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November Rain Reviews: Indian Writing,
finally conquering the world!

Review By Subhash K Jha

Sunday Times of India, New Delhi, 1994 ( VIEW News Cliping )

The First Review Published In 1994 In TOI Sunday Edition

Al Raines' November Rain ( Subtitles memories of the spell bound ) marks a breakthrough in indo-english pop fiction.Raines has a bracingly bizarre story to tell. He tells it in no-nonsense but interestingly internalised monologues whereby all four pricnipal character in the passion-play of planchettes, murder,fatal accidents, insanity renincarnation speaks out in their own spluttering voices.
The sentences are terse and snappy, the action relentless and the plot is a defrosted wastland of unfulfilled desires.Sandy is the inconsolably bereaved lover whose dead beloved is reborn in another time, another land.As the plot travels through vast streatches of time and geography, alraines desists from surendering the story to circuilousness. Paradoxically, while making a virtue of terseness the novel flirts freely with the concept of space and pace.The restlessness of young minds in search of kicks is vividly portrayed.Raines wishes to be recognised not as a author but a raconteur.If only shobha de would recognise and abide by this differentiation her books would not so emphatically exemplify mal-structured novelisation

Review By Monicca Adlakha

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, July 4 2008
Rating: ***

They say never judge a book by its cover. But you can always read the teaser at the back of the book.Well in case of this book that is what excites you more.It Read - one love, one incidence, one decision one brush with the unknown changed the life of six madical students from two generations.based on four real life episodes from the authors life,November Rain - Memories of the spellbound is for those who believe in destiny.The book has all the elements( including slangs ) to click primarily with the younger audience. It abuses, it excites, it makes the "other" come alive...Poetry, however , comes as an additional advantage.

Talk about November rain and you can't help but think of Guns'N' Rose's November Rain song. And you are not entirely wrong when you compare the vedio of the song with the book, as both deal with a similar theme- love and angst.The crisp writing of this supernatural love story keeps you glued to the end, more so because there is so much happneing on every page. By the time you reach the end, you might look back at life with fresh prespective...it's just that too many ellipses can be quite disturbing. So grab your copy and explore fate, love and loss.

Review By Acid Rain

Has Indian Pop Fiction arrived?
Rating: ****

"I just finished November Rain and loved it. It is a great read!!"

Judy Coppage, Studio City, Los Angeles

(Judy Coppage is the President of THE COPPAGE COMPANY, a literary and talent management company, which sold the DIE HARD novel to 20th Century Fox.Prior to starting her own company, Ms. Coppage taught at UCLA and was Director of Development and Executive in Charge of Production for Paramount Television, Director of Development and Producer for Johnny Carson Productions, and Head of Development, Stirling-Silliphant. With Silliphant, she worked on THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, TOWERING INFERNO, NEW CENTURIONS, and all the original SHAFT movies. Latest from her client Larry Bishop is HELL RIDE, produced by Quentin Tarantino - written, directed, produced, and starring Larry Bishop, it will be released shortly by Dimension. Also just released by 20th Century Fox is DEATH SENTENCE starring Kevin Bacon and directed by James Wan. Judy is now representing November Rain)

Review By Anouradha Bakshi

Rating: ****

[Anouradha Goburdhun Bakshi was Voted Citizen One 2005 by the India Today group and in the same year received the Red and White Silver medal for Social Bravery. With a Masters In French, she was interpreter to the likes of Indira Gandhi & Jacques Chirac. The last words of her diplomat father "Don't lose faith in India' made her question the validity of an almost perfect life in an India where many things were wrong. After a period of introspection and the realisation that many 'why's needed to be answered she decided to find some of the answers by setting up Project Why in 1998. Project Why works with disadvantaged children in New Delhi. Anouradha blogs at http://projectwhy.blogspot.com& her Website is: http://projectwhy.orgAnouradha found November Rain to be a wonderful read and she has now adopted the Al Raines poem One as her charity's theme]

Here is her review

If you are young... says the back cover

The crisp almost minimalist narrative of this beautifully crafted book keeps you turning pages till you reach the end and compels you to look back at your own life in a different way

November Rain is a must read.

