Thank you to Catapult for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Saheb is a surgeon at a run-down clinic with barely enough supplies to stay open. Every day is a battle as Saheb must fight to get the supplies he needs from corrupt officials. One night, he is visited by the dead. A teacher, his pregnant wife, and their son arrive at the clinic and request that Saheb treat their wounds so they may be brought back to life at dawn. Thus begins a long and sleepless night as Saheb and his pharmacist help the family and learn more about the world than they hoped for.
This was a thrilling read. While it is mostly classified as literary fiction and fantasy, I found this to excite me just as much as the page-turner thrillers I typically read. The entire novel takes place within a single night, and we follow Saheb and his faithful pharmacist work tirelessly to save this family. As the night goes on, Saheb learns that the outcome of these surgeries will not only affect the family but him as well. What I found most interesting were the discussions and revelations that centered around the afterlife and God. They were very creative and kept me hooked.
The book was only 224 pages and a quick read for me. I was able to finish in just two nights, but had I let myself, I would have been able to read it in one sitting. It was very detailed–Paralkar is a physician and the medical passages were very descriptive. This book had me deep in thought for the entire time. The ending was no different and left me contemplating the entire plot as well as my own life.
While the book was relatively short, Paralkar managed to fit in a lot of complexity and depth. Night Theater is bit morbid and incredibly fascinating. The medical passages may be a bit graphic to some readers, but I guarantee making it through those passages to experience the rest of the book is so worth it.
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