Monday, October 25, 2010

Above Average by Amitabha Bagchi

I spent saturday and sunday reading Amitabha Bagchi's 'Above Average'. The book I must say(according to me) didn't reach there. Ok, first the positive. The english was good, the writing style direct and expressive. There are a lot of incidents related in this book, all intertwined. Some hilarious, and some making you sad. One of the good things is that it speaks about places in Delhi, especially Mayur Vihar and gaves a rather good account of how the view would be. The book is good for light reading.

But then, the book did not leave me with anything at the end of it. Ok, it is a first novel from someone who is not exactly a writer(meaning, not a writer by profession). I understand that. Yes, it is the life of Arindham Chaudhary as seen from his eyes, his views and his experiences. But somehow, there is something missing that I am unable to pinpoint. It feels like the author has not revealed something and has left it unsaid. It feels like out of 360 degrees, something like 90 degrees of the picture is blurred. It is not like the ones where the end is left to the reader to choose. No, it is not that. It is like he didn't want to reveal some aspects of the character/characters. He wants to protect them, yet writing a story about them. Only the superflous layers have been shown. In case of some, there is only a mention of them where required.

Maybe I am growing old and the book is meant for students, meaning people of that age. The college stories are okay though some of them feel like they were introduced to add some effects. Besides, the IIT campus life has been discussed in some other books and it feels like a continuation of the same. Understandable that campus life cannot be different.

It was not a book that was rivetting. Rather, it was a book I put down many a time and picked again, hoping I would see something different in the pages to come. The last few pages just summed up or hastened to bring things to a conclusion. And when it was over, I wondered what I got from the book.

Maybe I went in with expectations. Of finding something, of learning something. The only thing I noticed is the way the stories and incidents are presented, in and out, intermingled.

(The above is my personal opinion only).

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