Review By Pallavi Bhattacharya

Rating: ****

[Pallavi Bhattacharya is a freelance journalist with published articles in Outlook, Rave, Readers' Digest, India Today Plus, Hindustan Times etc. Pallavi relishes the freedom of expression through her journalistic pursuits, which to her is means of self-discovery and understanding life]

Cult novel and possibly India’s foremost pop-fiction November Rain written by husband-wife duo Abhigyan and Mrinal Jha (pseudonym Al Raines) seems to take a cue from the epic rock ballad November Rain by Guns N’ Roses. The bride in the Guns and Roses song is often presumed to be killed abruptly when a lightning strikes during her church wedding. Similarly young Sandeep unexpectedly loses his sweetheart Arpita while fixing their marriage date when their car crashes during a rainstorm in November

We’ve all heard of the wedding vow to love ‘till death do us part’. However what may happen if we continue to love our partner not only after he/ she dies but in his/ her next life as well? After all it is often believed that when you meet your lover from your previous birth, you instantly feel a deep and natural affinity with him/ her as he/ she is your soul-mate.

England-born Erica paradoxically sees her dream man in her nightmares from childhood. He holds a red rose for her in the fog. She seems to be on an unending ominous wait to meet him. Medicines, hypnosis and counseling just won’t cure her recurrent nightmares. Heeding to her grandfather’s advice on his death bed an eighteen-year-old Erica flies to India to find this soul-mate of hers.

November Rain uniquely explores the concept of fate, love and loss. It shows how a single incident may have a far reaching impact affecting many people over generations. Maybe it’s better to stoically accept fate, love and loss instead. Another relevant issue explored is whether we do end up in marrying our soul-mate? And should we just let the dead rest in peace instead of invoking their spirit through a planchette?

A supernatural thriller, November Rain subtlely builds up climax through nuances. An invoked spirit scrawls that he wants to watch a ghost movie. Two cars narrowly miss a head-long collision maybe symbolically indicating that the passengers narrowly miss meeting one another despite being intertwined by fate. A painter purposely does away with all light bulbs as he likes to paint by candlelight. Out-of-season rain in November acts as tragic foreboding. The novel breaks clichés to juxtapose a sinister touch to the number ‘16’ than the predominantly used ‘13’. 16 whether in birth and death seems to be of ominous significance.

Written in epistolary style, November Rain often narrates the same incident by the various characters in their own perspectives. The narrations randomly shift between the 70’s and 90’s decade in both England and India. One of the narrations is actually by a spirit called in a planchette!

The language alters in accordance with the narrator. When an orthodox ageing NRI couple is the narrator it is full of the usual grammatical errors they are typically prone to. When college-going-youngsters narrate, the language has slang and references to rock bands.

Though this book may have more takers among those open to the supernatural especially Stephen King readers, maybe skeptics should know that November Rain is partly based on four inexplicable incidents in the authors’ present lives.

Review By Rajneesh Ranjan

Strategic Account Manager with Wipro Infotech, India
Rating: *****

What strikes one first up is : what a gutsy effort at the age of 21. This is an unmatchable endeavour of a legendary author in making. November Rains seems young and youthfull throughout. Just reeling with energy and enthusiasm.Great passion. And a simplicity which makes it readable by anybody. It can resonate with teens as well as all those who want to feel younger.It is a kind of youth tonic. The story just binds you till the last page.Absolutely brilliant story telling . I didn't care for anything other than completing the book and the story still has impact on my mind as if I was there at the time of such happennings. There were no unnecessary lengthy philosophical descriptions but fast moving engrossing events which were falling so naturally one after the other that the reader gets lost in those like a slow but steady wine creeping into one's brain.

Al Raines, I am ready to buy all your books.

Customer Review By Anna Singh

Rating: *****

November Rain: A Combination of Indian Fiction, Indian Pop Fiction and Indian Writing:

Undercover Utopia had published November Rain which is the first Indian Pop Fiction and the very first example of its kind in Indian Fiction and popular Indian Writing. Learn about Indian Writing, Indian Story, Indian Pop and Indian Fiction - November Rain from undercoverpro.abhigyanjha.com

India's foremost pop-fiction November Rain written by husband-wife duo Abhigyan and Mrinal Jha (pseudonym Al Raines) seems to take a cue from the epic rock ballad November Rain by Guns N' Roses. Their novel, November Rain, was hailed as the first book of pop fiction in India. You are at right place if you are searching for anything regarding the new revolution in Indian Writing, Indian Story, Indian Fiction and Indian Pop.

