In his book Poetics, the Greek philosopher Aristotle, asserted suspense is the fulcrum of all thrillers, with a fusion of trepidation, thrill, expectancy, anxiety, collocated with a feel of pandering tensity, captivation, fright, fervour. The readers seize with teeth the plot, as it converges to an aleatory, cryptic and stirring climax, leaving them to ruminate.
Typically, a baddie-driven one, balked by red herrings, twists, to a bewitching cliff-hanger. Pigeon-holed, the author destroys hope, elicits curiosity and springs surprise, out of the blue. This is the form of the customary mystery, psychologic, political or romantic sub-genres.
Gone are the days of ancient epics, Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey, Mahābhārata. With evolving era, the art of story-telling has undergone radical mutation.
Revering them, my attempt was to carve a new scientific sub-genre relevant to this era. The prevalent construct of private detective is trompe-l’oeil. My debut to the ambit was with a novel perception, flouting the abstruse idea with a realistic one. Among the legion deaths, deputed buffs could carry the probe. Many quotidian folks could astutely scrutinise the conundrum, until one hits the final bonanza.
With this scalage, it capsized the age-old detective myths initiated by Edgar Ala Poe, to a realistic podium. Though probe was by apposite folks, solution came from the victor. In my first mystery novel, CHAKRA (Bengali 2010) later as FULCRUM(English 2013), amongst heretical ways of several murders, the booklover is in pursuit of the killer-boffo duo. Later, in PURSUIT (2013), besides original homicidal methods, I ciphered a subtly furtive profound insight into extropy of global dynamics. I fused the elided outlook of tralatitious thrillers with a philosophy for humanity. The traditional ‘protagonist’ waffled between effector and the seer.
Scientific thrillers involve a sixth sense into the core of science, history, evolution with a far-flung eagle view of progress. ETERNAL MAYHEM is one of such kind spotless adrenaline raiser, a touch chalk and cheese grand narrative with numerous puzzling scientific murders occurring worldwide. This complex cliff-hanger keeps the reader’s adrenaline spurting from the onset as scientific murders take place in exotic global locations. Beautiful lassies, intelligentsia, global scientists are trapped in this white-knuckle masterpiece with all the twirl and twists that will keep the readers rapt.
This volume is more than a murder mystery, to transport you from your comfy lounger to a steaming isle, be it Bali, Fiji, Hawaii, Maldives, Bora Bora, Punta Cana or exotic nooks of Jamaica and Puerto Rico. This gripping craft keeps you on your feet, as the global scientific world of genetics gets swathed in the whodunit.
Amid the scientific essence of genetic cloning research, it’s a scarper from the familiar concepts, to the roots of civilisation with its resultant diversities. It reveals shocking truths, so far clandestine. The apogee seals in a startling eye-opening truth of humanity, offering a thought-provoking riveting thriller.
Readers are always fascinated by the eternally popular ‘WHODUNIT’ or mystery and suspense stories, and the volume of literature in this category is really awesome. The quantity is equally matched by the varieties of the stories in this genre. Starting with the all time favourite murder stories solved by maverick private detectives, these whodunit stories keep the readers glued to the book by the sheer varieties of presentation and the spiral conspiracies running behind the scenes.
Murders always fascinate the common man, probably due to his atavistic attraction to the blood and gory, and the more heinous is the motive behind the murder, the more violent is the style of murder, the more sophisticated is the murder weapon, the more is the attraction.
The motives range from the quintessential greed for money and/or power, the eternal lust for sex, the ever-present revenge for some real or imaginary crime to some apparently lofty ideals like racial supremacy.
The murder weapon also show a great variety starting from the old knives and ropes to virulent viruses, with novel chemicals and biological weapons thrown in between.
The latest addition to the long list of these mystery thrillers is the so called ‘Scientific thrillers’, where science is mixed with the older ingredients to produce a heady concoction. Dr. Aniruddha Bose, an eminent Plastic Surgeon trained abroad, is a pioneer member of this latest genre. He is an expert story-teller who can effortlessly mix in correct proportions the cutting-edge science, sex and lust, ambition of the extra-ordinary type bordering to insanity, gruesome murders by newer techniques and previously unthinkable murder weapons and above all a completely new type of murderers. As a result, his scientific thrillers are a completely novelty in this genre.
His latest book, aptly named ‘Eternal Mayhem’, is a fine example of what a new generation scientific thriller should be. The book revolves around the villain’s morbid idea of Racial Supremacy and the fascinating idea of creating a new genetically super-race by genetic manipulation. The story deals with the cutting edge development of Genetic Science mixing it up with an international array of locations and characters. The search for a pure Aryan Race through gene studies is not a new thing, but the author has done a really marvellous job by packaging the proverbial old wine in a new bottle. The fast paced thriller jumps from exotic locales to high-tech laboratories, from countries to countries, from continents to continents. Beautiful models mingle with brilliant scientists and death comes completely unexpectedly. The gripping story has all the ingredients of an excellent suspense-thriller, including liberal doses of sex and humour.
