Book Review: The Symbol

The Symbol by Varun Gautam

The Symbol by Varun Gautam

There is this strange fascination of engineers with wanting to be a writer. Some take the bait and follow the path, too. But the trees that line the path are old. The ones that Chetan Bhagat planted, or the ones that he rested under. Perched on the same familiar tree is Varun Gautam, an engineer-IT guy with a penchant to write. I came into possession with Varun’s debut novel, The Symbol, a while back. The cover of The Symbol does little justice to the title or the story. If it tries to integrate something that happens in the book then, well… it doesn’t. The back cover talks about the author, who is an engineer, and started writing school board articles (is that a big thing? I don’t know) and has now “taken a new impetus with the advent of his first book.”

The Plot (Spoiler Alert)

There is this strange fascination of engineers-turned-writers with entrance exams. Varun Gautam, tells an entrance exam story, yet again. The Symbol is a story of a young boy Arjun who is preparing for India’s toughest medical entrance examination. A strange character in himself, which the author likes to call “binary”, Arjun is on track for selection in the super-hyped IMS college when he loses focus due to a beautiful accident and an unpleasant incident.
A shallow and self centered person, Arjun is annoyed when his undeserving best friend inherits a fortune. He finds solace in the arms of a beautiful girl. Eventually, Arjun fails to make the cut in his exam and becomes a slave to despair. Life gives him a second chance to redeem himself and The Symbol, supposedly, is his beacon of salvation.

Does he redeem his lost life? How does The Symbol help? Or rather, what is “The Symbol”?

The Verdict

Arjun’s heartbreaking story is told by his cousin Dhruv, who has a half baked sub-plot of his own to tell, which contributes little to the story of The Symbol. What evades me completely is the fact that a book titled The Symbol gives the least importance to The Symbol itself.

Frankly speaking, Varun spends a lot of time giving the central character Arjun a back story and painting the picture of his personality for the reader. Sadly, he wastes way too much time telling you about incidents of the past and people who do not matter. More than half way down into the book, you somehow feel lost and make peace with characters which sadly, do not have an impact later on. The story does gain pace in the latter half, or rather the last quarter but to get there takes time. Varun also riddles the book with long soliloquies about success. While I found all that philosophical gyan a little boring, you may like it.

The writing is not the best or the most entertaining, but the climax somehow redeems the book a lot. Advice for the second book? Well… Try humor, try having fun… And next time you write a book about something, give that thing its due importance.

My Rating: 2.5/5

Special points for a couple of scenes narrated and thumbs up for the cricket story to start every chapter (Totally personal).

Signing off,

Aman

Life in the Metro

Delhi MetroDelhi. Metropolitan. Cosmopolitan. A city that always sweats due to the heat and the constantly moving feet. A city of boiling blood, road-rash and rapes. Success or happiness is not measured on the barometers of ‘peace of mind’; it is the pace that defines where you shall be-heading (pun intended). Making Delhi sweatier and pacier than ever before is the breast-medal of Delhi that it bears with pride. Delhi’s ‘aan, baan aur shaan‘- The Delhi Metro! The one place where you understand that the true meaning of the great words, “A fart is much more than the noise it makes.”
Many a times have I sat down on a waiting bench or rather the parapet of an advertising board pillar and observed people running in all eight quadrants of the static space. The only way I feel to get past the rising decibels of fellow travelers/lovers is to plug in my earphones and go full blaze on my ear drums! As I see the people around me when I board the metro, I sometimes am at a loss of words. People of Delhi, my words can’t define them, but occasionally, my randomly shuffling playlist does.

Voices by Godsmack
Delhiites are loud. And the semi-Punjabi bred Delhiites like me, carve a very special niche for ourselves among a crowd when we start conversing. But it is not only these voices, it’s also the voice of a short balding middle-aged man with a white pin-striped shirt hanging half-way down as the fabric encounters his enormous belly, trying to negotiate with a client all the while staring at this girl who has put up a little too much maskara today. It’s also the voice of a frustrated girl trying to explain to her mother why she can’t come home for the weekend, (I don’t know either, sorry; I wasn’t paying attention), while she carefully skims a layer of her maskara with a tissue that is already blushing red with the kisses she landed on it to lighten her lipstick. The voice of a kid, wailing, who can’t explain to his parents that he’s suffering from motion sickness as he slaps his way on a sack of rice that this lean sweaty man just loaded as he plays some Bhojpuri classics on his newly acquired Chinese phone. Just as I look the other way, the song changes to….

