Posts Tagged 'Indian Author'



More Mini Reviews

The Goat, The Sofa And Mr Swami – R Chandrasekhar
If you have not read this book, you have missed a masterpiece. This is one of the best satires that I’ve ever read. The story follows Swami – the secretary of the Indian Prime-Minister (a horny octogenarian) and his efforts to keep his job by keeping the coalition afloat in the face of the impeding visit of the Pakistan’s Premier.
This book is a must read. It has a lot of shades of “Yes Minister” or the Indian version “Ji Mantriji” and is equally hilarious.
Rating: 4.5/5

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Sh*t My Dad Says – Justin Halpern
Now this is one book whose title speaks volumes about the content. It is exactly what the title says – the author moves back with his father and his 74 year old father provides him with life lessons in a unique manner. Sample this: “That woman was sexy… Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won’t screw you. Don’t do it for them.” and there are many more similar gems strewn around the book.
A book which originated from a twitter account @shitmydadsays. A very enjoyable read.
Rating: 3.5/5

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Turbulence – Samit Basu

I have been a fan of Samit Basu’s writing ever since reading the Gameworld Trilogy and Terror on the Titanic, and hence I had very high expectations of this book. I was hoping for that same combination of dark humour with generous doses of fantasy. While fantasy was present in abundance, I missed the dark humour in the book, but then that is just fan speak. That did not take away anything from this excellent book. This was one such book which I wanted to pick up as soon as I had read the blurb.

This is an excerpt from the review I wrote for India Book Store’s book review site.
Read the complete book review.
Rating: 4/5

Book Review: Fate, Fraud & a Friday Wedding – Bhavna Rai

Recently I finished reading Fate, Fraud & a Friday Wedding by Bhavna Rai. The book follows the protagonists across a decade as they come to terms with their lives while juggling their careers, relationships and friendships. The book follows Tara, Anand, Neel and Jenny and their lives in USA and Delhi. The lives of the protagonists are inter-connected as their work centers around the same product and Tara fits in as the love interest of both Anand and Neel.This book follows the personal and professional lives of all protagonists and has given equal importance to both – the business meetings as well as the personal ones.

The book is fast paced, and the story has no apparent gaps in it. All the main characters have been sketched in detail, and after some time reading the book I could easily second guess their actions. This is powerful writing on the part of Bhavna Rai that the reader could so easily understand her protagonists. Both the male protagonists have shades of grey in their characters which makes them very realistic. Although this is mainly a book concentrating on lives of contemporary urban people, what I enjoyed most was the business writing. The business dealings, the insider trading, the workings of a BPO and an IT company – these made for far more enthralling reading than the chapters dealing with the personal lives of the protagonists.

Although the pace of the book rarely slacked, and the editing is top-notch; even then I felt that it was a long read. Maybe it is because these days I expect such contemporary books to be around 200 pages long; if it is a long book then my expectations change a lot – I feel it should be a thriller, or a fantasy novel, or a Jeffrey Archer book, or some book that promises much more, but then it is a matter of personal choice. And somehow I did not like the title of the book, it was not catchy enough. Guess the author has the same problem as me – I spend more time trying to think up a perfect title for my short-stories than I do writing them and even then I rarely like the titles I can think of :)

On the whole it is a delightful read, a good companion for a lazy weekend when you decide to stay indoors to avoid these stupid rains!

Addendum: This is an author requested review. I was contacted by the author to review her book.

Book Review: Love on the Rocks – Ismita Tandon Dhankher

It is always fun to delve into a life about which you have no or very less idea. I guess that is why the spy-novels, the thrillers, the detective-novels sell like hotcakes. They give an insight into a life which is not experienced by most of the readers. That is the reason I love Arthur Hailey’s writing, he goes in such details about any industry that after reading the book you can claim to have inside knowledge of that industry. In a similar vein, the book Love on the Rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhankher attempts to explore the life on a ship.

The book is about the time spent by Sancha – wife of an officer of merchant navy- aboard a ship, along with her husband and a band of disparate people who make up the crew. A robbery takes place on the ship, Sancha finds out about the death of a cook few days before she came on-board, and soon the accidental death is found to be a murder. Sancha’s efforts along with the investigative officer’s makes up the rest of story along with her interactions with her husband.