It will be crime to divulge the secrets in a mystery story, so it is better to stop here letting the reader to unveil the dark secrets of this book, and it is guaranteed that the reader will ponder over the book long after he or she finishes it.
-by Asis Kumar Chatterjee
Book Review - Eternal Mayhem by Aniruddha Bose
Eternal Mayhem by Aniruddha Bose can be considered a science-based thriller that puts before the eyes an unreal story (or almost). But at the same time, the book makes me shiver and makes me reflect a lot because it deals with a theme of considerable importance. The story is concerning the creation of a new super-race by genetic manipulation. The arc of suspense is consistently built on, until the big resolution at the end.
How far can science go? What is the boundary between a form of research focused on the good of humanity and one that allows itself to be exploited by the desire for racial supremacy? What is the limit beyond which the thirst for knowledge can become a source of danger? What are the ethical implications of genetics, of cloning, of experimentation on human beings?
The focus continues to be the eternal rivalry between the good and the evil. Here the difference is that the book focuses more on the evil ones. Everything seems to be going according to plan in the beginning. But the true danger is not apparent until the end. To these and other questions Aniruddha Bose does not only try to give answers but raises questions. The book focuses on issues of burning actuality, even within a conventional narrative framework.
The plot takes place over a period of many years. The characters are partially predictable, but some are surprisingly different. Also very nice is the scenery. One travels through different places such as Bali, Fiji, Hawaii, Maldives, Bora Bora, Punta Cana, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
What I have read is much more than a suspense-thriller. It is an outrageous vision of a good author. He shows us how small and sensitive our earth is and how little we know about the vast, wide universe.
Aniruddha Bose is a Plastic Surgeon, and you can tell that on every single page. The author has tried to reread the canons of one of the most codified genres - the thriller. He enriches it with nuances of science. He makes a psychological dig as intense as possible of the complex figure of the protagonists but also of the other side characters.
The story sometimes appears a little predictable but is still quite intriguing and pleasant. The plot is varied and evolves on different levels because it is told from the point of view of different characters. This gives a far-reaching overview of all the events that are related to the protagonists.
Overall, there is a multi-faceted and well-structured plot over a long period of time. There are interesting characters and many backgrounds to the motives alternated between exciting moments. The compelling thriller is able to show the reader how often science can go against ethics if its reins are in the hands of men without scruples.
A captivating narrative style and a lively, as well as careful psychological construction of each character that animates the whole story, contribute to make this work by Aniruddha Bose a pleasant reading and a starting point for interesting reflections.
Even the writing, which is thick and sharp at the beginning becomes more and more relaxed and traditional. It intends to reflect the psychological process of the main character. The novel is also dotted, from the titles of the chapters, some of which are more immediately understandable. Others stimulate interaction with the interested or passionate reader.
The current novel like the previous ones is based on an entertaining mix of suspense and action. In this case, it is augmented by historical and scientific aspects and an Indiana Jones-like search for the antidote. One action sequence follows the next. There is hardly any time to catch your breath in this fast-paced thriller between science and mysticism and facts and fiction.
Aniruddha Bose knows how to keep his reader on the hook with an exciting, and nerve-wracking experience that follows. Maybe some elements are a bit obvious. But in the end, everything fits well enough. So, as a whole, I can claim to have enjoyed a good thriller! It is a must-read but not only for suspense-thriller fans!
-by Kalyan Panja
Eternal Mayhem : Quick Look
-by You Tube
A Scientific Thriller with a Crushing Force of Commitment for a New Generation
Eternal Mayhem by Aniruddha Bose, Smriti Publishers, Rs 500/-
The title of this thriller at the outset fixes the reader to cogitate - mayhem is eternal. Two words once conjoined burdens the mind of the reader to think - is it, we all are going to be sucked under by the maelstrom being unleashed by what is dangerously becoming a true clash of conflict between the past and the present generation?
The author in this thriller has featured a theory debate on whether the science of today would venture to human cloning for a new and sustained generation of human species or warn the scientists not to stoop to such endeavour by acting against established universal law. He, in no uncertain terms, has elected the reader to make an introspection over it, to conceive a strong symbiotic relationship between the past and the present. Equally has he guided their perception to an innovative idea of having altogether a new generation of human race, free from caste creed superstitions, so on and so forth, with the aid and support of epoch-making scientific and technological tools, abundantly researched out all over the world in the laboratories, where the best scientific brains of the world are pursuing the path of perfection in the field of human cloning.
