Title – Not Totally Unbelievable.
Author – Vibhuti Bhandarkar.
Price – INR 95 , Pages – 72
About the author – A copywriter by profession and blogger by passion.She took a bold step into the big world of publishing with her collection of short stories.
About the Book – A collection of fictional short stories. This is your typical coffee cup reading or even bed time reading.It does not stress your mind, nor does it stretch your mind.This is a book which you would want to read after you have gone through say a heavy book like English August.This is a book which has all the elements of emotions tugging gently – not over done, but just enough for you to look forward to the next page.
Some of the key highlights are the character sketches.Quite sensibly done, good attention to detail, the scene constructs are vivid and it take you through or takes you inside the story.According to me, these are some traits of a good writer.One of the reasons that I liked reading this book was the element of simplicity.The impression you get after reading Vibhuti’s book is that she is not trying to pen a literary masterpiece loaded with ornate words here.She simply trying to walk us through some of the journey’s her characters have been through.
Be it Ming Hsien from the story Lingnan Tea house or Meera from the story Unheard the character sketches are quite lucidly done.They speak and take a life of their own and invite the reader to walk along.Combining the attention to detail and simplicity and striking a right balance is something quite impressive from a first time author.
Critique – I thought at times the balance of scene description and narrative could have been better. Also a couple of stories seemed a little hurried up.They could have been better spread.For example Trekking Through Time deserved a few more pages. On a separate note (Dere ‘c’ k ? didn’t expect the c in Derek).Some sentences could have been rephrased for better impact.
Having said that – one has to understand that the idea was not to do a Graham Greene or TS Elliot. The idea was to be Vibhuti and share what one thinks the most fit.I think the author successfully does that.
Note to author – Congratulations on your first attempt as a budding writer.I think your biggest strength is the simlicity of narrative and I would love to see you write one long story which would explore your characters more deeply, the scenes more intricately.You have a good grip over the central idea you want to convey and this will hold you good for future stories.
Overall – I would endorse reading this book.