The Reverse Journey is a story about a man who is torn between permanently staying at the United States of America, where he has been for the past five years or going back home, to India. The book is the debut novel of Vivek Kumar Singh, an ex-IITian.
The Reverse Journey, told from the first person perspective narrates specific incidents from the narrator’s childhood until his life in America. Most of the book is filled with his thoughts on the culture and differences between America and India.
While the book does describe his surroundings and friends, the author spends more time in analysing and commenting on the social aspects of the situation and rarely goes beyond brief narratives.
The book is described as Fiction/ New Age and while it is thought provoking in a few areas, one will wonder if fits the description of either of the genres. The author has contemplated and commented on many social themes and has tried to explain the views of a middle class Indian engineer. The author has tried to be pensive and philosophical but his perspective echoes the clichéd version of the world as we know it. The language is simplistic and easy to follow but it does not present much food for thought because it is merely reinstating everything that we already know. The book was also filled with editing errors that were impossible to ignore after a point in time.
When I first read the book, and its dedication (“To thinking, Indian middle-class professionals, who immigrates to developed countries-carrying their value system with them; only to return later to find the belongingness”) I was excited to read the book. When I did read it, I came out disappointed.