Well conversant with the scientific research, the author as a renowned physician and surgeon, has appraised the reader of how a breakthrough in genome research is possible to create a perfect human race outside the purview of human claims of superiority – “A new breed can be created from a mutation of sperm and egg forming a new zygote. The body and the egg nucleus can be cloned by parthenogenesis by using chemicals, ultrasonic wave or even a virus which as a vector to maintain the number of chromosomes to 46 but alter the protein to a furbished form of a superior gene. This cultured stem cell in vitro can be introduced into the rival in vivo to give a new genetically modified stem cell which culminated in designer babies”
He puts forth a pertinent question - why this cloning is a necessity? Is it to have a racial superiority of human being? For what reason this superiority is to be established - the superiority Adolf Hitler, dictator of Nazi Germany wanted. Adopting the title of Fuhrer (leader), he gained dictatorial powers by the Enabling Act and suppressed the opposition with assistance of Heinrich Himmler and Josef Goebbels. He wrote his virulent autobiography Mein Kampf. Regarding inequality between races as part of the natural order, he exalted the ‘Aryan race’ while propounding anti-Semitism, anti-communism and extreme German nationalism. He began to enact anti-Jewish measures, which culminated in the Holocaust. He wanted total annihilation of the Jews. What a terror he created that a Nazi victim Pastor Niemoller described as follows:
“First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out,
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak for me”
The power corrupts and overriding powers give birth of dictators. What better human race has Arushi in Eternal Mayhem wished to develop?
Race is an evolving concept. The racial movements of human beings all over the eras have enriched human civilisation through mutative process by cross-fertilisation of the genes of the human species. As we know, each civilisation has carried this natural process, as social human beings. The question is, at any point of time over the eras of human civilisation, has there been any potent cry in the face of snowballing criticism, that human species is doomed to intellectual decline? Will our intelligence ebb away in centuries to come, leaving our descendants incapable of using technology their ancestors invented? Will Homo be without Sapiens? The questions remain unanswered. Rather these questions are not answerable. On controversial hypothesis the leading geneticists remain silent. They firmly believe that human brain has immense capacity to learn the tricks under the attack from an array of genetic mutations that have accumulated since people started living in cities a few thousand years ago. Prof Gerald Crabtree of Stanford University in California has put forward the iconoclastic idea, that rather than getting cleverer, human intelligence peaked several thousand years ago and from then intellectually alive of people and companions, with good memory, a broad range of ideas and a clear-sighted view of important issues.
In this thriller, Arushi is the dominant strategist. She is a cellular and molecular biologist from Harvard University. She, muster-stringing a group of scientists working in this field throughout the world with great commitment and courage, wishing to set up an Institute of Genetic Research in Kolkata, her place of birth, to usher in an era of new development in genetics, anthropology and neurobiology that might make a clear prediction that since our intellectual and emotional abilities are not sustained genetically and surprisingly fragile, we have to strive for developing a better and sustained human race. The authors through this and other characters has elaborated that “… Genetics with race seems the aetiology”. Though it is epoch-old genetic research for a new race, which is a continuous process. Genetically modified human cloning would obviously provide immortality to all human beings. But is it not a serious ethical and moral matter and challenge to the system of governance by the universal law, as was rightly meditated two-thousand years ago by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The author has made a reference to this great soul:
‘For there is one Universe out of all, one God through all, one substance and one law, one common Reason of all intelligent creatures and one Truth’.
A comparison of the genomes of parents and children has revealed that on average there are between 25 and 65 new mutations occurring in the DNA of each generation. Prof Crabtree says “… this analysis predicts about 5000 new mutations in the past 120 generations which covers a span of about 3000 years’. Some of these mutations he suggests, ‘… Will occur within the 2000 to 5000 genes that are involved in human intellectual ability, for instance building mapping the billions of nerve cells of the brain or producing the dozens of chemical neurotransmitters that control the junctions between these brain cells’ A study by Prof Steve Jones, a geneticist at the University of London ‘… mutations have reduced our aggression, our depression and our penis length but no journal would publish that’.
Arushi's Institute could find more facts with more new ideas developed and translated into action – “Arushi’s long anticipated reverie was now a reality. Felicity evolves around living up to the dreams. Despite the mayhem around with the cloned babies delivered, her euphoria skyrocketed … She stared at the infinite vista, the ether hugged her vision in an idyllic kiss, intense pursuit froze in ambrosial bliss, soulful crave thawed in the pragmatic shade, kindling the pyre of life to its new glade. The nascent idea yonder, in realism splendour”
But ultimately what actually happened? What was the fate of Protyusha, Arushi’s brainchild? Who will hold the Olympian Torch - the cloned child born of a mother who was pregnant without intercourse? Answer to this humble question could be assimilated by the readers at the very end of this unique thriller. The reader would also realise that the knowledge of existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty.
On completion of reading this thriller, one may conclude to remember an illustrious utterance made by Neil Armstrong who after landing on the moon on 20 July 1969 ecstatically said – “That is one small step for man a giant leap for mankind”
The cover page of the book is praiseworthy. A few omissions and printing mistakes could have been avoided.