it comes to utilization of the characters provided, this story stands out. The suspense builds up right from the first chapter. The story keeps you hooked. However towards the end it lands into Dan Brown’s territory and becomes a little insipid.
The second story entangled lives is a murder mystery. The maid servant at Dutta’s house is killed. By a strange stroke of coincidence all the characters land up at the Dutta residence at the time of murder. As a result all of them are suspected murderers. How the cop finds out the real culprit is an interesting tale to read. The story changes tones in many chapters. That affects the reading experience adversely. For example the cop Java has all his soliloquies in English. But in chapter 29, he suddenly speaks to himself in Marathi, that too incorrect Marathi. However the end of the story is absolutely brilliant. It is something different and unexpected.
We have read about the aliens and we have read murder mysteries. But missing- a journey within is really a different story. The story moves back and forward. However this appears to be unintended. The flash backs should have been gelled well. The story of missing Roohi, after a few chapters becomes the story of missing Cyrus. Some raw ends like about which Roohi was Dr. Phadnis talking about, why Cyrus wrote mission Roohi on a card are the things which are left to the reader’s imagination. Unfortunately no any clues are given for guessing the same. I would have loved if the writers had elaborated it. But still this story of a gay man is something different.
All the three stories are riveting reads. Once you lay your hands upon them, you will not put down the book until you have finished the story. But the book is poorly edited, which mars the reading experience. Line spacing between many words is missing. Apostrophe is typed as > instead of ‘. Even in conversations and is typed as &. I wish these mistakes could have been avoided. Yet I loved the book.
The publishers say that the readers will have to work out as to why the book is named six degrees. Though the blurb says that the teams were provided with five characters, when you count Aryan there are six characters common in all the stories. I guess it is because of these six characters which are common to all the stories, the book is named six degrees.