The book is about the depth of narcissism a person can fall off to. That could be the shortest summary of it. But it is not that narcissism that we encounter in daily lives of people. Its also not that trope about human trait, that we have grown so accustomed to hear about in the popular cultural discourse. Its deeper than that. Its the narcissism a person would confess to himself, the deepest level(or that there are no levels to it and it is indeed,a pit-less hole) of which is known only to him, and the hopelessness of its condition apparent in his own self. No consolation coming his way, the protagonist in the story is a tragic as well as a despicable character. A person who does everything with the sole intent to be the centre of attention, to have fame, to have laurels awarded to him. But maybe,at some instance in the story, we realise, arent we all like that? Like that, and unaware of it. Unaware of our own conditions, our own vanity and unmitigated pride. Well self awareness is the key, and this story is not very much unlike another classic named ‘Notes from Underground’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Its different only in the way that instead on focusing much on the cause,unlike ‘Notes from Underground’, it focuses more on the effectual manifestation of that awareness and how very miserable it makes the life of its beholder.
The book is humorous in parts, at the same time deeply sad and tragic as we see a person being driven to madness by his narcissism (or merely his acute self awareness of it?). From his work-space to his yoga classes, from his general relationships to the relationship he has with his own psychiatrist. Nothing remains untainted by his self aggrandisement and his frail efforts to limit, hide or overcome it. But even in his overcoming, there is pride, even in his restraint, he finds ways to lift himself up in eyes of those around him, to get there reverence and respect. All the while well aware of its shallowness and the act he is putting on for them. The sadness of the story can only be grasped once the reader immerses himself in the world of Neon and become one with his vanity.