Review By Anil Goel (Indian Version)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

November Rain
Author: Al Raines
ISBN 13:978-0-9798116-0-9
ISBN 13:978-0-9798116-1-6
Publisher: Undercover Utopia
Available at: http://www.amazon.com & http://www.bookcafe.in

Everything is fine in my life. I am doing well, or maybenot doing well. I may even be doing terribly badly. At work, in bed, as a parent, spouse, child, clerk, CEO, plumber, rock star - whatever! Whatever it is I am doing and feeling, chances are it has been happening over a period of time; over months,maybe years,sometimes over a lifetime. On the face of it I may seem unhappy, even devastated to try and use a strong word, but somewheredeep inside I am comfortable. Comfortable in the confines of my familiar world. The outer world that my inner self has created to blissful ignorance, perhaps denial, of everything that doesn't fit in.

That is, I sometimes feel, the core representation of the way, at the current level of evolution, Mr. Man is predominantly sailing through life - Mr. Man, you and I. The outer manifest may range from a very successful global manager to a very disgruntled maid but I think if you try to find one common thread, this will fit the bill.

Sandy was somewhere in the middle. He was perhaps not yet required to try and think of greater things in his early twenties. We wouldn’t put him at the bottom end though he didn't have much to go to press about yet.

He was deeply in love with Arpita - things had been one sided for a long time and had just begin to get better. They had started dating.

Mr. & Ms. Man (sic) for sure And then ... he was suddenly talking to dead people...trying to synchronise an artificially created device called the calendar with a flowing eternity that lived in timelessness, trying to organize an appointment that could somehow be met on both sides of existence as we know it.

Just reading that story can make you reconsider what is important in life as we know it on Earth, and what is not. I just feel a chill run up my spine whenever I wonder how much a person like Sandy can ever notice his toast is burnt after such an experience.

Sandy ... or Abhigyan ... who facilitated the trans-existential (?) conversations before he realized what he was doing. Who became inadvertent witness to the possible insignificance of not making that promotion this year, when seen in the backdrop of the grander scheme of things that a more powerful being somewhere has been choreographing for billions of years. Years before my father even looked naughtily at my mother, creating for the first time the possibility of me visiting Earth. And that he will still be choreographing years after my greatest grandest son will probably help his wife conceive online or do some currently unimaginable futuristic thing like that.

November Rain (http://novemberrain.in) does all of that to me ...if you have the courage to question existence...and in the luxury of a breath taking un-put-down-able thriller,the first novel of Indian Writing that created a 300 episode prime time supernatural series on Zee...

Go get your copy!

Review By Nadira Ali (Delhi)

[Indian Version (via Facebook) August 21, 2007 at 9.04pm]

Rating: *****

i'm happy to tell all of you, i have the original copy of November Rain:The first Indian Pop novel.

And my review is *****. If you want something more, I gotta tell you, i have read that book about two years ago and it made such an impression on me that I still remember every detail of it.

Review By raj hansen "r.hansen" (irving, texas)

[International Version (from www.amazon.com) August 16, 2007]
Rating: *****

Life Is something that happens to you when you are busy making other plans,that's what november rain is really about. Who knows when your loved one might die. How would you react?

Particularly if you are only 21-22? how do you endure a long life ahead without the one you love?

Sandy,of November Rain wants these answers and in doing so dabbles with the hereafter with devastating consequences. Love can call the dead back from afterlife but there is a price to be paid.Told in a breathless first person style that uses the back and forth format of pulp fiction (the website said that the book's first edition in india preceded the film by 11 months) November Rain is unputdownable.It is easy to understand why it succeeded as a TV series.

Very visual and extremely sparse (this story could have been 500 pages long) it sticks to the incidents that change the lives of the three main characters. The india angle is mysterious.

A strange hallucinatory read.

I recommend it strongly if you want a throwback to your college years.

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