Normal by Porcupine Tree
One is one of my favourite songs. A song that takes my attention a young girl reading a book, the likes of ‘Chanakya’s Chant’; smartly dressed, perfectly made hair, the color of her earphones matching that of her phone’s cover, pink and yellow nail-art… (That’s not quite normal for me, but it’s Delhi, come on.) Sitting next to her is a guy with stubble, wearing a slightly crumbled formal shirt, working on his laptop, eyeing the seat under the electrical plug-points, eagerly waiting for it to get vacated, so he can make a switch, yet at the same time, stealing short glances at his beautiful co-traveller fidgeting with her nail-art. At a little distance, near the doorway, a young guy, perhaps who just entered his twenties, wearing a cheap khadi kurta, rehearsing the lines of perhaps a play he is going to be a part of, murmuring under his breath and all the people around him looking suspiciously at him as he gives some animated expressions and occasional gestures. No matter how much I like this song, I change the song to the next track that plays….

Pretender by Foo Fighters
One of my personal favourites, not as a song, but as a category of people it draws my attention to. They come from small towns and are fascinated by the lifestyle of their peers here. They mostly travel in groups, coherent groups. But if you look closely, they are a group of couples. They find boyfriends/girlfriends very easily as is the sole necessity of their lives, they have just started drinking and smoking up and would try every brand of booze that has been ‘talked about’ before. Desperate and outgoing, they are a friendly race. They love clubbing, save money for it and are devotees of Shri Shri Yo Yo Honey Singh. Apart from the metro, they are also found in movie theatres, sorry, multiplexes, they call ‘em, loyal, as they are to whatever Bollywood craps out. They are loud, not Punjabi loud, but yeah, they take the lol- laugh out loud quite seriously as every half-witted joke in their group totally cracks them up. Oh and one particular characteristics of the girls in these groups, they are seen actually kicking or punching their male friends when they make fun of them. Lookout for them, especially those who travel by the yellow line a lot!

Behind Blue Eyes by The Who
This song is for the most entertaining category of metro travellers. You are sure to have either smiled or scorned at them if you have ever taken the train. Behind blue eyes, lies a boyfriend who wears a tight t-shirt and extremely slim-fitting jeans, and applies oodles of hair gel. The most common mark of identification of this kind is an over-confident extra energetic gut. He travels with his girlfriend, such that she is in one corner, near the door while he stands facing her and makes a third wall with one arm of his while the other hand is busy caressing her hair. How sweet!
Now if you travel a lot by metro, I am pretty sure, some of you might think this is one couple from the previous song, they might be, but I am not that keen an observer to know.

Arriving Somewhere but Not Here by Porcupine Tree
Then there is this group of commuters that are perfectly described by the title of this song. This is a busy breed of people. The sweat drenched beedi smoking average working class Indian. They are seen frequently changing metro lines, climbing metro station stairs by the threes, getting off at wrong stations and occasionally, fearing to get on the escalators. These are the people who deserve the metro the most only until they play crisp regional songs on their Gaffar bought cell phones or sneeze a perfect spray of saliva into the air.

India is a land of diversity, I was taught in class one, and Delhi its capital, I’d like to think I knew that before class one. So certainly, five songs on my playlist aren’t going to describe all the people who take the Metro in Delhi, but I hope I came close. Love us, or hate us, but we are Delhiites, with an unquenchable thirst for Bollywood masala chai, unfathomable love for cricket and incomprehensive respect for our women, we are people with a big heart and a small pocket and that is precisely why Dilli is said to be Dil-walon-ki! (Finally used that cliché! Yes!)

Adios till the next time. If you felt I stereotyped you with a group you hate, then you need to work on yourself; if you think you fit in well in a group, well, good for you. Hope God helps you find a seat in the metro! Keep commuting!

Book Review: Tantra by Adi

TantraDid you know that a Vampire hunter is also called a Guardian? Did you know there were Vampires in our very own New Delhi? Th latest book I read, Tantra, seems to tell me so… and a lot more. The back cover of the book suggests that Anu Aggarwal is a no-nonsense guardian and is out to seek vengeance for her lover’s murder. To be honest, Tantra by Adi is the first ever Vampire story that I have been able to put myself through, not because have an affinity for the modern day suave Vampires but more so because the book focuses on a lot more than just Vampires and guardians.
The back cover does little justice to the content of the book but when it comes to surprises, I can assure you damned well, that there are many between the lines. Though Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves and the Undead are not something that can be swallowed when followed by an Indian address, but I somehow managed to read till the end of it. If I can, so could you; isn’t it?

