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In love with a bluff master

Update: 2022-02-27 01:00 IST
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'A Language of Lies' by Saugata Chakraborty is indeed quite a gripping read which has Sean Brignac a con artist as its chief protagonist. It would not be hyperbolic to remark that the novelist stands class apart due to his special knack and great finesse with which he portrays the life of a bluff master. The author has the ability to feel the pulse of society as this elegant work of fiction sheds a flood of light on the deplorable reality of the modern day world we dwell in.

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What gratifies a discerning reader the most is the fact that the novelist seems quite convinced about the idea that Art is not merely for the sake of Art, rather it is for the sake of life too. The chief character can be aptly dubbed as the replica of a modern day man whose sole objective is to merely accumulate plethora of pelf by hook or by crook. With his fecund imagination and a tongue in cheek style the author takes several digs on the inherent instinct of rapacity of man and holds the entire society in the dock of morality. Here a word of caution must be conveyed too. Though the book reflects over the idea of Faustian ambition and avarice, it cannot be simply brushed aside as a work of mere didactic literature.

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Sean Brignac, a con artist is not a born bluff. It is his intensely adverse circumstances which catapult him into the world of deception and deceit. By the quirk of malevolent fate he is orphaned at the age of five and disowned by his adoptive parents at seventeen. Assailed by the brutality of this wicked world, this tender child masters the art of manipulation and treachery and stuns the entire world with his last fraud which is estimated close to 8 million dollars.

Here it would also be quite inappropriate to label our protagonist a mere scamster. Rising above the reputation of a conventional kind of swindler, Sean has several other layers around his profound persona. The fact cannot be refuted that the author has delineated his chief character in such a fashion that despite latter's umpteen wrong doings, the readers will fall in absolute love with him. Here, one is pertinently reminded of 'Paradise Lost', a great epic by John Milton in which the readers develop more love for the character of satan than god. That is why the critics of classics will be at one with Williams Blake who rightly declares satan and not god the hero of the epic.

When we turn our gaze to the art of plot construction and the unfolding of narration, we would not have any hesitation in stating that a richly complex story is couched in an equally richly complex plot. There are hardly any loose ends to frown upon. With his commendable craft and sheer creative consciousness, the novelist has stitched all threads so meticulously well. Another aspects that calls for the keen observation is the language of the narrative which in the words of Roland Barthes determines the success and failure of a literary piece. The perfect choice of lexical items and smooth syntax elevate the book to the level of a sublime work of art. And that is what makes Saugata Chakraborty a blessing for millions during the pandemic.

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