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Turbulence [Paperback]

Samit Basu
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

6 July 2012
Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn t have the right connections but then he gets off a plane from London to Delhi and discovers that he has turned into a communications demigod. Indeed, everyone on Aman s flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires. Vir, an Air Force pilot, can now fly. Uzma, an aspiring Bollywood actress, now possesses infinite charisma. And then there's Jai, an indestructible one-man army with a good old-fashioned goal to rule the world! Aman wants to ensure that their new powers aren't wasted on costumed crime-fighting, celebrity endorsements, or reality television. He wants to heal the planet but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others. Will it all end, as 80 years of superhero fiction suggest, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest? Turbulence features the 21st-century Indian subcontinent in all its insane glory: F-16s, Bollywood, radical religious parties, nuclear plants, cricket, terrorists, luxury resorts, crazy TV shows, but it is essentially about two very human questions. How would you feel if you actually got what you wanted? And what would you do if you could really change the world?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; Reprint edition (6 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781161194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781161197
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Samit Basu is a writer of books, films and comics. His first novel, The Simoqin Prophecies, published by Penguin India in 2003, when Samit was 23, was the first book in the bestselling Gameworld Trilogy and marked the beginning of Indian English fantasy writing. The other books in the trilogy are The Manticore's Secret and The Unwaba Revelations.

Samit's other novels include a superhero novel, Turbulence, to be published in the UK in 2012, and a YA novel, Terror on the Titanic. His work in comics ranges from historical romance to zombie comedy, and includes diverse collaborators, from X-Men/Felix Castor writer Mike Carey to Terry Gilliam and Duran Duran.

Samit was born in Calcutta, educated in Calcutta and London, and currently divides his time between Delhi and Mumbai. He can be found on Twitter, @samitbasu, and at samitbasu.com

Product Description


Turbulence is a helter-skelter superhero novel full of playful postmodern references to superhero fiction and a plethora of captivating characters with extraordinary abilities. --Bookmunch

If you're looking for brilliantly written fun and fast paced action that leaves you wanting more, this is definitely it. One word of warning though, you may ignore your loved ones completely until you've finished it. --The Tattooed Book

The character arcs are satisfyingly wriggly, careful not to jump to obvious conclusions but instead taking a thoughtful, realistic look at what people would actually do if given the ability they most desired. --British Fantasy Society

"Easy and exciting." --Time Out

"Turbulence delivers exactly what it intends: an entertaining, well-written read. In the genre s history it will be seen as an important work, a reflection of the subcontinent s growing self-confidence." --SF World

"The action is fast and full of iconic fight scenes that feel straight out of a comic book...The humour and cultural references are fun and spot on." --Geek Syndicate

"Solid writing, great character development, humor, personal loss, and excellent points to ponder in every chapter." --Wired s Geek Dad

It s like X-Men, but good. --The Sun

A cracking read." --Forbidden Planet

"Part-season-one-Heroes, part-X-Men, and all awesome as the book chugs along with some wild battles, chases, and a truly epic climax." --Fruitless Pursuits

"If you like superhero stories and are looking for some truly unique powers AND a completely new locale, you MUST read Turbulence." --Geek Dad review

This 21st century look at Superheroes is both fun and thoughtful well worth the cover price!" --The Pullbox

"Basu's flair for character extends to a real understanding of what makes each character funny, both intentionally and unintentionally on their part. He s willing to let his characters be both ridiculous and sympathetic, and at his best, that makes for a cast who are a genuine plea. --British Fantasy Society

"Basu did a wonderful job of strategically just the right amount of pop culture references in the just the right places and in the right quantities." --Nerd Trek

The character arcs are satisfyingly wriggly, careful not to jump to obvious conclusions but instead taking a thoughtful, realistic look at what people would actually do if given the ability they most desired. --British Fantasy Society

About the Author

Samit Basu is one of the most talented and prolific young writers of today, with an existing and impressive profile in comics culture, science fiction and fantasy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely baffled by all the 5 Stars 15 Oct 2012
By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
On paper, Turbulence by Samit Basu, seems to be directly aimed at me as its target market. Superheroes? I'm there. Ordinary people acquiring super powers? Again up my alley. Similar to the NBC series Heroes? Go on then.

A group of people are on a flight from London to New Delhi - they all have strange dreams, fantasies of who they could be, and when they wake up they have acquired a power which correlates to their fantasy, so Vir the pilot can fly, Uzma the wannabee actress is irresistible to those around her, Aman the computer geek can mentally hack into any computer, the journalist gets premonitions about newsworthy events and so on...

The trouble arises with the structure, we meet our heroes shortly after powers have been acquired and to my mind the huge opportunity of an origin story is missed the chance to build up the scene of all these people before the flight and boarding it, dreaming and disembarking. A chance to build wonder, and mystique. It all seems a bit disjointed somehow.

Additionally the powers they possess are either bog standard powers familiar in most superhero tales (human flight) or a bit naff in terms of their capacity for dramatic impact (mental internet, the power of allurement) And the guy who can control the temperature with his stomach, what's that all about? Useless!

