Review by Jeyasivananth -- The Broadcast by Liam Fialkov

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Jeyasivananth
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Review by Jeyasivananth -- The Broadcast by Liam Fialkov

Post by Jeyasivananth »

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Broadcast" by Liam Fialkov.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Broadcast is a suspense thriller written by Liam Fialkov. The story revolves around a program shown in TXB network named Broadcast. The program telecasts controversial video visuals from the past. In its maiden episode, it shows a video clip that documents a murder that was not solved for 25 years. The show's content then takes a turn. It begins showing visuals from significant moments of human history. The source of these baffling video clips remains a point of controversy. It divides people into those who question its authenticity and those who believe in it. The telecasting of religious persecutions and genocides from the past stirs unrest amidst religious groups. The main characters of the story are those connected to the show -Walter Lindsey, the show's director, his brother Jonathan and his wife Sarah. In the subplot, we see Sarah's illicit son Michael and how he finds his way back to his biological mother. Each character has a scarred past which they must revisit, confront and forgive to heal in the present. The book traces their individual journeys while revealing the source of these mysterious clips.

The author follows multiple points of views for narration using the third person omniscient. Each chapter is named after a character and the plot moves ahead with their lives. The opening of the book is racy and it has you instantly in hooks with the solving of a murder mystery. But, as the plot progresses the book wanders a little until it picks up pace towards the end. The book felt too long and a more careful editing could have helped to maintain a gripping narration. This becomes vital especially since the author does not experiment much with his narrative techniques and at least most of the plot is predictable.

All the major characters in the book are well rounded and their conflicts are etched well. Sarah battles with repression and wounds of the past that manifests in her philandering ways taking a toll on her relationship with her husband. Jonathan and Walter, both fester guilt and blame after losing parents at an accident and are torn apart. Michael longs to know his beginnings and his natal identity. Thus, the author has taken particular care in delineating his characters and their moral conflicts.

I loved the unique plot line of the book and how the author has deftly woven the themes into it. Thematically the book deals with how we deal with our past and the choices we make. In the microcosm, every single character in the book has to make peace with his errs of the past. Living in denial or wallowing in the past can pull us down but embracing and making amends can help to make life better. At the macrocosm, through its historical footages, the same message is propagated to humanity as well. Mankind too has to learn from its mistakes for the betterment of posterity. What I detested about the book was its monotonous language. The language is never organic and fluid. It does not do justice to the characters or the setting and falls flat. This leaves the characters lifeless and restricts the reader from identifying with them despite their easily relatable problems.

I would rate the book 3 out of 4. I have to cut a point for its sloppy diction. The book also leaves out many loopholes like what the repercussions of the final broadcast were. Did it stir an unrest? Was Walter disappointed that Jonathan leaked the footage elsewhere? Did Michael ever enquire about his father Mr. Buckner whose house he had visited? The book fails to answer many of these pertinent questions that are hard to overlook. I would recommend this book to science fiction and history lovers. This book is not for religiously conservative readers who are not open to controversies and discussions. The book is free of explicit languages and scenes and is suitable for young adult readers.

******
The Broadcast
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Morgan Jones
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Post by Morgan Jones »

Thank you for the detailed review! I really enjoy thrillers so I think I'll give this book a shot!
"Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well." - Mark Haddon

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Jeyasivananth
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Post by Jeyasivananth »

Morgan Jones wrote:
04 Jul 2018, 11:19
Thank you for the detailed review! I really enjoy thrillers so I think I'll give this book a shot!
Thank you, I am glad you liked the review and I am sure you will enjoy the book as well!

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onixpam
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Post by onixpam »

The plot is engaging and original. I already find a place for this book on my shelves. I will be reading it very soon. Great review!

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Jeyasivananth
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Post by Jeyasivananth »

onixpam wrote:
04 Jul 2018, 21:54
The plot is engaging and original. I already find a place for this book on my shelves. I will be reading it very soon. Great review!
Yes, It was! The plot was refreshing and very original. I am sure you will enjoy the read. Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by kfwilson6 »

Much of this book fell flat for me too. I got really bored when The Broadcast shifted to historical events. It was battle after battle and each one sounded like the last. The characters were also quite dry. The relationship between Johnathan and Sarah was very unrelatable. I couldn't connect with either of them. The end was surprising but disappointing. I was not impressed by the source of the videos. Nice review. I too probably would have put it at 3 stars.

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Jeyasivananth
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Post by Jeyasivananth »

kfwilson6 wrote:
05 Jul 2018, 12:46
Much of this book fell flat for me too. I got really bored when The Broadcast shifted to historical events. It was battle after battle and each one sounded like the last. The characters were also quite dry. The relationship between Johnathan and Sarah was very unrelatable. I couldn't connect with either of them. The end was surprising but disappointing. I was not impressed by the source of the videos. Nice review. I too probably would have put it at 3 stars.
Ha Ha..I think it is because of the poor execution. Although the plot was conceived originally, the narrative techniques fail to sustain the interest. The tiresome third person narration sounds more like reporting and never allows the reader to establish verisimilitude with the characters. Thanks for sharing your observations.

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Dael Reader
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Post by Dael Reader »

I read and reviewed this one a while ago and felt much the same way you did about it. Overall, it seemed like a good idea that wasn't executed particularly well. And the end was disappointing with so many loose ends. I enjoyed your review.

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Jeyasivananth
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Post by Jeyasivananth »

Dael Reader wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 19:44
I read and reviewed this one a while ago and felt much the same way you did about it. Overall, it seemed like a good idea that wasn't executed particularly well. And the end was disappointing with so many loose ends. I enjoyed your review.
Good to know we are on the same page on reviewing the book. The end was a let down with questions left unanswered. Thanks for stopping by!

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