June 18, 2021

Kalpish Ratna

  • Story Of O
    Story Of O

    The author’s elegant cynicism reads too much like platitude for us to feel the pain of his characters

  • Hot Air Beneath A Layer Of Subcutaneous Fat
    Hot Air Beneath A Layer Of Subcutaneous Fat

    Adiga resurrects a Mumbai staple: the grasping builder versus an idealist, parcelling it in comically fustian...

  • Soap Duds
    Soap Duds

    Successful soaps locate us within the script. A novel must do much more. It must transcend location, and...

  • The Thing About Thugs
    The Thing About Thugs

    The props all work, but the cast refuses to perform. The narrator as a spectator of himself as spectator can...

  • Up The Ulna
    Up The Ulna

    Easily mistaken for the juvenile effusion of a distinctly un-precocious schoolchild.

  • Cold Comfort
    Cold Comfort

    For an anthology that contours the most life-affirming of relationships, this is a cold, bleak book.

  • A Leary Lark
    A Leary Lark

    All the props are present and correct. But the prose is too viscous for pace. Deserved a murder with less...

  • India Library
    India Library

    In one grand rant the book screams out the grief that dare not speak its name—the lie that is India.

  • An Equal Temperament
    An Equal Temperament

    Though anchored in music, this novel is about vanity and greed, revolves around a timelessly topical class.

  • Pardon The Channel Noise
    Pardon The Channel Noise

    A richly evoked Addis Ababa hosts goodness, unequal twins, political strife—all soaked in methylated spirit

  • Pillbox Leering
    Pillbox Leering

    Bereft of complexities, it merely objectifies the child's body. In this novel, dystopia serves as a device...

  • The Sepia River
    The Sepia River

    Impossible longing, viraha, is the tenebrous core of Indian imagination. This book gives us the innocuous...

  • Who Killed Vicky Rai?
    Who Killed Vicky Rai?

    The story is definitely Jessica Lall. But the shooter acquitted, it takes a life all its own, via six...

  • Celluloid Reams
    Celluloid Reams

    Clever. Subversive wit carries the book through its ambitious trajectory but Hazra’s telling is...

  • Maya Memsaab
    Maya Memsaab

    A sullenly subversive book. Divakaruni's Draupadi is at all times conscious of her power to order destiny,...

  • Less Than Divine
    Less Than Divine

    Inspired tosh involving pop Purana, soapy subplots, bad sex, and garnished with bad grammar and misprints

  • Dead Queen
    Dead Queen

    This book is absorbing despite irritations of language, misplaced props and proofing errors. Its weakness...

  • Lost In The Blue Mountains
    Lost In The Blue Mountains

    Much like the Emperor's new clothes, this novel holds great promise, but grandly fails to deliver

  • Mysore Years
    Mysore Years

    Written for Indian readers: Usha scorns the explanatory whine of the expat writer. A book to be relished.

  • More Cursed
    More Cursed

    An uncompromising look at that most unmentionable of crimes—parental hubris. Should be required reading.

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