By far the greatest and for me fatal flaw of this piece is the dialogue. It's dialogue heavy, and the dialogue is extremely poor and weak, cringe inducing even. "Hey! we're like the X Men!"
When the writing switches to prose or private thoughts it isn't so bad, but it isn't long before you're hit in the face with yet more cliched conversation of the most contrived, artificial kind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than the sum of its parts...? 12 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the past I have certainly enjoyed the story-writing of such comicbook stalwarts are Mike Carey and B H Fingerman (not to mention Neil Gaiman!) and can see that someone able to produce, say, an entertaining graphic novel certainly can have the ability to do the same in the non-graphic form. However, and recognising that I may be doing Samit Basu a disservice, I would imagine that this might have worked better in comicbook form than it did as a novel.

It started out well but, towards the end, I felt that the author was more interested in setting things up for a sequel than with providing a satisfying conclusion. Don't get me wrong, this was certainly an OK read and I enjoyed some of the insights into the tropes and mores of Indian society. But, overall, it seemed to me to be more of a series of episodes rather than a well-balanced whole.

I was certainly swayed by the hype but, as has happened once or twice recently, I don't anticipate investing my time in continuing with the series when I have so much else to read that I think would better reward the time spent. YMMV.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's a new breed of superheroes in town 8 Sep 2012
By Raghav
Turbulence is a story about a handful of individuals from different walks of life unknowingly ending up with superpowers after a flight from London to Delhi. It is a story about these very individuals discovering their new identities and coming to terms with their powers and deciding on how to eventually use them. It is a classic tale of Good Vs Evil with emotions and self discovery thrown in as extra measure to give the characters a more human feel which in turn adds to the charm of the book.

It is quite evident that the author Samit Basu is up-to-date with his knowledge about superheroes and the pop culture references are in abundance throughout the book. He is not short on humor either with a number of instances where I did literally laugh-out-loud. Unfortunately, the biggest flaw lies with the powers that are allotted to the characters. Throughout the book I could not help but relate certain aspects to comic books, or TV series like Heroes, or films like X-Men, Avengers, Superman, etc. For example, there is a "suit" that is somewhat on the lines of Iron Man. Moreover, it even folds-up into a briefcase which to me shouted Iron Man 2, the film. There is a character who can bulk himself up and become a tiger faced beast which seemed pretty much like the Hulk without the obvious turmoil that the Hulk/Dr. Banner go through. Even the main villain, Jai, has shades of Magneto, not in terms of power, but in terms of their thought process. So while I tried to enjoy the book, I could not but help draw up these similarities, and there were quite a few, and I am not even a comic book fan.

Having said that, the book does have interesting characters, especially the ones that are regional to India.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read: good plot and characters. 31 Mar 2013
By Se6
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Greatly enjoyed that book: good plot and good characters.
I liked The Game World Trilogy and was looking forward to read a new book from Samit Basu.
I have not been disappointed the least! A sequel to this book called "Resistance" should come soon, I can't wait for it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag 26 Sep 2012
I enjoyed TURBULENCE, but I don't agree with the 5-star reviews that it has received here.

TURBULENCE states its' themes upfront and does an admirable job of exploring them. It has some very memorable scenes. But I found the writing average, especially with regards to dialogue and description.

I'm not going to give a plot summary but will mention specific scenes to illustrate points.

So, TURBULENCE takes the classic superhero scenario (a diverse cast of people receive a diverse range of powers, action ensues) and does two different things with it:
1) uses a novel form, rather than a comic
2) transplants most of the action to India

I think that the novel format worked in giving book greater depth. The book's biggest strength is the in-depth exploration of the implication of powers (especially Aman's) on the real world. Basu breaths life into some of the "B-list" of comic-book powers (e.g. Tia's self-duplication) and there are some very clever moments (again, often involving Tia). The downside is that the format doesn't lend itself to extended descriptions of action - the end fight was especially anemic.

The book is written in the present tense and shifts between character viewpoints many times within a chapter (or even within a conversation). I found this confusing, especially because it became clear halfway through that Aman is the book's focal character.

There is a lot of violence in this book but I am pleased that Basu doesn't possess the fascination with gore and profanity shared by many current genre authors. This is clear from the opening chapter. Scenes like Tia's assualt on the Kashmir base could have been very unpleasant if written by, say, Iain M Banks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Really enjoyed this book , just started the second one . I hope there is a third book
Published 25 days ago by Robert Conroy
2.0 out of 5 stars Have read better
Nothing original and not that well written. Read Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny much better a sf classic and on a similar vein
Published 21 months ago by Mrs. Ann F. Faulkner
4.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyable
Enjoyed the new twist on the superhero storyline and look forward to the sequal. . . . . . .
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent take on the Superhero Genre!
Samit Basu's 'Turbulence' follows the story of Aman Sen, who after boarding a flight, has acquired along with the other passengers, super powers (his being the ability to connect... Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2012 by Nick Blackshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Turbulence
Buy this book!
I love superhero films, and the origins of superpowers.
I'm not a comic book guy though, I love regular novels/ books. I'm a Lit guy. Read more
Published on 5 Aug 2012 by Sandy L
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, well written and easy to swallow, do not get put off by...
Turbulence is a super hero read based on the Indian sub-continent which attempts to answer the question, what would you do if you were suddenly given super powers? Read more
Published on 5 Aug 2012 by Little Miss Sunshine
5.0 out of 5 stars Turbulence Review
In a summer where cinemas have been dominated by superheroes the last thing I expected was to be blown away above them all by a book covering the the subject of super humans. Read more
Published on 1 Aug 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This isnt your money,dont keep it....
In many ways this book could have descended into the formulaic world of Superheroes good versus evil childhood issues and the like so often done in the past however the author has... Read more
Published on 30 July 2012 by neill armstrong
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