Friday, November 21, 2008

Of Tiger, Mistakes and a Freak

Read a quote today “I have nothing to do and the complete day to do it” So out of complete ennui, a blog comes that can be titled as Of Tiger, Mistakes and a Freak.

Lest I raise your expectations and face the aftermath, I should explain the meaning now. After many days I started reading novels again and finished three in a week. The blog’s title connects all of them.

The first one that I read was ‘The White Tiger’.If this novel deserved a Booker or not might be debatable but according to me it is worth a read. The story is short and it generally does not get dull. The protagonist ‘Balram Halwai’ binds you with his dark humor.

At times it betrays that writer has seen poverty only with a rich man’s sympathetic sunglasses. Anyways, the writer’s description of ‘India of the dark and light’ does remind us the grim reality of growing divide once again (and my guess is Booker judges love it).

If this novel had come half a century earlier, it would have been branded as pro communism. An analogy can be established between the plot and ‘socialist revolutions. The protagonist ‘Balram Halwai’ represents the oppressed proletariat who overthrows his exploitative bourgeoisie masters by a violent revolution.

Now let us move to the Indian writer of masses, Chetan Bhagat. This man has made the best use his MBA degree. He knows the real meaning of 4 P’s; product, price, place and promotion, the meaning that is still to be discovered by the likes of Shobha Des and Vikram Seths.

His first novel sold 5000 copies in the first month, second sold 50000 and the third one has crossed the threshold of 500000. He writes what the youth of this country want; college life, fun, dreams and romance (of course with some premarital sex). And then it is priced at 95 Rs; certainly worth buying on a small train journey.

Coming to the ‘Three Mistakes of My Life’, it’s a ‘perfect’ novel. In other words, it is what Chetan Bhagat wants to write. It is much better than ‘One Night at Call Center’ and has many witty one liners that shows his growth as a writer.

I guess that he has a fetish for Bollywood movies, so his story at times starts looking like a Bollywood masala flick where everything is possible. But again, his novel is small so before your rail journey ends, this novel also finishes. Certainly worth its 95 Rs price!

And now coming to the third novel/book; ‘Freakonomics’. Of late (see I did not write Off late) I have developed a liking for Economics and this book is certainly for people who are discovering Economics. In case you have no opinion on the subject, this book is strongly recommended. Trust me once you read this, you will be able to answer what is common between teachers and sumo wrestlers; or better still ‘Why drug dealers still live with their mothers?’


bhaskar said...

I am very happy to see your new message. I got motivated by the blogs.
thank you very much sir,

Saagar said...

Freakonomics is a highly populist version of actual economic outlook. When I listened to its audio book, I was highly interested, but when I started digging on its factual proofs, I realized that economic world is not based on data and data alone. Maybe they would prove out to be true in course of time, but I am not totally convinced...

Vaishali said...

I confess..visiting ur blog after a long time ..but u never fail to amaze me ... gug gng !! liked ur take on the books mentioned !

Shailesh said...

hi Anurag,

book reviews....indeed a difficult task at hand.

Ab aap bhi choti si kitaab likh dalo and give us opportunity to review it.

Anurag Srivastava said...

@bhaskar: thanks for the kind words

@Saagar: I am also not completely convinced, though I must say its interesting.

@Shailesh: I have way to go for that, anyways thanks :)