Category Archives: Reviews The Other Side

An Author Career

Sometimes it is time to look back. For me it is normal life but some say it is an author career.

Faraaz Kazi in interview with infibeam

Faraaz Kazi, the Writer Who Put Indian Romance Fiction on World Map, Talks about His New Book, Love and More

“With Truly, Madly, Deeply, esteemed writer Faaraz Kazi, made a stunning début and how! Kazi went on to win the 2013 National Début Youth Fiction Award and received the YCOF National Excellence award in Creative Writing. He is also first Indian author to have won coveted ‘Best Début (Romance)’ title at the international Goodreads choice awards.

His book Truly, Madly, Deeply, won him the tag of being called the ‘Nicholas Sparks of India.’ So far, it is the only Indian book to have been nominated in 7 categories at the Goodreads choice awards. It is also the only Indian book to feature in the ‘Top 100 YA Global Fiction’ list.

Kazi is a fellow member of the prominent ‘Film Writers Association of India.’ He is a three-time post graduate and also a certified soft-skills trainer. In addition, Kazi is the founder and CEO of DigiImprint Solutions, India’s first exclusive promotional agency for authors and artists. He is a well-known personality in literary fraternity and on social media.”

Read the whole interview here:
http://blog.infibeam.com/2015/02/faraaz-kazi-author-interview

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Love is in the air

And now LOVE is officially in the air!
Felt proud to finally hold the book in my hand. 🙂

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Love by Faraaz Kazi

Content:

From a man who lives in his past overhearing the whispers of the present to a woman who rescues dying souls through her blessed aura. From a little boy who must realize the truth of his life so that he can face the fears of the future to a pair of lovers who are reborn with little clue of what fate has in store for them. From a granddaughter who recollects the warm fuzzy days of her childhood to an old lady who still reminisces about the time she first fell in love. From a girl who must return to her roots to discover the reality of her true love to a stalker who tries to hide his worst secret, even from himself.

This promising anthology featuring modern Indian writing aims to capture love in all its raw forms and diverse states. For contrary to popular belief, love is just one word with many volatile emotions.

Join best-selling author, Faraaz Kazi in this journey through that one word that defines us all and one that we cannot define, as he unravels the mystery of love through a first of its kind work that features fourteen vivid stories that span across genres connected by that thing called LOVE.

Order at Amazon India:

http://www.amazon.in/Love-Volatile-Emotions-Faraaz-Kazi/dp/9350881020

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Reviews like these bring a smile to my face. Thank you again readers, for making it the no. 1 Indian horror bestseller.

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“There were few stories within that scared the hell out of me so much that I actually stopped reading the book in between for sometime. And yes (guilty!!) I read the book only during the day couldn’t manage to read it at night and neither when I was travelling. And they have created a benchmark of their own in terms of horror as a genre”- Blogger Namrata M.

Read the entire review here:

http://www.privytrifles.co.in/2014/04/book-review-other-side-by-faraaz-kazi.html

‘The Other Side’ I am told had an amazingly successful day at Hans Raj College, Delhi where it was the official book partner of their annual college event, Vanjya Utsav.
The book was part of the corporate bidding, sales-pitch process, kind of an inter-collegiate contest between different teams from various colleges in a never before tried marketing initiative. It seems to have received a wonderful response by students across the NCR region attending the fest. — feeling happy.

Back to ruling the charts! The book is sharing space with legends like Woody Allen, Oscar Wilde and EA Poe!
No. 1 horror best-seller on Amazon.

Get your copy here: http://www.amazon.in/The-Other-Side-Visit-Alone/dp/9350880768 — with Vivek Banerjee.

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Remember the first book?

Cover of Truly Madly Deeply by Faraaz Kazi

Still available: http://www.amazon.com/Truly-Madly-Deeply-Faraaz-Kazi-ebook/dp/B008G1FGA4

Review of ‘The Other Side’

Dear readers, thanks for the continued love and support and for making The Other Side the no.1 horror title in India. Yes, a sequel is on the cards!

