Saturday, June 21, 2008

3 Mistakes of My Life 'review'

Well, I just finished reading Chetan Bhagat’s latest novel, ‘3 Mistakes of My Life (I know it’s a month late). I’m not sure if I’m ‘qualified’ to write a review, but it’s a free country so, here goes. If not a review, consider this as an opinion.

Well it’s a story of businessman and his two friends set in Ahmedabad (or Ambavad as the protagonist Govind likes to call it). It revolves around the 3 things which an average Indian would give most importance to – cricket, religion and business (maybe in the same order). They grow in business, evolve in their thoughts. The book traces their life through the Gujarat earthquakes and subsequently, the riots as they harbour a talented Muslim (you guessed it) boy.

The novel has all the makings of a commercial flick for ‘Hamara Bollywood’ or the Indian film industry as I like to call it. All the angles are covered and you can just imagine the scenes yourself. But as a novel, it makes for a good one time read. The author captures the angst of the young generation well and one can relate to it (if you are from the same generation that is) but the writing style and diction is nothing to brag about. In Chetan Bhagat’s own words (I think), he is not much of a writer but is a good storyteller.

Go read it once. It’s cheap anyway, unlike your Dan Browns and Archer novels.


Vasavadatta.Y.T said...

I have not read this book, but will certainly avail myself of this opportunity to lambast Bhagat. After all, whats in a little negative criticism? It is easy to write, and spitting out venom is fun.
The fact that his writings are serving as inspiration material for bollywood movies, though putting him in a Michael Crichton kind of light, is perhaps so because there are verrrrrrrry few Indian authors whose works can translate into potential blockbusters. And fewer still are the authors whose potential reader base also form the clientele for what bollywood has to offer. (for eg, Arundhati Roy fiction made into movies? don't quite add up)

The only pros for his writing is the quick, one-time readability suitable for Nagpur-Bangalore flights or on the train to Mysore, and perhaps the germane characters he has created that most of his readers can relate to (as most exceptionally evident with 5 point someone).I have never liked the previous 2 works of Chetan, except for his unique writing style that appeals to the young Indian in general.
To name the cons, well, the storyline. Agreed, its different from most stereotypical Indian author generated kurma, but this difference is the only thing of note. He is a talented author, I feel, and can dish out much better stuff. In honor of that section of society that can think.
Also, the absolute lack of any traces of the juice of literary merit in his writing. Woe betide the country if the public takes to rereading his work. Buy second hand, read, sell second hand, and don't even think about the book again is the mantra to be applied.

I once read a review, whose author advised Bhagat to better grow up wrt his writing, before his books became non-detail texts for 6th grade english. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Archer novels are great, FYI.
Bhagat writes crap. Period.