Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review: Metro Diaries by Namrata

Book: Potluck: Metro Diaries

Author: Namrata

No. of Pages: 162

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories 

Publisher: Amazon

A collection of very mushy love stories with an occasional spark of bold and scandalous variety sprinkled in between for some change and spice.

I am not really a reader of the love story genre but an occasional foray into the mushy / emotional stuff is not bad for the reading appetite. And the risk with short stories is definitely less. 

In the Metro Diaries, the author takes you on a near poetic ride of the emotional world of hearts in love … and that too, love which is not simple but complicated as usual. The author spends most of the words on exploring the inner thoughts and feelings of the people in love or those who are grappling with the concept of love and are unable to make up their mind about it. The stories hardly have too many things happening or sequence of events forming a storyline – there are a running commentary on the varied thoughts inside the head and hearts of people involved.

For a person like me who enjoyed the action packed and mystery genres, such stories are almost 'boring' … but I must say, I was very much touched. I could feel the written words and identify with the feeling of the characters. I could place myself in their shoes and go nostalgic thinking about a time in my life where I had similar feelings / thoughts / fears / anxiety.

I liked the stories which were heavy on mushy feelings while I appreciated the ones which had their own 'shock value' associated with the modern times and greater level of openness in things previously considered taboo. 

Some of the stories made my eyes moist and I think I might have as well shed a few tear here and there. (That alone should result in a near 5-star rating for the book and the author alike). But being the person I am, too much of mush is also boring to me and I started to tire out after half the book (about 10 stories) as things began to become repetitive. No, the stories were not following the common thread or common storyline. It is just that the expression of love became repetitive.

I wish I did not have to read this book in a short period for the review. Wish I had the liberty to read the book over the span of several months, reading just 3-4 stories every month. I would have not suffered from over-dose of love and would have been able to appreciate every story independently; unaffected by love-fatigue.

Last but not the least, even after completing the book, I am not really sure why the collection is called 'Metro Diaries' – I did not feel that the stories or setting or the emotion was 'metro specific' nor did it seem that all stories were set in the metro cities. So I connected with the author on twitter and asked her. She told me the stories are based on real life people and their stories and most of these she came across when she was riding the metro train … and hence the name. Well, now the name made more sense to me (and reminded me of the movie 'Life in a Metro' which was essentially a collection of love stories as well as life struggles of several people living in a metro city)

The cover was equally simple and not really appealing (to me). The book inside was deep … the title and cover design did not do justice to it. I am not creative enough to suggest a better cover or title but I feel the book deserved better of both.  


Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 2.0 / 5

Writing Style: 3.5 / 5

Characters:     3.5 / 5

Story / Plot:     3.5 / 5

Climax:            x.x / 5  Not applicable. The stories don't really end.

Overall:           3.5 / 5   

Guess a comment about the 'climax' is needed.
Barring 2-3 out of the 20, the stories don't really end. As I have said before, the stories in the book are not your typical love stories which have a sequence of events and a definite end. They are thoughts and feelings of people in love … at some point in time in their love life. Their life and their love continues to evolve even after the story ends in the book.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for such a wonderful review, truly appreciate the same :)