Shreyan Laha wrote:
I want to send this message to Faraz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee. Your book ‘The Other Side’ is really amazing and I finished the whole book in 2 and a half hours flat. India needs imaginative authors like you and lesser of college storytellers. Real page turning storylines. The story ‘Possession’ was something to look out for most of the horror readers.

Someone share my message on their walls.

Faraaz Kazi is on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and Johntext. You can write him here: contact@faraazkazi.com or on the “contact” – part of his website www.faraazkazi.com.

Review Of ‘The Other Side’ by Blogger Namrata M.

Reviews like these bring a smile to my face. Thank you again readers, for making it the no. 1 Indian horror bestseller.

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“There were few stories within that scared the hell out of me so much that I actually stopped reading the book in between for sometime. And yes (guilty!!) I read the book only during the day couldn’t manage to read it at night and neither when I was travelling. And they have created a benchmark of their own in terms of horror as a genre”- Blogger Namrata M.

Read the entire review here: http://www.privytrifles.co.in/2014/04/book-review-other-side-by-faraaz-kazi.html

Faraaz Kazi is on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and Johntext. You can write him here: contact@faraazkazi.com or on the “contact” – part of his website www.faraazkazi.com.

‘The Other Side’ in Hindi

This is pretty unique- review of ‘The Other Side’ in Hindi.

Get it from Amazon India: http://bit.ly/TOSonAmazonIndia

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दोस्तों, कुछ अरसा पहले अपनी मेल चेक करते समय एक मेल पर नज़र अटकी जिसमे किसी फ़राज़ क़ाज़ी नामक शख्स ने अपनी नयी किताब भेजने की पेशकश की जिसके साथ उसे पढ़ने के बाद उस पर खाकसार द्वारा ईमानदाराना समीक्षा लिखने की इल्तिजा भी आलूदा थी । हालाँकि बन्दे के पास ऐसे ऑफर्स तो आते रहते थे जिनमे किताब को पढ़ने के बाद उनकी समीक्षा मय वाजिब उजरत के साथ एक तयशुदा समय सीमा में लिखने की पेशकश होती थी लेकिन जिसे ख़ाकसार ने दो बातों के चलते कभी मंज़ूर नहीं किया । अव्वल तो यह कि बंदा इस बात को साफ़ कर देता था कि, गोया, समीक्षा मैं किताब पसंद आने की सूरत में ही लिखूंगा क्योंकि अगर मुझे किताब पसंद नहीं आती तो मुझमे उसे पूरा पढ़ पाने की बर्दाश्त और हिम्मत चूक जाती है, और दोयम यह कि ख़ाकसार की काहिल तबियत को मद्देनज़र रखते हुए समीक्षा लिखने में समय सीमा की बंदिश न बांधी जाये । और जैसा कि होना चाहिए वही होता था कि बात बन नहीं पाती थी ।

यही दोनों शर्तें क़ाज़ी साहब को भी जतला दी गयी और चैन से यह सोच कर बैठ गया गया कि अब तो बात हमेशा की तरह आगे बढ़ने से रही लेकिन इस चैन में खलल उस समय पड़ा जब कुछ ही दिनों के वक़्फ़े के बाद ‘द अदर साइड’-जी हाँ यही नाम है इनकी क़िताब का-मौसूल हुई । किताब के पन्ने पलटने पर पाया कि क़िताब का मौज़ूं खौफ़ या हॉरर है जिसपर हिंदी साहित्य में न तो अच्छी किताबें लिखी गयी हैं और न ही स्तर की हिंदी फ़िल्में बनी हैं । चूँकि हॉरर विषय खाकसार को हमेशा से आकर्षित करता रहा हैं अत: क़िताब के सफ्हे पलटे जाने लगे और किताब की दिलचस्प भूमिका ने उसमे रूचि जगाने का काम बखूबी किया जिसके चलते यह किताब पढ़ी जाने लगी जिसमे ‘तेरह’ खौफ़शुदा कहानियाँ शामिल की गयी हैं जो एक-एक करके किसी सीढ़ी का सा काम करती हैं जो आपमें इस किताब का सफ़र तय करने की दिलचस्पी जागती हैं ।

