The Prey Gets the Last Laugh: A decipher of Obsessed Consciousnes
Live Correspondent: Actually, I was searching for new books recently published in the USA. This habit was grown in me after reading two books which have a heart-throbbing impact on people worldwide. One book is The Book Thief, a very popular historical novel written by Australian author Markus Zusak. The other book, I read many years back which is also a bestselling book in history, named To Kill a Mockingbird. Although it was published in 1960 written by Harper Lee, I got the opportunity to grasp it in 1994. This book is also a portrait of political and social dogma. Much earlier, I read my best favorite book, The Old Man, and the Sea. It is a short novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway to demonstrate the limitless willpower of human beings.
Gradually I was addicted to reading a few English novels depicting some exemplary themes mostly political and social interaction. Not that I read many English novels, but inquisitiveness to search for any exceptions which can open another door in my inside mind never stopped. Fundamentally, I always look for a new avenue, a new mind, a new sun which can lighten my heart with new unknown feelings. I am obsessed with a buried sentiment which can be unfolded by sketching of the pen of any novelists. So, I continue to search, look, and enthusiastically dig to reveal some precious treasures unknown to me.
In the last November 2019, as my eternal habit, I engaged my endeavor in searching for novels in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters Indigo. Suddenly, the name of a novel was popped up with the writer’s name known to me. He is Mahmud Shareef, a professor at North South University. I know him for several reasons; the most favorite among those is his Bengali novels. I am sure, most of the Bangladeshi book lovers do not know his name as the eminent novelist. I can also bet, if anyone ever has read his novels, he can never forget him.
If you do not like to dispose of your trust in me, you can try any single book from this list like Bangalir Probash Jibon: Ononter Pathe, Bimorsho Sovvotai Ek Rudro Nayek, Orunodoyer Astachal, Natoker Chothurto Parbo, Lozzaheen Mrittur Golpo, Manush Hober Kalponik Golpo, etc.
So, I got the same name flickering against an English novel The Prey Gets the Last Laugh, LULU Publishing, USA. Then with a heart-felt inquisitive mind, I found one reviewer’s certified comment (posted after purchasing) about the book from Canada Amazon. I cannot resist illustrating this comment here with a possible apology from the readers for copying someone’s sentiment: The book was a riveting roller coaster of emotions for me and the underlying themes of humanity were truly heartfelt. In reality, I have high hopes that someone will turn this into a film script, and one day we can see your book realized on the screen.
Now I became really interested to read this book. With one of my friends in the USA, I collected one copy and read the entire book in two nights. I eagerly attempted not to give any pause, but now with family life with ups and down, you have to stop your effort in your passion just to keep alive other life-threatening duties (!!!). Still, I continued my compassion with inhaling illustration of unbelievable social and political interaction.
A true philanthropic description of consciousness of the best creature of God! It is indeed a spectacular composition! A true novel of the human mind — the reflection of scrammed mind — the shouting of the soul to get rid of the torment of consciousness! As the writer himself postulated…….. Anyone can be proud of their strength for conceiving the source of a powerful race, color, religion, wealth, and/or just majority of numbers in the society externally.
But it never can be the source of strength. Internally, even the most distressed, most aggrieved, the poorest, and/or even a lonely person can be the strongest in the society for conceiving power from conscience. Ear-splitting obligation to the society to mass people can be much easier than silent accountability to your own conscientious!!! Racism can even dumb conscience momentarily but can’t kill it eternally!!!
It was my first English novel written by any Bangladeshi novelist (he is basically a Bangladeshi-Canadian writer and a member of Canadian writer’s association) that I just read each and every line and tried to understand, fell in love and really appreciated the work with immortal sensational engravings in my heart forever!!
The novel is about a recent true incident in the USA. It actually happened in the USA in 2015. Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr., a 25-year-old black man, whose past was not completely clean, was chased by two white police officers of the Baltimore Police Department and arrested. He was handcuffed and thrown in the rear seat of the van but without a seatbelt. A police officer drove the car with utmost speed on a long hilly terrain, apparently to transport a black body (!) to the department with a subsequent charge for possessing a knife.
Gray, the poor black boy died (killed!!!) and it was ascribed to injuries to his spinal cord on April 21, 2015. The white police officers were apparently accused and charged for their negligence (!) in carrying a criminal under their custody. But almost nothing was paid off as the dead body was held by a black creature, and the accused are fortunate having white precious color and appearance!!. This is the true history of the country where Martin Luther King Jr. was born.
