Some bloggers are tempted to scoop up their online entries, drop them into one bucket, and call it a book. Sometimes this works; sometimes it doesn’t. Unfortunately, Survival falls into the latter category.
Good intentions are certainly evident. In his introduction, Anuj Tikku, an actor-turned-travel blogger, states that his goal is “to salute the spirit of survivors like myself and many others who have come out of a traumatic incident and carried on…with renewed enthusiasm and gusto.” He offers some concrete, albeit random, pointers, such as taking responsibility for setbacks, eating salads and greens to detox the body, and overcoming the pain of loss by imagining that nothing belongs to us. “At the end of the game,” he reminds us, “the king and the pawn go back into the same box.”
Too often, though, the book falters. In the beginning, Tikku barely mentions the brutal murder of his father before plunging into the first section on overcoming trauma, leaving readers in the dark about this intense story until more than halfway through the book.
What’s more, the absence of a Table of Contents and real chapters—Survival is a succession of topics peppered with subheads, often located mid-page—makes this book feel haphazard and clumsy, as does the lack of transitions. A section on “Corporate Team Training,” for example, bears little relation to the “To Be or Not to Be” section preceding it. The author also fails to translate some Indian language phrases and explain references to religious characters most Western readers won’t recognize.
As the book progresses, its awkward, blog-like style becomes even more obvious with admissions like “I know I promised to share my secrets with you last month. Guess it’s been a long time since then.”
Given his obvious writing skills, if the author were to better organize his content and logically link ideas, Survival might work. As is, Tikku misses a valuable opportunity to share his powerful story and experience-based advice.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.