हालाँकि कई कहानियाँ हिंदी हॉरर फिल्मों के प्लॉट से प्रेरित लगती हैं जैसे कि सबसे पहली कहानी जिसमे एक डॉक्टर को एक आदमी अपनी बीमार पत्नी के इलाज की दुहाई देकर एक वीरान और बियाबान हवेली में ले जाता है जहाँ उस भूतिया हवेली में एक विशाल कमरे में एक औरत बीमार पड़ी होती है जैसा कि फ़िल्म ‘वह कौन थी’ में भी था जिसमे डॉक्टर मनोज कुमार को साधना के इलाज के लिए ले जाया जाता है या फिर वह कहानी जिसमे एक लड़का बार में मिली एक लड़की पर आशिक़ हो जाता है और उसका पता लगाने पर उसे पता लगता है कि वह लड़की तो कब की खुदा को प्यारी हो चुकी है । ठीक यही प्लाट था फ़िरोज़ खान और तनूजा की फ़िल्म ‘एक पहेली’ का । या फिर वह कहानी जिसमे एक फैमिली एक हॉन्टेड हाउस में रहने आती है जिसमे अजीब-अजीब सी घटनाएं घटती रहती है, रातों में कोई बच्चा उस फैमिली के बच्चों के साथ खेलने आता रहता है जो सिर्फ़ घर के बच्चों को ही नज़र आता है, यही प्लॉट था फ़िल्म ‘वास्तुशास्त्र’ का । कहने का मतलब है इस किताब की कई कहानियां ऐसी हैं जिनकी थीम पहले ही कई हिंदी फिल्मों में नज़र आ चुकी है लेकिन अगर इस किताब की कोई खूबी है तो वह यह है कि मात्र अल्फ़ाज़ों के बल पर डर पैदा करना कोई आसान काम नहीं है जिसमे इस किताब की लेखक जोड़ी खरी उतरती है क्योंकि किसी फ़िल्म में तो दृश्य और ध्वनि के प्रभाव से डर आसानी से पैदा किया जा सकता है लेकिन अल्फ़ाज़ों के ज़रिये ऐसा कर पाना एक मुश्किल काम है जोकि यह किताब बखूबी करती है ।

किताब की सभी तेरह कहानियां पारलौकिक या आत्माओं के वजूद पर आधारित है जोकि इस किताब को टाइप्ड की श्रेणी में रखती है क्योंकि अगर लेखकों ने खौफ़ पैदा करने के लिए इत्तेफ़ाक़ों और घटनाओं का इस्तेमाल बिना आत्माओं के वजूद को स्थापित करते हुए किया होता तो शायद तर्कशील और बुद्धिजीवी पाठकों को भी संतुष्ट किया जा सकता था । बहरहाल बावजूद कुछ विसंगतियों और दोहराव के फ़राज़ क़ाज़ी और विवेक बनर्जी द्वारा लिखित ‘एम्ब्रोस्ड’ एंड हॉरर इंफलेक्टिंग डिज़ाइन वाले कवर की यह किताब, जिसे आप अगर आप रात में पढ़ने की हिमाकत कर बैठते हैं तो नल से टपकते पानी की टपटप, दरवाज़े की चरचराहट या हवा से हिलते जाते पर्दों की सरसराहट जैसी मामूली घटनाएं भी आपमें वह खौफ़ ‘इंजेक्ट’ करने में कामयाब रहती है जो आपकी उस रात की नींद में खलल पैदा करने के लिए काफी है । वाजिब दाम वाली यह किताब हॉरर-साहित्य के क्षेत्र में एक नयी और उत्साहजनक पहल है जो हॉरर साहित्य पसंद करने वाले पाठकों को निश्चय ही पसंद आना चाहिए ।

GR8 Magazine On ‘The Other Side’

The Mumbai grand launch of ‘The Other Side’ being talked about in the December issue of GR8 magazine!

