Elephants in the Room by Suraj Laxminarayanan – Book Review

Elephants in the Room by Suraj Laxminarayanan - book review on Literature News

How many times do we read a novel that takes us to unnecessary paths and then surprises us with a stunning connection that melts the difference between unnecessary and necessary? Well, that happens only rarely because we seldom find such novels these days. Most of the published works are only based on romance, thriller or romantic suspense – yes, that’s the reality. However, at times, we might find such novels as well. Today, I am going to discuss a novel which almost emits the same grandeur and somehow manages to end well. Suraj Laxminarayanan’s debut novel, Elephants in the Room, is a voluminous one and extends up to 600 pages. However, you might not be interested in each of these pages. Nonetheless, you won’t be stressed reading this piece and it’s certain that you will want to navigate through the pages patiently. Somehow, the novel grips you to turn the pages.

High Points vs Low Points
This novel has a strange thriller instinct about it. It does not follow the trail spread by conventional crime novelists. Humour is present here and there and so is the sentimental value. Elephants in the Room is about a bank robber which is messed up by a number of gangs and thus, a number of rival robbers inside the bank at once. So, the story will be nice.
On the other hand, the story, which follows a plot unconventional, stretches only up to four days but 600 pages. So, reading the novel might require courage and patience on the readers’ side. Language, which is simplified, comes to the rescue. The narrative is also in a high spirit and rather experimental; in his very first novel, Suraj Laxminarayanan has tried to achieve a distinct order for his words!
To sum it up, language and narrative are the higher points while length and plot might be on the other side.

Game of Surprises:
Well, Elephants in the Room is a novel with unexpected surprises and as a reader, you will also experience the same. The novel takes a straight course. Nonetheless, in the straight course, there are the twists and turns (very much within the main course) that will take the readers by surprise. A crime thriller with unexpected sentimental excursions seems much like a Bollywood movie…

Ideal Readers:
Suraj’s debut has already been liked and appreciated by many critics and book review platforms in India. As far as I could think, 16+ readers are the ideal readers for this novel. It contains violence too and that’s why I have capped it above a certain age. Going by the genre, readers who love suspense will like it, though they might not find much of the suspense element in it. Moreover, readers who like experimental fiction will certainly appreciate the novel the most.

Literature News Verdict:
As a reader for Literature News, I will keep my bars for this novel on 3.8. I liked the idea, the execution as well as overall performance of the novelist on various fronts. However, so much of monologues and over the else’s head thinking and reflection of the same might distract the readers a little. Still, the novelist has achieved his due and the novel should be a successful debut by the standards it sets for itself. It will be a good and interesting read for most of the readers who read it. You can also get a copy of this novel from Amazon India:

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review by Piyush for Literature News

Elephants in the Room
  • Literature News Verdict


A good debut made by the author… the novel will interest the readers who have an interest in reading crime thrillers and suspense novels. The genre doesn’t tell it all – it’s a complex fiction and you need to read this one to understand the nature and the depth! All the best!