Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy – 4 stars
Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy is the story of a usual normal boring ‘mad’ man who is trapped in webs of boring petty normal life. Wait a minute, did I say normal? I meant the mad mad world where insanity might be the only option for sanity!
Our oh so mighty hero is a low level employee in a office where he is the joker for all. With a wife obsessed with acting at home and the whole paranoid world throwing one after anohter oddballs on his way, jingling coins in pocket seems to be the only possible way to remain ‘normal’.
This is an odd book. Odd like I’ve never felt before. The book started as if it was missing a few first chapters but slowly it started gaining upon me. The mad cap paranoia, the unusual yet familiar situations became too luscious for me to stop. I should mention here that I’ve never read sarcasm like this before from such a young author. For me, sarcasm is the best thing served on plates by this book. I just loved that.
It is a sad dark time for Indian novels where reading a third book feels like a repeat full of same old funny/romance cliche with sex thrown in to make it crispy. Thankfully we have authors like Pawan Mishra and a few others who are not afraid to dive into unconventional grounds to make a difference.
I got this book from Pawan in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
I invite all the readers to this mad house where all you got to do is jingle some coins!
Oh yeah I will Jingle it baby!
2 States – no stars?
From the writer who almost single handedly lowered the standard of Indian writing by setting cliché yet popular young adult format for many other writers and by showing that anyone (literally) can write books (quality doesn’t matter) – comes a new (*sigh*) story of “a boy falling in love with a girl from totally different culture in college and their struggles of winning hearts of the in-laws before their marriage.”
Wow! Talk about ground breaking unique stories! Only the mastermind Chetan Bhagat can produce this. Pour down funny elements ripped of from decades of Indian movies in the most cliché format, mix inter-cultural jokes which might be of our father’s times, slap in some sex scenes to make the story raunchy for young people and give us an ending that we all knew from just looking the cover – yet he produces a best-seller! What a genius!
Romantic Bouncers – 4 stars
Millions of Indian teenagers dream of putting on the jersey of Indian Cricket team but only the brightest of all gets the chance. Rabin is one the dreamers with a shining girlfriend, a few friends of the same feather and a father in Narcotics Control hell bent on him having a traditional and safe ‘naukri-wala’ life. But little do people know when drug and corruption slip in ever-day lives and dig their claws in the flesh of innocence. A story of a ambitious dreamer’s struggle to lurch out of the dark alleys of Kolkata and stepping in the limelight of playing for a cricket crazy nation.
Let me take a moment to talk about current status of Indian novels. A huge portion of Indian writings are now done by bored out IIT/IIM passouts or Bankers whose products can be simply put as “less than 200 hundred pages of funny/romantic things done by young and horny people whose lives suddenly take nice turns within last 30 pages”. It is a sad dark time for Indian novels where reading a third book feels repeat full of same old funny/romance cliche with sex thrown in to make it crispy. And then come authors like Ram Vignesh who not only breaks free of these ‘setups’ but also takes daring risky steps of writing books which digs deeper in to the psychology and dark corners of human mind.
Frankly, I don’t read romantic novels. For me, “Romantic Bouncers” was a cringe-worthy name but somehow the premise at the backcover promising an unique blend of Cricket and Narcotics felt appealing. Although the name sounds like a book of love and even though the book contains the love life of our hero, Romantic Bouncer is not a romantic book at all. It is dark, deep, realistic and sometimes raw. But the strongest is the narration – abrupt, discreet and complex with going back and forth. I am not saying that it’s never seen before but it felt incredible to hear an Indian voice finally taking things up a notch. Our protagonist Rabin feels like the-boy-across-the street from the start and we can all relate easily to his struggles. But even before I knew, I had completed the first half of the book and realized that the book had sunk me like a quicksand. And damn those pages about drug lords and streets of Kolkata! When we watch/read foreign TV shows or crime thrillers we all somehow feel that “those type of things are too much for our alleys”. Ram Vignesh has excelled at that part. His descriptions are neither over the top, nor lousy. And apart from being a little cinematic at some places, they are tight, hard and as real as our knuckles.
I will not get into the story much to avoid the risk of spoiling anything but one thing is for sure that Ram Vignesh is one author to keep an eye out for. I recommend this to any romance, fiction or crime fiction lovers and request to welcome this new wave of Indian writing.
P.S. A warm thanks to Mr Vignesh for providing a copy to review.