The soul of Gray (in our novel it is Gordon) was transferred to God. However, we need drama. And now the author Mahmud Shareef came and painted this sensational death (!) full of heartfelt feelings, a true depiction of protest from the inner epic center of consciousness. I salute the writer and writings. It is indeed a painting of humanity, a colorful representation of brickbat of heart, a realistic reflection of racism in any capitalist society whether in the western or the eastern world, an improbable protest against oppression, and an inevitable negation of refusing internal punishment which comes not by any set external judges but by your consciousness! It is a novel! It is life! It is an apprehension of our brightened and enlightens soul which has a seamless and eternal claim for justice.
Still now, at this so-called civilized world, some people bear barbarian sentiment of apartheid. They hate members of other colors and races just only because others have different body color at the outer surface. Pragmatically, they do not count those people with different colors as human beings — nobody can ignore this bitter truth just by keeping eyes closed. And it was brutally but nicely portrayed by the author, saying from the mouth of the protagonist Anthony (white police officer)…. This is seriously unfair. Blacks must not carry red blood. You are unfair, God! Blacks can be alive with some rotten fluid, not red blood. This is nasty!
Gordon, a poor and powerless young black in the USA died while under police custody. His death may not be a direct first-degree murder, but realistically a systematic provocation of killing by people who suffer a mental disease of white supremacy! Gordon, although, didn’t exactly have a sinless past but it wasn’t bad enough to be chased and arrested by the police. But the police did that, since he was a black, a color to be hatred! He died in the police car two hours after he was arrested. The car was driven by two white police officers; one of them had an immense hatred for black people.
This white police officer, Anthony believed in white supremacy. His father was also like that. They believed black people should slave away and get food for them while they consume it. Apparently, Gordon’s death seemed to be an eventual accident, utmost, it could be deemed as negligence. However, actually, he was murdered in the police car strategically and sagaciously. It was a brutal killing for apartheid, silently but purposefully It was racism!!!
Anthony believed God has created blacks as the beasts and are basically generated to serve them as slaves! By killing Gordon silently, he won the race of hatred! Yes, in the short run, he achieved! But did he have forever!!! Did he win against Gordon! Here is the novel, the author will take the readers to a destination of a superstitious world with the signature of humanity in every word, every page, and in the entire book! No, finally the killer was defeated and killed! Gordon won the race! The prey gets the last laugh!!!!
In this historical fictional novel shedding light on politics, power, social conflict, and racism, other than the protagonists Gordon and Anthony, many other characters like Gordon’s dad Charles and mom Fiona, Anthony’s dad David and mom Olivia played conflicting, depressing, supporting, offending, and intertwined roles to unveil a social confronting world from deep meaningful imagination and foresight. This is the credibility of any sensational novelists who can imagine the world from the deeper mind, the epic center of heart!
Also, the inevitable turbulent characters which stitched the flow of the story and which proved that this heartless world is full enormous good people are Beckie — Olivia’s friend, Samuel — Gordon’s friend, Ashley, a cute girl — one-sided lover to Gordon, Katy, a white girl and the dream of Gordon, police officer Richard, Nickolas. Many from them, in real life, might proudly feel better to be characterized by conscience as a human being, rather than to be privileged by the visible color difference!
This philanthropic novel with its excellent organization, structure, and sense of vulgar, praise, satire, horsewhip, and disdain was directed to provide a sense of directional morality….that is…….. eternally, humanity can only win…nothing else! Heuristically, anyone can be proud of their strength for achieving the source of a powerful race, color, religion, wealth, and/or just the majority of numbers in the society by count.
But this is your conspicuous consumption! It never can be the source of strength that originated in the heart of a true human being. And this is the difference between the human and the beast. The source of the power of the beasts is external….its physical strength. But is it the original and eternal power for real humans (!)? No, never! This is the voice of the writer who wanted to share with real human beings who deserve it! Internally, even the most distressed, most aggrieved, the poorest, and/or even a lonely person can be the strongest in the society for conceiving power from conscience. Ear-splitting obligation to the society to mass people can be much easier than silent accountability to your own conscientious!!!
