Book Review: ‘The Pig Flip’ by Joshy Benedict and K.K. Muralidharan

Discover the depths of addiction and redemption in 'The Pig Flip': A graphic tale of obsession.


Book Title: The Pig Flip
Author: Joshy Benedict
Translator: K.K. Muralidharan
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 120
ISBN: 978-9356993754
Date Published: Dec. 15, 2023
Price: INR 380

The Pig Flip by Joshy Benedict Book Cover

Book Review

Tracking characters, adhering to plotlines, and acclimating to unfamiliar locations are all crucial reading abilities for readers to master, whether they are delving into the fanciful worlds of fantasy novels, the grim reality of fiction, or the colorful panels of graphic novels. Similarly, the ability of graphic novels to explore obsession is skillfully demonstrated in Joshy Benedict’s “The Pig Flip,” published by HarperCollins India and translated from Malayalam by K.K. Muralidharan. Much to the dismay of his loved ones, Babycha, the protagonist of Benedict’s story, struggles with a crippling gambling addiction in a charming Kerala hamlet.

Initially focused on Babycha’s obsession with a neighborhood card game called “spot flip,” the novel quickly transforms over its less than 120 pages into an in-depth examination of paranoia, self-destructive impulses, and ultimate salvation. Readers are given a rich tapestry of human experience as larger themes of familial conflict and inner struggle emerge through Babycha’s turbulent journey.

Benedict’s artistic skill brings the rural scene to life, which also beautifully captures how sunshine interacts with coconut palms and lush bamboo groves. Readers are drawn further into the story’s emotional heart by his dynamic portrayal of facial expressions and body language, which gives the characters nuance and realism.

Benedict’s artwork changes dramatically when Babycha’s inner and outer worlds converge, leading to a visually spectacular ending reflecting the protagonist’s journey into madness and ultimate reckoning with his inner demons. In the same way, K.K. Muralidharan’s flawless translation of Benedict’s original Malayalam work into English enhances the narrative while preserving the subtle cultural overtones and poignant emotional impact.

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In summary, “The Pig Flip” is a moving examination of addiction and its effects on people and families that is a monument to the narrative potential of graphic novels. It does this by fusing clear prose with moving illustrations. Benedict and Muralidharan challenge readers to engage with empathy and reflection as they take them on a thought-provoking trip that confronts the intricacies of human fragility and resilience.

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