Title: A Road Not Traveled
Author: J Alchem
Publisher: Story Mirror
Niorgast Stinvins, a motivational speaker by profession, wakes up one day to a strange phone call from an unknown person asking him to attend a meeting. There he is introduced to two more strangers, Doilin Flenk(Political advisor) and Bakintin Lenit (Journalist) and to a mission : "Can the world be a single country?" Thus begins a journey on a road not traveled, learning new lessons, unlearning a few and finally realizing that life is much more than what you think it is. Accompanying him on this journey are his personal demons, some ghosts of the past and few random memories of the near future with his loved ones. One day he reaches a stage where he doesn't know if he will be able to live or not. Can the world be a single country? Will they be able to take this mission from a closed room to a goal post? What circumstances are they going to face? How will their journey be?
J Alchem is a voracious reader and critically acclaimed author. He is the winner of StoryMirror 2015 (a nationwide writing competition), NaNoWriMo -2015 and super hero storyteller (2014). He has written in several magazines and newspapers and received the appreciation for the same. His stories have been published in numerous anthologies such as blank Space, Love Bytes and Mighty Thoughts and on various online channels. He is actively involved in writing quotes and short write-ups which have often seen circulated among youth in Facebook, Whatzapp and other social media platforms. You can reach him at www.authoralchem.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/Jalchem
J Alchem’s debut novel, A Road Not Traveled, brought to my mind Robert Frost’s poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ which is about the human tendency to look back and attribute blame to minor events in one's life, or to attribute more meaning to things than they may deserve. A comparison between the two works arose because I find so much similarity between the titles. But then the similarity ends there. In a stark contrast, Alchem talks of a journey that hasn’t been accomplished yet – a journey where people work together to turn this world we live in, into a single country. Don’t get the writer wrong. He isn’t suggesting a military coup. What he means by his ‘one-country world’ statement is that what if there were no boundaries between countries and each neighbor was more than eager to help the other one out in case of trouble. Where leaders acted selflessly and worked towards a unified goal. Perhaps something on the lines of utopia!
The concept of a utopian society isn’t possible. At least that’s what I learnt in my Political Science classes. It is a paradox unto itself. Yet, while reading this book and mulling over the concept of a one-country world I felt that even though utopia isn’t a possibility, there’s no denying the fact that if countries acted like families instead of rivals, this dream would no longer be unattainable! Alchem’s novel tries to explore this virgin ground through his protagonist and other characters. Look carefully and you’ll notice the points the author wants to make – about family, relationships, individuality, and the all-pervasive desire for a better world that laces life if we only look a little closely.
A bold attempt based mostly on marginally explored concepts rather than statistical support. I feel this is indeed a consciousness-raising work.
I'd like to thank the author for letting me review his book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!