Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Live from London: Book Review

The essential ingredients for writing a best selling chick lit are: a feisty protagonist, some personality quirks that would essentially land her into troubles, her misadventures, and as the final nail, an exotic setting. In Live from London, you find nothing.

In this grossly irritating Indian English misadventure, the writer has pathetically failed to strike any cords with the readers. Parinda Joshi sets her story--I mean if we can presume what is described in the book a story-- in London. The novel lacks a well structured plot, good characters, fine dialogues, events that show some sort of connection with each other and anything else that can be worthy of pursuing in the process of reading a novel.

This is not due to my frustration of wasting time reading this worthless crap of a book, but rather a sort of brotherly and friendly warning to all those who decide to spend a couple of hundreds to buy this book from market and investing their precious time reading. The book costs Rs 195. And the only worth paragraph that strikes you could be seen in page number 131. The second paragraph; which goes like this: “I was devastated, I lay crying on my couch all evening. I could feel the flames from the fireplace swallowing me. Every tear brought back memories; his smile, his touch and his promises. My favourite poster of him that used to be the highlight of my desk at work was now hanging on my celery green wall. I continued to stare at it with numerous silent questions in my eyes and he looked back at me from that poster, his eyes still piercing, not saying a thing.”

The reason why I quoted the whole paragraph here is simple; it is an unwritten rule that in order to write a good book review, one should address the positive sides of the book rather than just ranting at the negatives. Here, I found myself in a predicament. The situation I was in held multisided impacts. One was the time I spent with this book. That I never am going to get back. The second concern was the positive side; there was none worth mentioning. Then this paragraph came to me like a soothing breeze. Indeed, that is the metaphor I must use for this paragraph. In the eerie sterility of the novel, this paragraph stands out with its touch of melancholy and consistency in its feel and basic idea, something that you should not expect in Live from London, a soothing breeze.   

Scenes move from paragraph to paragraph giving no hint at where and when what had happened. The novel opens with the protagonist’s failure in Britain’s Got Talent reality show. She then lands up as an intern in a music label company. There she gets into a relationship with Nick Navjot Chapman, a young Indo-Canadian singer. Due to some misunderstandings and also due to couple of other reasons Nishi Gupta, the protagonist returns to India. She starts a new career as an anchor in one of India’s biggest reality shows. Wow! I summarized the novel quite well. But do not expect half the fun if you actually intend to read the book.

The guitar that is shown in the cover page too has no crucial role in the story. Nishi plays it in the Britain’s Got Talent show and miserably fails, and at intervals the author tries to make it a point to tell us that Nishi is a guitarist, as if saying Lord Voldemort has his powers hidden in his wand.

This book reminded me of some of the best chick lits I have ever read: The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, but only to feel lost and disappointed. 

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


Terri said...

This is the funniest book review I have ever read! Loved how brutally honest you were.

Indian Citizen Ranting said...

hahaha. Speak of killing it. Very very funny review. Aye Zindagi!