The Plot:
This is a story of an Indian Vampire hunter, Anu Aggarwal who comes to New Delhi from New York in search of the vampires who killed her boyfriend. Anu finds herself in a situation quite different from New York. Not only have the Indian hunters and guardians reached a truce with the Vampires but the only other guardian hunter in Delhi appears to be an obnoxious fellow who barely likes his job. Problems begin when Anu kills her first Vampire in India only to discover that Vampires are preying on children.

The real problem is when she finds out that it is not the Vampire panchayat who is controlling the blood-suckers but a Baba Senaka who is using Tantra to gain supernatural powers by sacrificing children. She uses Sattvic method as opposed to Tantric to fight the wrath of the uncontrolled chain reaction of Tantra and what lies ahead of her is pure mayhem. Numerous sub-plots keep you afloat all the while, yet ‘Tantra’ is the soul of the story.

The Verdict:
Adi makes an honest effort with this supernatural thriller. For someone like me, who has never been interested in Twilight or Vampire Diaries, a face-off with Vampires was a first. Though Adi omits some necessary details for first time Vampire-hunter-readers like me (like what is the Shift and how it works) but manages to pull of something unique. Though the first 50 odd pages that are meant to set a tone are a little hard to tolerate but the story just gets better with the introduction of Tantra and once Adi has you in his cobweb, it hard to let go until you reach the back cover.

The situations, if I may warn you, are purely fictional and you have to take everything on its face value. Anu’s character is well written and so is that of Dr. Sharma. Baba Senaka is touted as the Mogambo like figure with a mysterious aura and lives up to all the expectations you would have from him. . The sub-plot about her aunt trying to get her married to an arranged apt groom is realistic, but in a thriller, it seems a little stretched unless she uses her Sattvic Vidya there. Where Adi falters is, I feel, in giving a decisive end to Anu’s quest for her ex-boyfriend’s killers; that being the only sub-plot where Adi fails to impress. Packed with surprises and a very deep understanding of Sattvic and Tantric forms of tapasya, Adi delivers a story packed with enough drama to not regret having spent your money on this book

Recommended? Yes. To be read in one sitting? No, most definitely not.

My Rating: 3/5
Had the first fifty pages been better, the rating would have definitely escalated.

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Book Review: RIP

RIP by Mukul Deva

RIP by Mukul Deva

With the recent stirring to life of the sensibilities of the average middle class Indian against the atrocities of the bureaucracy and the rise of the anti-corruption movement in India RIP- Resurgent Indian Patriots comes as a welcome change asking questions that intrigue every Indian each day. Written by Mukul Deva, an ex-Indan Army guy, RIP revolves around a group of para-commandos who rise up against the corruption and take the role of vigilantes. The back cover of the book calls the RIP, ‘Self appointed guardians of a nation seething with anger at the endless scams and scandals rocking its very foundation. Vigilantes who vow to stop corrupt politicians and colluding civil servants.’
With RIP, Mukul Deva, not only delivers a spectacular thriller of a story but at the same time asks the imperative question, will eliminating the corrupt eliminate corruption?

The Plot:
RIP is a story of six ex-army para-commandos who become vigilantes for the people of the country, killing corrupt politicians and their aides. Headed by Colonel Krishna Athawale, the K-team as they call themselves, mask under the name of the RIP in order to kill the corrupt and thus create a vacuum at the top, so that better people may take their place. Set in the backdrop of Arvind Hazarika’s Anti-Corruption fasts (Yes, Mukul Deva fictionalises real life characters, so loosely that it is hard to ignore who he is pointing at and to some extent it gets slightly irritating in the beginning), the K-team are a group of highly trained troops who decide to put their skills to use triggered by the frustration due to the dormant state of positive change in the country. The K team takes out three corrupt targets in the beginning of the story and takes public responsibility for the act. Further, they warn the Indian Govt. to take action against the corrupt, and act quickly; else they will kill one ‘public enemy’ each day for the next three days. It is now that the Home Minister, Karunakaran, who himself is staring in the face of fear officially orders CBI Special Director Vinod Bedi and unofficially hires an ex-Indian Army (court marshalled) officer, Ragahav Bhagat; the former to find the RIP and latter to eliminate them.