Mahmud Shareef has crafted the story with an excellent sequence. This novel, written in English, has attempted to reflect a real event that occurred recently in the USA, painted with the author’s psychological imagination. So, precisely this novel can be categorized as realistic fiction, a true definition of the biting of conscience. Its word count is around sixty-three thousand, around `one hundred eighty-two pages with seven chapters. These chapters are created due to their distinct difference in narrating the story.
The first chapter is an emotional portrait of the mental feeling of the prey (protagonist Gordon) before dying brutally under police custody. From the second to the fourth chapter, the story covered the life flow of the prey with both aspects of evil and good. However, in the end, he desired to unveil his buried wish to be a human of the mainstream; nevertheless, he could not get the opportunity from society. Chapters five and six started by describing the growth and fall of the psychological development of the predator (protagonist Anthony).
Finally, chapter seven imagined the inevitable destiny of the living body who has buried conscience just like to be claimed as a human being. Unseen, but internal bleeding can kill a human more brutally than to kill someone physically. The author has attempted in this imaginary world to redefine the essence of physical and moral death who wins the last the predator or the prey!!!!
The protagonist and the saddest victim of this incident against the humanity, Gordon, before his death, pronounced the words with his thinnest voice…… Heroism is not to strike someone with a gun or to hate. Rather, the idea of heroism is to love someone who is hating you!
From his very short life, a bed of thorns, bitter, brutal, and painful, he sarcastically announced, witnessed, and confessed as his last statement before leaving this hideous world………. Being a black man, my blood can never be red, Gordon thought to himself. This superior, sacred blood can never run through the veins of a blackie or poop clown like me. It should be black or absorbed—colorless like water. Or at least a different type of blood inferior to that posh red-colored blood of the whites.
Nevertheless, almost everyone has a conscience and they could tell what was right from wrong. So, it was protested all over the US by both white and black, even by many white police officers in the Baltimore police department. Many white colleagues actively protested. Many police officers, both white and black, opposed this as well. Still, and apparently, Anthony was not punished by the police department as it is controlled by the white majority. Instead of receiving hate, Anthony was greeted with love he was called a hero by many…so-called human being! Anthony was successful in his endeavor enabling himself by avoiding physical punishment from the police department; even he was able to conceal the truth from society!
But was he able to conceal the truth from his conscience? No---never! His soul was bruised and he finally confessed…….it turns out he failed to kill the mischievous beast and the distressed and dead soul got the final stab in and killed him permanently! Dead Gordon became alive (!) in his nightmare and came and came and came……..and came again in his dream……with dancing body shouting his jubilation! Anthony had immense hatred for blacks! He never considered them as human beings! Even after Gordon’s brutal death, this white police officer regarded Gordon as the beast. Finally, Anthony himself turned into a beast! … And he had the same nightmare staged with the same actor—the black beast, completely rubbed with red blood, dancing. The body clearly had two parts, separated at the neck.
A wild howling was vomited out from the separated neck—grotesque! The volume of the sound was growing, growing, and growing and eventually became intolerable. Anthony could not contain himself and began growling. The human being Anthony turned into a beast…….! No! You can escape from external punishment, the punishment of the majority! The punishment created by humans! If you are powerful, you can do many illegal things and turn these into good using the umbrella of justice! But, can you suppress your internal pounding of heart? Can you cause submerge your consciousness? Will you be able to bury your own cognitive dissonance? No! That will be alive and attack you silently forever!
And this is the excellence of the writer to portray this torment of consciousness of a human being. The novelist spelled out the eternal words of human conscious, proclaiming in the last page of this book, Anthony went to sleep peacefully divulging … Racism can dumb conscience momentarily but can’t kill eternally.
It is an excellent book of portraying humanity. It is a spectacular composition of the human heart! It is an exceptional illustration of the confrontation of consciousness. And it is foresight for enlightening life (the last statement of the novel)………… The sun in the east still didn’t stop rising with light in the United States.
All the book lovers, those people who respect the essence of life…..those humans who want to live with humankind……and those creatures who strive for the immortality of human…… should read this spectacular book…..a novel…….. The Prey Gets the Last Laugh!!!
Jamil Ahmed, TV Presenter & Media Analyst.
Director - Public Relations Office
North South University - NSU
Dhaka, June-04 (campuslive24.com)//Ait