The Walls Have Life!

Review of The Unheards – Memories Never Die…; AK Bansal; Cedar Books 2010; Rs 150; pp 216

– Shana Susan Ninan

In his note on the first page of my review copy, AK Bansal had written that he hoped his book would draw an engrossing read. However, before I could get my hands on the novel, my colleague finished reading it in two days’ time, straight. And she praised Bansal’s debut work, The Unheards – with bulged-out rolling eyes, saying it kept her away from her work! That was enough inspiration for me to dig into the story.

The picture of an eerie-looking bungalow on a blue-grey background emphasises the presence of nether beings. The prologue, too, focuses on the history of the Barcaldine house and the stories it has to tell, or rather, reveal. The run-down, abandoned house seems inviting at first: large columns, spacious rooms, expansive gardens, trees all round and an old world charm about it.

Little do the Edments – David, Martha and their kids – know when they move into this palatial building that its past is something decades of disuse cannot hide. Slowly and steadily, the house comes to life. Literally. Supernatural occurrences are ignored by the family as mere coincidences. But things come to a head soon. With her husband away on official work, Martha comes way too close to the haunting. She has to rid her family of the sinister beings. The hunt is on.

Fear is relayed in a downward spiral fashion: it starts very small but soon takes over the readers. Anxiously, we wait for the next turn of events and the surprise on every page. Bansal’s good choice of fear-inducing and hair-raising words keep us held. Short paragraphs, swift conversations and not-too-tedious first person thoughts keep the momentum going. Few typos here and there and certain ill-fitting phrases mar the otherwise beautiful flow of words. With a wee bit of work on it, The Unheards will be a superb psychological thriller.

Bansal’s writing shows he’s sure of the topic he’s chosen, something first-time authors may falter with. His interest in reading and researching the paranormal and the unexplainable have a solid influence in the strengths of the plot.


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Rating: 9.5/10 (40 votes cast)
The Walls Have Life! , 9.5 out of 10 based on 40 ratings

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This entry was posted on Sunday, June 5th, 2011 at 11:34 pm and is filed under Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. June 6th, 2011 | Rishi Shah says:

    I agree with shana the book is very engrossing and the way the story is told is marvellous. Finally the indian writers have arrived!

  2. June 7th, 2011 | akmambi says:

    I bought through FLIPKART. Read the book. Now a cherished slice of my Horror Fiction collection.

    AK its not just an engrossing read, but one of the most engulfing to me.

    Waiting for the next one!

  3. June 7th, 2011 | Aryan Rai says:

    Shana I cant agree with you more.

    My sister sipped the book in three days…that more than inspired me take to a plunge, (though im not a regular reader)….
    But BOY I enjoyed it back to back…

    A thrilling deal for a pleasant weekend.

  4. August 7th, 2011 | Sugandhi says:

    I loved your book Akash…keep writing…looking forward for more novels..!! All the best..

  5. August 10th, 2011 | Aditi says:

    I bought the book from flipkart reason I love thriller and horror stories.Book lives upto my expectations.prologue develops my interest to flip the pages.AK Bansal is doing a good job waiting for ur next thriller.

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