Things take an ugly turn when Colonel Athawale finds himself being attracted towards Reena Bhagat, the mother of Krishna’s son’s best friend and Raghav Bhagat’s estranged wife. So now, for Bhagat, killing the Colonel is not his job but has become a personal issue now. The rest of the story revolves around how the three men, Colonel Krishna, Captain Bhagat and Vinod Bedi, and their teams play several rounds of cat and mouse and where they finally end up.

The Verdict:
RIP is a book that will only be enjoyed by Indians living in times of today. Frankly Speaking, no one else would be interested enough in the anti-corruption and the Govt.-public tussles in India. Spectacularly written with exquisite detailing, especially about what goes inside a soldier’s mind during times of battle, Mukul Deva does justice to the genre he picks. The characters are not at all plastic and very believable. Even the two kids Sachin and Azaan who go through a million emotions are described with ultimate finesse. Set in the backdrop of mainly Delhi, Deva ensures to let the city play a part too in the story. Though RIP is the victim of far too many co-incidences, but aren’t moments such as those that make stories great?

Now the subject of story is such that is very debatable and it got me talking with many of my friends, since it raises the quintessential question- Will killing the criminal kill the crime? As for the parasitic politicians are concerned and the ways and means of Indians that we inherit to get past rules, I am pretty sure it wouldn’t be long before an honest neta starts accepting bribes. Do we really need an activist becoming the face of anti-corruption for us and an ex-army K-team becoming vigilantes for our good by holding the Govt. at ransom? Or is it a Faustian bargain that we must negotiate with for our own good?

If one single piece of writing makes you ask so many questions then I must say that yes it is a brilliant book which strums the right chords among the readers. I agree that the audience for such a story might only be restricted to people my age, people with high adrenaline levels but never-the-less full justice done to a good thought. So much so that I am also ready to overlook the sub-fictionalised characters which you draw direct inference as to who may this character be in real life.

To sum it all up, I must say read it, because it is a like a bag of chips that you’ll have to finish in one go and a small part of you might feel lighter having read that some corrupt pompous politicians die somewhere to make way for a cleaner bureaucracy to take over.

My rating: 4/5 and a gun salute for Mukul Deva.

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Open Letter to the Mayans by an Unknown Indian

Dear Mayans,

According to a prediction by one of you, it was supposed to be doomsday today. Even my half-witted ex-roommate knows that. The Mayan calender has ended and somehow the world hasn’t been interested in the rumors that were doing the rounds. Delhi has been very obedient though, and from what I gather, a small tremor of an earthquake was also felt somewhere yesterday. Or maybe it was just a fat boy running on the floor above the guy who tweeted that. I hardly care. I would have been happy. Very happy. In fact, every person in India would be happy if the world would have ended today.  Not only is the Indian cricket team at its worst right now and the captain has finally run out of his days of luck, but with the recent gung-ho about the Delhi gang rape, all Indians are be ashamed. What I’m doing right now is cowardice. Sitting at home, writing a blogpost. I’ve read many in the past few days. I’m fed up reading tweets, Facebook status updates, changing display pictures on Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter and all the debates in the news about hanging the culprits.

The rape happened in Delhi, which is a big city, and thus got reported so widely and spurred a national movement. Many such incidents happen in many small cities and go unnoticed, unreported too. We may conduct rallies, light candles and debate and discuss this insolent and heinous act but what good will come out of it, I wonder. Punishing the culprits this time, demanding a death sentence may help create fear in the minds of others, but will a person in a state of inebriety be able to remember the law? Or the punishment that he may suffer if he is caught? Definitely no. Then what is the reason, I wonder, why such acts happen? And what may the solution be? A couple of days ago, I read someone saying that we are the ‘Porn downloading‘ generation and we have no right to comment on anything. He’s partly right, I believe. We are that generation where libido levels are at an all time high. But has anyone really though why such incidents happen. Why our women are raped? The reason is simple. We live in a sexually starved society with a very poor sex ratio. The word sex is not uttered at our homes. Nor is sexy. A “Fuck it” wallpaper on a phone is looked upon as if the kid just committed mass murder. Cigarette smoking and ‘foul language‘ is censored on-screen. To protect the kids? From what? What if the father of a kid smokes? I’m sure you can’t have a day complete when you step out of your house and don’t hear people using words like ‘bhenchod‘ or ‘chutiya.’ Kids in school learn it from their friends and all the Govt. ends up doing by enforcing these hollow laws is prevent exposure.

