False Ceilings 2017-11-11T00:38:13+00:00

watermark3Born in the lush mountains of Dalhousie in 1930, Shakuntala is a pampered child of a wealthy builder. On her wedding night, she is gifted a secret to use wisely when the time comes.

From the green valleys of Dalhousie to a village in Punjab reeling under the communal violence of 1947; from the Delhi of 1950s with its intoxicating smell of freedom to the Delhi of 1970s soaked in the hippie culture; from the Delhi of 1984 smelling of burnt tyres to the Delhi of 90s raising its Frankenstein of urbanization, the cancerous secret breathes with her, infects her. It is accidentally passed down, hidden under insecurities and jealousies, locked in its meaninglessness and leaving a trail of ruin.

When her great- grandson accidentally discovers the secret in 2065, he is perplexed by the malice that flowed in his family’s blood. Was it just the secret or his family would have destroyed itself even in its absence? Why was their love never greater than their unsaid expectations from each other?

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Review by Akanksha Dureja

Through a span of almost a century, through multiple people and places, through stories within stories, the book keeps the reader engaged. It expects a certain level of concentration, and rightly so. Pick this one up for a peep into the past, to get to re-live stories that your grandparents told of an era when things were simple and uncomplicated, as well for a deep dive into what the future could be.
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Review by Ruchira Shukla

We are almost lulled into believing that the book is all about the secret. But as it progresses you can’t help but wonder if the secret is simply a ruse. The underlying theme of the book is human relationships and their complexities. Very subtly, Amit digs deep into the human psyche to unearth and explore deep rooted emotions, fears and half-forgotten memories of the past that define each one of the characters and makes them what they are.
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Review by Maniparna Sen Mejumdar

Just like us, the characters of Manohar, Lipi, Vinod, Aaryan, Meena, are human beings. They have been portrayed in different shades of grey, but never in either black or white. Still, the delineation doesn’t appear drab or monotonous and, there lies the skill of Amit as a writer.
Apart from the central characters, the author has paid diligent attention to the not-so-conspicuous characters as well. Amit has expounded on every single character making them three-dimensional and identifiable.
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Review by Sanhita Baruah

I have loved books with ironical endings - you get what you need only when you don't need it, when every effort put in seems vain, every tear rolled was a waste of emotion, every question asked was nothing but a rhetorical. I loved this one a lot for the story-telling and a lot more for the ending, for it made me whine, it made me angry, it made me sad, it made me talk to my friends about the book although they haven't read the book.
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Review by The Readers Cosmos

The writer has chosen a different style of storytelling wherein he has divided all the characters as if they were the piece of a puzzle and jumbled them up, telling each ones story one by one in a random order. Overall it is a good story made beautiful by the writing and mysterious by a well-crafted strategy.
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Review by India Cafe 24

Amit Sharma, through his very first book, takes the readers on a journey that spans across multiple generations and social eras. The author has done extensive research to recreate the various periods during which the events in the story take place. In addition, the effort put into building every single character is visibly apparent and all praise goes to Amit Sharma for having the ability to bring them to life through his words.
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Review by Nikhil Kumar

The book is a fascinating read. The characters, the plot, the dialog, and the flow of the prose is strong enough to keep a reader hooked till the end. The second half of the book has more meat, and moves much faster than the first half, I thought, and once you get to the halfway mark, you’d be foolish to stop. Overall, I think it’s a book worth picking up and reading twice.
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Review by Meera

False Ceilings is a gripping tale of a dysfunctional family and their secret that is passed through generations. It is commendable that Amit has chosen such a complex storyline for his debut novel. However complex that is, his narration makes it crafty and the pace was good enough to keep the reader arrested till the end.
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Review by Afshan Shaik

The reader travels from the narrow passages between the hills in Dalhousie, to the busy Connaught place of Delhi and also can visualise the sikh riots and the terror the country faced in 1984. As we enter the futuristic era of 2017-60s, where everything is fast paced , where our soups are in the form of capsules, I wondered has everything actually changed. Aren’t the emotions, the love, hatred and confusion still the same? All in all, the book makes a great read and will not disappoint you at all.
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Review by Sakshi Nanda

