Archive for January, 2014

The First Phone Call from Heaven

Posted in Pai-Book-Review on January 13, 2014 by prajwalpai


I had liked Mitch Albom’s ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ , which had set my expectations high on this Novel. This book had a very interesting premise. A small town in U.S is witnessing an extraordinary divine phenomenon. Few residents in this town get phone calls every week from their deceased loved ones.

The book is organised in a very neat way, It considers this first call from heaven as an epoch. The chapters are named as first week, second week and so on. The story is very intriguing  and as promised from the premise is a page-turner. There are 3 parallel narratives which converge in the end. The first narrative is all about the ‘phone-call’, the second of main protagonist Sully – a pilot who suddenly has lost everything in life almost overnight. The third interesting narrative is about the ‘Telephone’ itself. This narrative gives us side notes or facts about Alexander Graham Bell- his personal life and lot of peppy facts on the instrument we now call phone. I loved the way the author has given a nice logical closure to even this narrative.

Without giving away the story too much, this book feels very real. Inspite of it being a fiction, the content is kept very believable. The news going viral , the people flocking, the supporters and protesters- it all feels real. I can easily imagine Arnab shouting ‘The nations needs an answer – Did you get a call from your DEAD SISTER!” doing a piece on this. The sensationalisation of any news true or false is a thing that we see happening everyday.

The ending was very unpredictable but satisfying. I have read many books or seen many movies which starts with a very intriguing premise but fail to sustain readers interest in the middle and fails miserably towards the end.  This book not only gives a satisfactory ‘who’ did it but also provides a convincing answer to ‘why’. I always like stories with no loose-ends. The apparent, not so mysterious things mentioned in the first few chapters and taken to closure towards the end. I somehow imagined this book to be a bit preachy but felt its contrary to what I perceived.

Favorite Quotes/Passages:

“The news of life is carried via telephone. A baby’s birth, a couple engaged, a tragic accident on a late night highway — most milestones of the human journey, good or bad, are foreshadowed by the sound of ringing.”

“There is a time for hello and a time for goodbye. It’s why the act of burying things seems natural but the act of digging them up does not.

“There are two stories for every life; the one you live & the one others tell.”

“No soul remembered is ever truly gone.”

“As happens with all miracles, once life goes on, those who believe retell them with wonder. Those who do not, do not.”