Succulent and Gripping

Book Review – A Forgotten Affair

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A reader doesn’t get much of an idea from the first few pages of the book. In that sense, A Forgotten Affair proved to be different.  I had barely got past the first few pages and was already captivated by the writing style!

The story is about Sagarika, who is married to Rishab, a successful businessman. More than a year after a near-fatal accident, she is still grappling with memory loss and trying to regain a big part of her life.
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Complex, but Could Have Been Simpler

Book Review – Graffiti by Joanie Parieragraffiti

 

The story set in India (Bangalore) and USA (Denver) is around the web of relationship and the complexities brought in by circumstances. Rene is a young, charming IT professional and is a mini sensation of sorts after a successful infomercial that she models for. At this point she is still nursing a heart break of three years. At one juncture, there are men that play a significant role in her life and arguably enough, have a role in taking the book forward. There is Mark, a talented ad-film maker, Ayub whose family is well acquainted with Rene’s and there is Vipin who is an IT professional in the US. Continue reading

A Mixed Bag

Book review – Dissent by Deepak Kaul

Some leave you in suspense, some to your imagination while some make a quiet but impressive exit. Born out of “prompts” released by well-known authors, as part of Times of India, Write India campaign, author Deepak Kaul manages to churn out a mixed bag of stories.

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The author has tried to prove his versatility by dabbling in different genres – suspense, drama, sci-fi, romance – and within different settings. The first story is set in a cotton plantation of a bygone era and makes its way with ease. It’s the story of a young unconventional girl in a conventional set-up, but does not end nor suggests a stereotypical succumbing-to- the-pressure kind of closure. It proves to be a good start for an anthology. Then there are others with filmdom as a background, a woman bureaucrat as the central character, intrigue in a coffee shop, love becoming a jihad and a sci-fi (which doesn’t quite stand in comparison to the rest). In all, there are a few of them where the reader waits for some interest but falls flat, and leaving them disappointed. But then, it is not easy to work within the limitations of a prompt or sometimes the title, and this where the author has done a good job. The challenge throughout is to keep the interest alive and pack the punch within limited dimensions. Of course, after about three or four stories, the reader may have an idea where it might be leading, yet keeps them waiting till the end of the story!

Folks who prefer a light, peppy read and look for variety will find it suited to their taste.
A word of advice. In addition to having a good storyline, it is very important to keep the language intact and error-free. Edits are needed to also tighten the lines here and there. Else even the best of stories may fall apart.

I received a copy from Writersmelon.com in exchange of an honest and unbiased review. 

Can the Twain Meet?

Book review

This is the question author Robert Tomson attempts to answer in his short anthology Stories of Work, Life & the Balance in Between.

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There is the impressive B-school degree and then there is reality – of life and corporate world. The author has tried to bring out in his stories, the resulting chasm – of having to eat a humble pie, of personal casualties, of being isolated – all borne out of certain expectations.  Through a mix of profound and witty stories, evidently inspired by personal experiences (at least a few of them), the author also attempts to drive home a point or two.

The opening story, “What I Learned From my First Job” sets the right tone for the book by emphasizing on one of the most important virtues in the corporate world today. The subsequent one titled “Time for Work Life Balance” brings out the consequence of tilting the balance. The best way to succeed is sometimes not through hard work but smart work (read moves) as is seen in “The Interview”. On the other hand, one might find the story on limited dimensions a tad dry because by now one has happily got used to a twist-in- the-tale or witty flavor! However, for the major part of it, the anthology sustains the reader’s interest, be it a seasoned professional or a novice.
Generally, a problem encountered with an anthology of such sort is predictability and monotony after a few chapters. However, this one clearly steers clear of such a thing maybe because the author stops at the right point. Economically priced even for an e-book, pick this one up for a short, snappy and interesting read. Familiar jargons and terms do creep in and there are new ones like John-ism! Curious to know what it means? Read the book to find out!!

Being Vegetarian

It was my first day at the client site in Frankfurt and I found myself staring at the delectable looking spread in the cafeteria – salads and cold food on one side, entrees and main course on the other side of the L-shaped setting.  There was just one problem. It was hard to find a substantial (read protein rich) vegetarian fare. I settled for a veg. salad, mashed potatoes and would later pick some flavored yogurt. You sensed it. This makes way for a teary piece on limited food options. Well almost… As I stood with the food tray in the queue, waiting to be billed, a friendly voice piped in. “Why don’t you try the delicious fish over there?” pointing to a far off corner.”  It was not difficult to guess he was the kitchen staff. I began to say something, when he quipped with a sudden insight, “Are you a vegetarian?” in an unmistakable German accent. “Yes, but I don’t mind eggs”, I replied. Thus began a wonderful bond.

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Tomatoes and eggs – a delightful saviour

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