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Faraaz Kazi is on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and Johntext. You can write him here: contact@faraazkazi.com or on the “contact” – part of his website www.faraazkazi.com.

Review: The Other Side

“From the good, bad and ugly, the book has it all. It is a real spook-fest and guarantees a few ‘crescendo music’ moments especially if read in the night complete with BGM. But even in daylight, you can see the book is well written”- Blogger Dhivya Balaji.

Read the entire review here: http://readmuse.blogspot.in/2014/01/the-other-side-by-vivek-bannerjee-and.html

REVIEW:

The Other Side is a collection of thirteen short stories. We received this as a part of Readers’ Cosmos Review Program. Complete with the obsession over number thirteen, a spooky cover and a really scintillating book back summary, the book has all the essential elements of a spooky novel. The book starts with a prelude. The setting is mountainside and the two authors start sharing their own personal ‘ghost’ stories and therein start a germ of an idea. They start writing about a few stories, each progressing in its supernatural element.

There are dead people haunting the place they lived as ghosts, paranormal sounds, and all the special effects. In one story, a honeymoon couple faces the worst experience of their life. There are tarot readers, spirit communicators, tantriks, and ghosts aplenty. In another story, a group of young men faces ghosts from the past. Yet another couple faces a mythical monster. There are adventure lovers who plan in detail only for the plan to go awry. Intervention from the paranormal forces compels the characters to lose their wits. There are your essential spirits who have died with unfulfilled desires, who try to live life again through the living.

From the good, bad and ugly, the book has it all. It is a real spook-fest and guarantees a few ‘crescendo music’ moments especially if read in the night complete with BGM. But even in daylight, you can see the book is well written. All stories are similar and different in their own respects. There are certain points that are common, and there are the chilling moments. But this is because, as a whole, the aim of the story is to spook you. The authors have maintained writing equally in first person and third person narratives. And there is a seamless motion between pages. And they have also not resorted to the usual spooky locations to write the stories.

There are ample native elements complete with vernacular words in the story. Though otherwise, the language is good and is also devoid of spelling and grammatical errors. The plot of each story and the characterisation is clean, relatable and does its job. The book overall is well written but does leave something to be desired for. Where the book becomes a bit lacking is the repetitiveness of horror. The content of thirteen stories, though as varied as can be, are unfortunately slightly repetitive and remind us of old stories that our grannies told us to stop us from venturing out at night.

This was one book that was hard to put down. Not only due to its interesting stories but also the natural curiosity of ‘what next’ that makes up the mind of every human and keeps feeding such supernatural occurrences. After all, the mind is the first storage place for such stories to manifest and it has the amazing power of drawing totally improbable threads to prove every story and memory are relatable. (Disclaimer: Not writing this because I am spooked. I have had my share of inexplicable experiences but nothing this horrendous. And my rational mind tells me there are explanations for every such event.)

WHAT I LIKED: The nice way the stories have been written, the prelude and the epilogue, language.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: One can only be as unique as our history and stories allow. Therefore there are unavoidable clichés in the stories.

VERDICT: Go for it if you like your spook adventure books. If such stories tend to stay with you, give this one a thought. It can be realistic enough if you are easily scared. BOO!

RATING: 4.2

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

VIVEK BANNERJEE

A paediatrician by profession, Vivek Banerjee is an author by accident. He lives in Saharanpur with his parents, obstetrician wife and two children. The pressures of his profession leave him with little leisure but he still finds time for his varied interests. An avid traveller, he has covered the length and breadth of the country in real life and the rest of the world in his imagination. A voracious reader, music lover, self-confessed geek and an amateur ornithologist, he would rather walk the road less travelled, given the time and opportunity. A Bengali by birth, he has grown up in various towns of North India and studied in many different schools and colleges. He started writing on Rediff blogs where he is known as Ben and went on to write his debut novel THE LONG ROAD.