Exposure is healthy; it teaches kids how to adjust. And the lack of sex education is one reason for the dismal state of affairs that exist today. Pre-marital sex is still considered a sin and women are objectified. Yes. This lack of sexual exposure makes men excessively lustful and desperate and it is when they lose control of their minds that they commit such an act as a Rape. I’m very sure that a rapist must have desisted his urge to force himself upon a woman on several occasions before he committed the crime. Then what is the possible solution? Will hanging of one culprit make sure that the rest of the people are always in their right minds? Will having women cabbies solve the problem? Not every woman who roams the streets at night can afford to take a cab everyday. And what if a group of physically superior men stop the cab and impose themselves on the cabbie and passenger? The problem is not in the women, how they carry themselves or how they dress up. It’s their life, it should be their wish. The problem is with the men. If the problem is having sex, then I suggest in a country like India, prostitution should be legalised. I know, I may sound crazy and there are many other factors why it is wrong, but the sexually starved land of Kamasutra is putting itself to shame with each passing day.

Our generation is angry but our anger is not channelised properly. Making a black dot as our profile picture won’t help. Educating our kids would. Changing ourselves would. Making our society sexually liberated would. We should have more of Sunny Leone’s and more of Dostana-like films. Thanks to these, and the press coverage that they garnered, words like ‘Porn‘ and ‘Gay‘ have found their ways into household dictionaries. I’m not saying don’t punish the culprits this time. Give them the strictest punishments; make an example out of them. But make sure that the people of this country are not raised in an environment where something as trivial as lust makes a beast out of a human.

I was so looking forward to ending this national shame that I was almost happy that should the world end today, my female friends across the countries would safely die. But it seems that even you could not deliver to your promises. Shame on you Mayans. Please predict the end of the world more appropriately the next time.

Hoping for a better tomorrow,
An unknown Indian

Book Review: The Bankster

With the kind of expectations an award winning author brings in with his book, one is always on the look-out for the extra element. It was my first date with a Ravi Subramanian book and I was as jittery as one usually is on first dates. The cover of Ravi Subamanian’s latest book, The Bankster looks like a poster right out of a Hollywood flick. The back cover of the book very interestingly and very concisely describes a chain of events in Angola, Kerela and Mumbai that are entwined in this 360 odd page read, yet at the same time, it hardly tells you anything about the book. It is intriguing though to think how a CIA agent in Angola dealing with blood diamonds be related to an elderly man in Kerala who wants to fulfill a promise made to his dying son or how could possibly the two of them be related to the mysterious deaths of the employees of a global bank in Mumbai.

When I read about the author, I thought to myself how different could another IIM alumni write than his peers. Unless he is an Amish Tripathi, should I indulge myself in this book or not? I was pleasantly surprised when I finally found the answer this morning.

The Plot:
It is not exactly easy to define the plot of a thriller novel because of two reasons in my opinion. One, you may accidentally be giving away a spoiler to the reader as you don’t know where he might be suspecting the story to be going and secondly, you may just be successful in realizing how obviously dumb you were while reading and expecting the wrong people to do different things at all the wrong moments through the text. Yes! That is what a classic thriller is and that is exactly what the Bankster is. You can never be right in what you expect and you can never expect what is coming. An undercover CIA agent exchanges Israeli weaponry for some blood diamonds and gets into some big bucks. The focus soon shifts to southern India where a resort owner, Krishna Menon is trying to immobilize his people to get the Govt. of India to answer some important questions regarding the safety of the people in the catchment area of a nuclear power plant. Meanwhile the top brass of Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) in Mumbai are akin to bending rules and padding their pockets with the bank’s money.