At the core of ‘False Ceilings’ is the human drama of ‘life’ – of ‘decisions, lost opportunities, frustrations, happiness and complications.’ You will meet characters with real personalities, etched in utmost detail. The book is strong on context, placing characters in varied geographies drawn to the tee. Amit seems to have researched the past well and imagined the future plausibly in order to document the flux of time and the passing of ages, an idea central to a saga.
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Review by Sulekha Rawat

‘False ceilings’ is a family drama, a complicated one, with lots of twists and turns. Amit has portrayed his characters brilliantly and their flaws and failures are simply put out there, without any embellishments. I hated a few characters more than the others, sympathized with some and pitied the one who was responsible for the devastating domino effect in their lives. I can visualize this book being made into a movie.
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Review by Rekha Dhyani

‘Amit’s description of Delhi in the pre-independence era to the post-independence era is something that is worth a mention. It is not everyday that you read of how contrasting the two Delhis are. Even the simple and steady lives in the hills of Dalhousie are beautifully described and the characters from the various eras connected to it in some way or the other. A lot of history goes into this writing and I admire the efforts of the author in weaving them seamlessly within the plot.
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Review by Rachna Shrivastava Parmar

‘Amit is really good with descriptions. He explores the natural beauty of both Dalhousie and Delhi graphically. He also takes care to go in depth and lead the reader through the lives, insecurities, jealousies, frailties and tumultuous emotions of his protagonists. Actually, what impressed me is his deft understanding and exploration of human psyche. His prose flows naturally, soothing at times and troubling at others as he gets under the skin of emotions and issues we normally like to sweep under the carpet.
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Review by Dagny Sol

I loved Amit’s robust characterization. The people who walked the pages of False Ceilings were real to life human beings. They were good when happy; they were ugly when denied; they were mean when angry. They manipulated and were selfish. Yet, through it all, you never forgot the traumas they had undergone. And so you were able to empathize and understand why they did what they did.
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Review by Vicky

I love family sagas. It’s just something that I’ve always enjoyed from the time I started reading more grown up books and it’s something I usually like from a single person’s point of view. But this one has so many points of view and with so many different characters, a daunting task for any author, let alone a debut. And it surprised me with how well it was handled.
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Review by Nikita Soni

All in all, False Ceilings by Amit Sharma is a brave and promising debut with a strong plot and a story that reads like a saga with plenty of time travel, adventure, suspense and emotional play. I enjoyed reading the book and give it 4 out of 5 and look forward to reading more from the author in the future.
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Review by Kalyan

Rather than the story itself, for the masterful way in which it is narrated, the author has demonstrated formidable literary skills, in knowing how to build and implement a family history as a path in which the purest Indian tradition gives way to the influence of the modern world, to a relentless transformation that all change, overwhelms, sweeps away, leaving the characters in the family stunned and lost.
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Review by Shilpi Chaknabolis

The narration is very good and the author has managed very well to tell the tale in a detailed manner. The language is simple and easy to read. All in all False Ceilings is an engaging read with a beautiful story that is told well. The book is recommended to those who love mature stories that have some depth. Looking forward to read more from the author.
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Review by Dipali Sharma

The positives of the story are the primitiveness in the narration that impressed me. The author narrated the story in a very unique way; it seemed as if he is talking to the readers personally. The author has been successful enough to connect with the readers, I loved it, and I am sure that the target audience will love this book too.
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Review by Shaivi

The book boasts of some amazing descriptions - be it the picturesque Dalhousie or the mad rush of Delhi. While the story takes us through generations, many important historic events too are retold, like the 1984 riots and the 1947 partition. The author's impression of life in 2060's with its well imagined technology is impressive. The narration is so realistic that when the book is over, one feels having traveled through time.
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Review by Ishithaa

The characters are very well developed, they are neither white nor black, but real breathing humans just like you and me. They are complete with all their flaws and shortcomings and that is what makes the characters so believable. It is quite obvious that there has been indepth study of people and places undertaken to narrate this family saga. The writing as well as the language employed is good and it is notable that this is Amit Sharma’s debut novel. I believe he has a long way to go.
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