Review by Enrique Hernandez Salcido
In Night Theater the thrilling paranormal/medical drama novel by Vikram Paralkar , a regular surgeon must do the impossible and do “God’s” work by bringing this family back from the dead. The novel’s protagonist, Doctor Saheb, is an older man who has the credentials of a trained surgeon but currently works at a small village community clinic with limited supplies and the assistance of a pharmacist. He must put his beliefs aside when one night he is met with the hardest task of his life—repairing three walking and breathing corpses. A teacher, his pregnant wife, and their son were murdered earlier that night but given the chance by an angel to cheat death if their wounds were patched up before the upcoming morning. Being given the boundaries of staying within the perimeter of the village, Doctor Saheb is their only hope.
Vikram Paralkar makes the decision not to name any of the characters except for his protagonist, detaching their background stories in order to place emphasis on their current dire condition. A physician-scientist himself, Vikram Paralkar captures with vivid detail the environment of surgery. Also, he is able to effortlessly and naturally flow from dialogue to internal philosophical thoughts. One thing brought into discussion in this novel is that we as humans not only have to worry about the uncertainty of life, but also the uncertainty of death. This family is stuck in the limbo between life and death, but in a sense Doctor Saheb is also stuck. He has previously worked at a city hospital as a surgeon, but when he makes a mistake his whole reputation is ruined to the point where he has to try and hide his past. In this regard, he is stuck—his passion is lost, and he feels like he can no longer rise up. Night Theater probes a truly an interesting concept and is a truly captivating story.
Pub. Date: Jan. 14, 2020
Page Count: 224