Things get muckier when an NGO gets involved with Krishna Menon’s mission while the head of the NGO helping him actually has his hands dirty and is helping him only to fulfill his ulterior motives. Things take a bloodier turn when the some employees of the GB2 bank are mysteriously killed; one in Mumbai, another, months later in Vienna and then following day again in Mumbai and all deaths are presented as accidents or suicides. This is when Karan Punjabi, an ex GB2 employee and now a leading journalist decides to investigate further as one of the deceased was a close friend of his and the one who wanted to share some classified information with him. As Karan unfolds the true lies of the stories behind the deaths, we find out how the blood diamonds, the people opposing the nuclear plant and the deaths of the bank employees are related and part of a big international money laundering scam.

Who is the Bankster? I’ll leave it for you to find out.

The Verdict:
If you ask me to describe The Bankster in one word I’d say, ‘Brilliant!’ If you ask me to describe it with a gesture, I’d stand up like the Joker and break into a ‘slow-clap’ motion. At no point through the 358 odd pages of the book do you feel like you are reading a novel, it feels like you’re watching a Quinten Tarantino film. I wouldn’t say that that the author takes you on circular trip, but I would say that it is a polygon with many many sides entwining all the events into one big web. Just when you think why the author is ranting about the features of an iPad when he has more important things to discuss, he pulls you back in with a kick straight out of a Christopher Nolan film. Since there are just too many things happening and too many characters, it becomes secondary to pause and borrow the character’s shoes for even a split second but from the edge of the seat that you would be reading this novel, I must tell you that everything falls in a perfect line and sonner or later makes perfect sense.

Ravi Subramanian knows banking like no-one else. That is a well known fact but he also knows himself and his audience well. What I liked about him the most was that at no point does he get carried away with style and yet delivers his message with the right attitude. The Bankster is a confident book by someone who knows that solving mystery is like finding the missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and narrating it is like sitting down and putting them together. Now for someone who has written so brilliant a book, I am willing to overlook the 3-4 typing errors I found and also the fact that a south Mumbai ACP suddenly became a DCP standing in the CEO’s cabin of a bank. Other than these minor glitches, I would say that The Bankster is one of my prized author-autographed possessions.

My Rating: 4.25/5 and a very strong word of recommendation for the book. You may be reading a future James Hadley Chase here!

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Book Review: Love, Peace & Happiness

In the busy times that we live in, we love to take short cuts. Everything, except the average height of people, seems to be getting shorter and quicker. From songs to films to T-Shirts and even skirts, everything seems to have faced the short-gun line of fire. Even so that short films are becoming a rage and people my age, would rather learn from short stories than to spend hours reading fat literatures. One such compilation is Rituraj Verma’s latest book Love, Peace and Happiness. A collection of nine short stories set in modern India, this book explores the waters of love, sex, happiness and peace, as the name suggests. What is truly remarkable about the book is that while the author has published nine stories, at the end of each story, he gives us links to alternate endings of the same stories. Also, he asks the user to submit his own version of the endings too on his blog. In a way, I feel, Love, Peace and Happiness is the most liberating book that I have come across. You may not like the ending, in print, of a particular story, but you may agree with another view presented in its alternate.

Inside LPH:
There are nine stories in the book:

Each story is a different take on different people stuck in gullible situations of love, mostly. Caught between the shackles of love, fidelity and responsibility, the author tastes tricky waters of broken relationships, one night stands and uneasy love. Unfortunately, the format of books with alternate endings is such that one cannot comment on the stories oneself, but as far the plot of the stories are concerned, some work, while some don’t, for me atleast.

The Verdict:
What I found best about the book was that it is easy to relate with some of the characters as they are borrowed from your daily life or you have met them somewhere or the other, while you are fascinated by the others. There are a couple of characters that I would have loved to meet. You may find it difficult to logically assess the situation that the main characters face, but in ways more than one, on a deeper scale you tend to disagree with the actions. While reading stories, happy endings are all that we wish to read, but that is not always the case. Similarly, the endings in print, here, are sad and abrupt but you usually see lingering ends of relationships around you, not the way this is.

As far as the writing is concerned, the dialogs are a bit forced. Thoughts are repeated and the print I have did not come typo-free too. Useless details are thrown at your faces through lines spoken by characters, though the same information could have been delivered in the form of a narrative. The writing is too simplistic and when there is a faint line of connection between two stories here and there, you suddenly expect all the stories to be different links of a giant jigsaw puzzle but alas, that never happens. As a book, it is just about okay when you got nothing better to do on a rainy day, but on that kind of a day, the puddles in the mud might interest you more.

My Rating: 2.5/5