Book Review: 2012 Nights

Part of South Asian Challenge 2013Debut Indian Writers Challenge 2013 and Reading Challenge 2013: First Reads


Magic could be so magical!!
(don’t get your hopes high, this book is not a magic propagating fantasy fiction)

But it is definitely about the magical stories that entwined our growing years – with a twist. The Arabian Nights – what a fabulous collection of stories it was. Fascinating, intriguing and magic weaving. Vipul Rikhi in his debut work picks up those tales of yore to spin a series of tales that are twisty, complex, practical and very much 21st century. But still retaining the pull or the magic, as I would call it, of the old stories.

2012 Nights is a series of, sometimes connected sometimes not so, stories inspired by the skepticism of today and tales of yesterdays. The protagonist – a writer – after watching innumerable documentaries on end of the days and mayan prophecy about doomsday on the 21st december of 2012, is convinced that all those theories are true and the world will indeed end in December 2012. Romanticism about death sets in and he eventually finds everyone around him – family, friends, wife – move out of his life except his cat. Well technically his wife’s cat but the cat like an errant child in a separated marriage decided on his parent. And Schahriar chose the father. The drunk father. As the predicted doomsday approaches and the world has just 21 days to breathe, the writer decides to narrate a story each night to his cat just like in the old tale of Arabian Nights. He believes he is Scheherazade the narrator princess and his cat is Schahriar the tale devouring king. Each night for 20 nights (for the 21st night is the night of doom) the writer narrates tales – of Aladdin, of his magical lamp, of Ali Baba and his gang, of Sindbad and his ship and of Solomon with brains. Tales that are the left, right, back and future story of the tales we already know.

Vipul impresses in his debut novel. One thing his writing doesn’t, anywhere throughout the book come across as a first time attempt. Secondly the complexity of his characters (the characters we have literally grown up with) and the entwined tales rankles up the brains considerably. Thirdly the narrative is like fluid poetry. It is poetry in motion and you just cannot stop the flow; the pages keep turning.

It is an out of ordinary and arresting book. A recommended read but not an easy one. You need your mind constantly awake to make sense of this one. Poignant and intelligent the narrative voice and the questions raised stay much longer than the book. I would say a strictly Apple Junta read not the Mango one.

Happy Reading.

Watch the Words:

Title: 2012 Nights
Publisher: Fingerprint Publishing
ISBN: 978-81-7234-423-8
Pages: 260
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4 of 5
Reviewed for: Author

Best Price iRecommend: Buy 2012 Nights from

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