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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The Blind Trial by Sulaiman Sait- Book review

I went to the launch function of this book- The Blind Trial by Sulaiman Sait in Chennai on December 17th. I wanted to buy a copy of this book, along with Kavipriya's "Dirty Martini". But the legendary change problem caused by Demonetization prevented me from buying one- the lady manning the counter was not willing to give change for Rs 2000 (even after I waited for several minutes and she got good collection of Rs 100 notes with many others buying the books). So I left it at that and went home. Weeks later, I could order the same on Amazon for Rs 160 (Rs 15 less the price I had to pay on launch day, MRP of Rs 175). Amazon didn't charge delivery charge as well. So whatever happens, happens for good.
I had got an idea about the book during the launch event- it is about clinical trials- where a new medicine needs to be tested on humans to be sure of its effectiveness. I wanted to read the book and get better clarity on the world of clinical trials, as my knowledge about these things is zero.

Got the Blind triad delivered through Amazon Prime within 2 days and finished reading it overnight.

The book is a thriller for sure and thus fairly entertaining. But it didn’t fully meet my expectations. During the launch event we were told that book is about clinical trials and how yet to be approved medicines need to be tested on human beings, a process which is often abused exploiting the poor. Indeed the Blind Trial is about clinical trial, but it doesn’t give much insights about the clinical trial as such, but instead uses this concept for a criminal plot. I have following concerns/comments on the plot.

Nitin has done is post-graduation and joins the LWMCRI for one year training. But on his day 2, he assumes full charge of the emergency ward and starts treating the patients, including those with heart problems. Not sure if it is error in the plot or that’s how medical world works- this is like an MBA Fresher- Management Trainee at an MNC getting to handle an important client presentation on his/her own on day 2 at the new company. Sounds bit too odd to me.

First half of the book is very slow paced, does set stage for the clinical trial plot but very very subtly. Only after page 50 you will find first few references to the trial and the plot gains momentum.

I like the way how Nitin selects his love- Aditi talks too much, boring and doesn't want to focus on work/study, so she is out. Neha is sensible, understanding and hard working, so she is the girl to fall in love with. Clear concise, instant decision. No drama, no sleepless nights. Some authors drag this love triangle too much, taking the focus away from core subject.

There’re hundreds of medical terms used, which totally went over my head. Example "hypoglycemic" on page 6. Many more in subsequent pages. Some sort of explanation at the bottom of the page or in the end would have helped a lot and readers could have understood some basic medical terms and procedures.

I was hoping to know little more about the clinical trials- like in what kind of scenarios they are performed on humans, who is the approving authority in India for such tests, were there any known cases/real life examples of death during blind trials, how would a layman know if the medicine prescribed by the doctor is legitimate or the doctor is only supporting a pharma company at the expense of his/her patients and so on. Unfortunately the book doesn’t answer any of these questions. I would have written what it does, but that would sort of give away the climax so I am holding my words.

But if you can discount my above expectations, climax is full of suspense and takes the story to a logical conclusion. The book reminded me of the movie- Ankur Arora Murder case. 

Key details:
  • Title: The Blind Trial
  • Author: Dr Mohammed Sulaiman Sait J
  • Publisher: Story Mirror 
  • Pages: 111
  • MRP: 175 (Rs 160 on Amazon right now- link)
  • ISBN13: 9789386305039
  • Release: December 2016
Except one or two minor typos, editing was fine. This is author Sulaiman’s first book and overall a good work, just that I bought it with additional expectations. Best wishes to the author.

2 comments :

Shashi S said...

I liked your review. Unbiased and perfect.

Wanted to share it on Face Book, but did not find a button but I will do it by placing the link..

Cheers
__
Shashi
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks sir for the comment

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