Title : The Old Man and the Nymph
Author: Vipin Behari Goyal
Publication : Blackbuck Publication
Story : 3/5
Cover : 4/5
Blurb : 3/5
Theme : 4/5
Characters : 3.5/5
Overall : 3/5
“The Old Man and the Nymph” is the story of three nymphs- Melissa, Pun and Mint. Narrated in parts by Melissa, it traces the journey of their encounters with the Colonel, an old man who wishes to entice them to satiate his carnal desires. Melissa, the nymph of the clouds, is a young writer whom the Colonel hires to pen down the story of his life. Pun, the nymph of water, is a young orphaned girl who comes to the city to build a comfortable life for herself. Mint, the nymph of the woods, is an unusually insolent, seductive young girl, who hails from a small mountainous village.
All the three nymphs are characterized by extraordinary beauty, and captivating charm. In addition, Melissa has unusual wit and ego, Pun has towering confidence and a shrewd min, and Mint is master of the art of seduction.
There are actually 3 old men in the story- the colonel, the Naga, and Melissa’s father- all of them shadows of the same energy- desire and greed.
The book chronicles the encounters of the 3 extraordinary demigoddesses with the old men, promising to transfer the reader to mysterious worlds of fantasy!
The Remarkables :
- The cover- the illustration is a perfect embodiment of the theme.
- Blurb- arouses interest.
- Intricate detailing in each scene.
- Painstakingly descriptive style of narration.
- Deftly sketched characters- the nymphs and their complementary energies, the old men.
- The writer paints worlds of fantasy with words.
- The concept- amalgamation of Greek mythology with an Indian setting- witty and intriguing.
The Letdowns :
- Incoherent narration- the writer tends to get carried away with descriptions of the mundane. Results in breaks in flow of the story.
- The ending is a huge letdown- the story ends abruptly without justifying the roles of the old men or the nymphs.
- The plot is weak- the reader’s attention tends to wander. The concept could have been exploited in a more expansive manner.
“The Old Man and the nymphs” is a most unusual tale. Chances are it’s unlike anything you have ever read. The concept itself is intriguing- a heady mix of the fascinating Greek mythology and a believable Indian setting. Greek mythology describes ‘nymphs’ as demigoddesses- extraordinary female deities that have qualities similar to the Indian Apsaras. The book takes the concept to another level by personifying them as 3 beautiful, young girls. The old men are analogous of carnal desires.
The writer has, to some extent, been successful in incorporating the concept into the tale. However, the narrative often loses track. The story progresses at a slow pace, and is often confusing. It leaves the reader feeling lost and clueless.
However, the excellently sketched nymphs more than make up for the drag in narration. These fascinating creatures manage to keep the reader involved till the end.
Overall, “the old man and the nymphs” is a book that could have been a real fascinating journey, if the writer had a better grip on the plot. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable read that will send your mind to mysterious realms of fantasy, and for that, I would say it’s worth a read.
REVIEWED BY VANYA NIGAM