He has also been published by Westland in ‘Chicken Soup for Indian Doctors Soul’, Grapevine India in ‘Shades of Love’ and APK Publishers in ‘Shades of Black’.

He won an all India short story competition for his story ‘The hunter’ which was published in ‘Kaleidoscope’ by Parlance publishers.

An anthology of stories about the paranormal, ‘The Other Side’, co-authored with Faraaz Kazi is a recent offering.
He is also a part of ‘Carnival’ by Litizen.com

FARAZ KAZI

The winner of the 2013 National Debut Youth Fiction Award and also the recipient of the YCOF National Excellence award in Creative Writing apart from being the first Indian author to win the coveted ‘Best Debut (Romance)’ title at the international Goodreads choice awards, Faraaz Kazi has been tagged as the ‘Nicholas Sparks of India’ by many and is rated amongst the top male romance writers in the country.

A certified soft-skills trainer and a three-time post grad, Kazi is the Founder and CEO of DigiImprint Solutions, India’s first exclusive promotional agency for authors and artists that recently forayed into handling corporate brands. He also consults for a few public relations firms and publishing houses. Felicitated by numerous institutes, bodies and organizations alike, Kazi is a well-known name in the social media and literary fraternity. He is fondly referred to as ‘The Young Marketer’ and operates a revolutionary blog with the same name and writes for major media houses.

Kazi is a fellow member of the esteemed ‘Film Writers Association of India.’ Truly Madly Deeply, his debut mainstream romance novel is the only Indian book to have seven category nominations in the Goodreads annual readers’ choice awards and is also the only Indian book in the ‘Top 100 YA Global Fiction’ list. Kazi is a voracious reader and counts singing as his second love.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback

PRICE: Rs. 150 for Paperback

BOOK LINKS: http://www.amazon.in/The-Other-Side-Visit-Alone/dp/9350880768/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388422361&sr=8-1&keywords=the+other+side+vivek+banerjee

Another Review

Many Thanks To Purba Ray And Trisha Ray For The Permission To Publish Her Article Here!

“Don’t forget to have somebody willing to put up with your shivering mess afterwards on speed dial”- Blogger Purba Ray.

Review here: http://www.purba-ray.com/2014/01/the-grass-is-creepier-on-other-side.html

Book Review By Trisha Ray

Note: I want to start off with a warning. It’s not easy reviewing a collection of short stories. I have refrained from spoilers as much as possible, “as possible” being the operative phrase. In any case, I’ll type in the phrase SPOILERS AHEAD if I slip. Kudos)

Scary stories are my drug of choice. Nothing matches the thrill of a well-written tale of terror and then staying awake at night, trying to get your imagination under control. Your surroundings take on an air of strangeness. Every rustle becomes a whisper, every shadow a living (or not-so-living) being, every creak, every gurgle puts you on edge. Not many willingly put themselves through this. Few can make it through the night.

The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee promises its readers a “tour de force of unadulterated terror”. To which I say- Well no. If you want to be scared out of your wits, I would encourage you to direct your attention elsewhere. Kazi and Banerjee need a little more practice in this department. What they give you is a mixed bag in its truest sense. Each one tries to play on a different fear: the fear of death, losing someone, going insane, embarrassment and, of course, the unknown. Some are eerie, some accidentally hilarious (Mark of the Beast left me rolling on the floor but also mildly grossed-out by what the end implied), some blasé (Booo. And not in the ghostly sense either). Many were too similar to stories I had heard many, many times before (story number 11 Possession was *SPOILER AHEAD* pretty much an Indian version of The Conjuring) which kind of ruined any intended element of surprise.

