Name: I’m Not Twenty Four
Author: Sachin Garg
Publishers: Grapevine India Publishers Pvt. Ltd
‘I’m Not Twenty Four… I’ve Been Nineteen For Five Years’ is Sachin Garg’s second book. I have to admit that I haven’t read the first one and therefore I read this one with no expectations or preconceived notions, whatsoever.
The story is about a city brat, Saumya Kapoor, who finds herself in no-man’s land and deprived of her daily coffee. She leaves behind all that she holds dear, because of a mistake, and goes to Toranagallu only to discover a larger purpose to her life and true love aka Shubrodeep Shyamchaudhry, the sexy globe-trotting Bengali.
The cover appeals to me for I’m a HUGE fan of pumps but it does give the book a misguided image of being a chick-lit which it is not. I like the book’s dedication and the fact that there’s a story behind the cover illustration as well. Also, the portrayal of Shubro throughout the book ranges from intriguing to endearing to inspiring. There are references to blogs and blogging which I personally loved and the Move-On Theory is genius for I would love to implement something like that in my life.
And there end the good points.
The initial introduction itself made me cringe with its blatant similarity to C-Bag’s way of introducing his lead character, you know, where Bhagat tells us how he met the character, how they told him the story and the events that transpired. And unfortunately for Mr. Garg, I read Revolution 2020 a couple of days back which made the stark likeness even more apparent to me. Negative points for that.
Secondly, I personally believe that men and women don’t understand each other all that well and therefore, attempting to write a story from the other gender’s perspective should be undertaken with utmost caution. Parts where the girls go lingerie shopping and the descriptions of the men and the kiss between Malappa and Saumya are places which I, without any writing experience whatsoever, could have dealt with better for the sole reason that I’m female. I can’t help but feel that the author would have done better if he’d written the story in third person or even from his own perspective.
Saumya comes across as an airhead throughout the book; what with her shopping obsessions, packing suits and stilettos to for a village posting and even wearing shorts for a temple visit. I don’t know any women who are THAT blonde. At least, not ones who get through B-School. Also, she seems very shallow, from frequent references to skin color and statements about not talking to people with accents. I need slightly more solid reasons to dislike a person, let alone a guy.
The story is unbelievable in parts for I don’t think that a manager pushing his employee into a furnace and killing him would go unreported or uninquired. Nor would a newbie employee who faints at the drop of a hat will suddenly develop riot-controlling skills. And the way the romance between Saumya and Shubhro has been dealt with is abominable; like I said, it needs a woman’s touch.
The language is less than ordinary; I do not see the verbal flair that is required for an exquisite story-telling experience. And the phrases are unimaginative –“chewing gum chewing self” would be the prime example. Do not even get me started on the grammar and punctuation mistakes. If it’s a blog or just a feature story, I’d understand; but this kind of editing in a full-fledged novel is just not permissible.
The only parts that I enjoyed reading were the blog-excerpts which reveal Shubro’s real story and initial part where she screws with the interviewers heads.
I give it a 3/10.
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P.S: Thank you for all the comments on the last post and no, I'm not back yet; this was an obligation, hence the post.