The book is a breezy read. It has an interesting plot, and the flow of the story is quite good. Even though the mystery started quite late in the book, the editing does not let off anywhere and makes the book a quick read. The story is told from viewpoints of different people and that makes the story quite interesting as the reader has all the information. The character of Sancha was sketched out very well, but other characters could not be sketched well as they were part of the list of suspects. But even then you know a bit of background story for everybody, and it in an interesting group of people on-board that ship.

Initially in the book many characters were introduced at one go, which made it confusing to keep track of them as almost all main characters had nicknames too which were used by the other characters in conversations making it confusing at times to keep track of who is who.  It would have been great if there was a page dedicated to all main characters, their nicknames, and what do they do on the ship – meaning what exactly is their responsibility on the ship.  And I wish there was more explanation on how the cargo ship works. That could have made the read much more interesting. There were a few abbreviations which made reading a tad difficult. Had to think twice before realizing that 2/O is second officer, and till now I don’t know what is AB? These minor things did deter the flow a bit, but did not have any major impact on the reading.

On the whole an interesting book. The Metro-Reads stands true to its name – it definitely is a very quick read.

Addendum: This is an author requested review. I was contacted by the author to review her book.

Mini Reviews

Keep off the Grass – Karan Bajaj
I like Karan Bajaj’s writing. You feel disconnected with the world while reading whatever he has written, and I find that an awesome quality. But here the story hardly offers anything new, it is quite similar to the campus fictions we have been reading for a long time. The book is about the protagonist’s journey through IIM-Bangalore, and his struggles.
Can be read if there is no better book on the book-shelf.
Rating: 2.5/5

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Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro – Jai Arjun Singh
I finished this book in one sitting; I completely enjoyed reading Jai Arjun Singh’s notes on the story behind this movie, how it was made, and how an ensemble cast of acclaimed actors (not at that time) came together for JBDY. As soon as I finished the book I wanted to see the movie once again. Youtube came to my rescue and as I searched for the “Mahabharat scene” guess what was the top result?
If you enjoy reading about the movies you love, pick this book up.
Rating: 3.5/5

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Only Time Will Tell – Jeffrey Archer

There are some writers and some books where in spite of knowing that this book will leave me hanging mid-way you just need to read them.

I never felt like putting down the book – thanks to two things, one – exceptional writing by Jeffrey Archer and two – the story. This is a definite pick if you do not mind waiting for the next four books to come out in the subsequent years.

This is an excerpt from the review I wrote for India Book Store’s book review site.
Read the complete book review.
Rating: 4/5

Book Review: The Lotus Queen – Rikin Khamar

History is a confusing subject. There have been times when I absolutely hated it, and there have been times when I have been salivating for more. I’ve had vastly different experiences with Historical Fiction – I loved the fiction based on World War II, but apart from that this genre left a lot to be desired. Amidst this I started reading “The Lotus Queen” by Rikin Khamar which tells the story of the Rajput Queen Padmini and the kingdom of Mewar; and I was pleasantly surprised.

The Lotus Queen recounts the tale of Padmini’s marriage to the king of Mewar, and the subsequent attack by the Delhi Sultan to win over the beautiful queen.Padmini is very beautiful, and her fame travels from Chittor to Delhi whose Sultan wants to see her himself. This is a major disrespect to the Rajput kingdom, relations turn sour soon afterwards and the Sultan comes back to attack Mewar. The defense and final war of Mewar completes the story.

Although this book is based on an actual attack that took place in 14th century, the details known about Queen Padmini are sketchy at best. Here is where Rikin has taken the liberty to fictionalize the tale, and he has come up trumps with the characterization of Queen Padmini. There are a few other characters who appear throughout the book, but they were always the extra characters, including Padmini’s husband. Since the narration of the story was done by different characters at different junctures, I was wishing that at least a few characters be fleshed out more. But then this book is all about Queen Padmini.

The story runs in two parallel segments – one segment concentrates on the on-going war, and parallel flashback track is about the events leading to this eventuality. Even though every chapter is narrated by different people and each chapter has two timelines, the flow never got confusing. And it was a very good decision on part of the author to keep the book short, with so much content at his disposal this book could have easily converted in an epic, but Rikin has kept a tight leash on the story, and never allowed it to run amok. The editing has kept the plot taut and made the book a delightful read.

If you are even a bit interested in Historical Fiction, pick The Lotus Queen.

Addendum: This is an author requested review. Rikin asked me to review this book. Also, Rikin is a co-author of Urban Shots.


Meet the Blogger…

I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

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