What the two authors did however manage to do is impress me with some of the sheer creepiness. Dream Girl and Red Bangles are by far the stand-out little jewels of the lot because they are just incredibly disturbing. I am not even exaggerating. They probably pained me more because of the 800 steps back for feminism and women’s safety they represent. Anyhow, I digress. What I mean to say is that the fantastic bit about The Other Side is that every single reader will feel differently about it because everybody fears different things. Some are concrete- like snakes and bad grades. Some are more amorphous. So don’t take my word for it. If your interest is slightly piqued, buy, borrow or issue the book. Turn the lights down low, huddle up in your quilt and turn that first page.

P.S Don’t forget to have somebody willing to put up with your shivering mess afterwards on speed dial.

Happy reading!

Faraaz Kazi is on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and Johntext. You can write him here: contact@faraazkazi.com or on the “contact” – part of his website www.faraazkazi.com.

The Tales Pensieve On “The Other Side”

“For people looking for a mild horror induced reading session, this book would be apt.” is what TTP Book critic says about The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee.

The full review on http://thetalespensieve.com/2014/02/book-review-the-other-side/

I am the type of girl who would do her best to avoid horror stories/ movies unless my curiosity gets the better of my senses. My initial foray into this genre started with Goosebumps and similar R. L. Stein novels and somehow stopped there. I did delve on to some serious horror novels like The Shining and Carrie by Stephen King, but this genre never held a strong interest for me to venture further into this genre. So what made me pick this book?

After a taxing long list of IIT/IIM love stories and few mild adventure thriller authors, I was pleased to see someone write in this genre.

And after the early reviews it received on GoodReads and an article in The Hindu, I was curious enough to block off my mind that kept saying No. And yet again, I find myself regretting my choice in this genre. But unlike the other cases, where I was left scared because they were convincingly good, in this case I was simply let down by the disappointing plots.

This book is a collection of 13 stories of the paranormal. As far as the plots are concerned, they are not much different from the usual horror stories. A honeymoon gone wrong, a one night stand turns wild, a happy family turns forlorn after renting a haunted house, an expecting couple have a bizarre surprise, a psychotic youngster and his obsession and so on. Each plot is familiar, but what makes the stories different are the twists in the plot. While a few of them take you by surprise, the rest are the same old stories the Indian Horror genre viewers are accustomed to. Most of the stories are pretty straightforward with the usual expected twists making the book nothing but a nondescript read.

Not all stories are true horror but rather mystic or creepy that leaves you thinking even after they end.

Certain facts stay etched in your mind though like the fate of the men who have answered the calls of the name-calling demons or the child who keeps swinging under the Banyan tree!

Horror story writers need to go an extra mile when it comes to describing the fear invoking scenes and events because it is them that make a horror story a success. For that , the authors deserve a pat on their back for vividly portraying the scary sequences. They have a flair of frictionless writing, which looks promising. But their framing of the plot and ideas used seem tacky at certain points and makes you cringe at certain lines. I also found a few grammatical errors but given their narration, one doesn’t mind overlooking it. The breezy writing makes the book a quick read with just 320 pages.

For people looking for a mild horror induced reading session, this book would be apt.

However, I doubt if Horror fanatics would find this book interesting enough. Being one of the early entrants in the Indian Horror genre, the authors still have a long, long way to go to reach Stephen King like writing.

Vanathi Parthasarathi
With a family that loves to read and an idea of fun time is a visit to Book fair or Book shop, it is only natural that you follow the same trait. Books have been VANATHI PARTHASARATHI‘s best friends since childhood and she is sure they will continue to be so. She is a Noida based statistician in an analytics firm. And when she comes back home after a long day at work, all she wants to do is pick up a book and settle down on her couch because nothing calms her more than a good book.

The Other Side

“I must applaud the authors for creating an entire world, full of darkness and unsated souls in this read, which makes it more than just a set of short stories”- Blogger Pooja.

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Read the entire review here: http://poojareviewer.blogspot.in/2014/01/the-other-side-by-faraaz-kazi-and-vivek.html

Faraaz Kazi is on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and Johntext. You can write him here: contact@faraazkazi.com or on the “contact” – part of his website www.faraazkazi.com.