My first ever ‘giveaways’ book, Received a signed copy from the author on 18th Jan.
I have always had a skeptical view when it comes to love. It always seemed somewhat fantastical, and alas that view hasn’t changed much despite my close brushes with it.That is what seemed to be the theme of this novel, ‘love in the elite world’. And when the author says ‘Uncomfortable topics that are swept under the rug’ he isn’t kidding, the novel gives you things to mull over like,impotence (uh huh, you read that right), addiction (‘Cigarettes’ and that too not focused upon much , I thought there will be junkies shooting up crack all over the place for a moment after that description,but we seemed to have been pardoned that unpleasantness.), but most importantly relationships and the toll they can take on someone. And oh, lot of sex, I mean Mr Jain could have given Chetan Bhagat a run for his money in some of them I bet.
I was in a dilemma as to what to make of the book, it is essentially a collection of stories narrated by the three main characters in the twilight of their lives, Samar (The man with performance issues), Sanjanaketan (The woman cursed by fate) and Varun (The dude with old man issues and unresolved dude-dude issues) all trying to regain their peace and conquer their demons through a ‘Getaway therapy’ kind of a institute The Total Holistic Center (because the rich can always throw money to cure their heart burns) . Now to be honest, I felt a certain obligation to like this book because I got it for nothing,with an autograph no less.
But in good faith I just couldn’t love it all too much,that’s not to say it’s not good, for a second book by any author Mr Jain has done a splendid job, but maybe not my cup of tea.To read about someone else’s life story ,their problems, circumstances gives the reader a reference point, with which consciously or subconsciously he/she will relate and try to draw parallels.Such markers are aplenty in the novel.It makes you sympathize with the characters and hope that they might get closure. Mr Jain has used this aspect well, although the novel do lack a lot of finesse. It shows troubles which might get enacted in a serious version of ‘Sarabhai vs sarabhai’ or maybe an Indian ‘Sex and the city’,couples bored and cheating on each other, bachelorette party with stripers, Gay guy looking for his ‘Beard’ and so on which really doesn’t appeal to me all that much. ‘Varun’ was the only character I might have befriended if he was real among all three to be honest,The father son dynamic narrated in the book is the only thing that I could genuinely appreciate (that too from the son’s perspective). There was just too much that this book could have done without and less of what could have gone right for it. To show the whole curve of loving someone ,then losing that love then learning from that through much sadness and finally finding a way to put the hurt in its place and looking forward to life takes a special kind of tale, and even though I highly appreciate the attempt, it could have been better.
I rate it 2.5 out of 5 stars as per the goodreads rating system.