Friday, January 03, 2014

The Virgins by Siddharth Tripathi

The VirginsPaperback: 320 pages
Publication date: April 15th, 2013
Published by: Fingerprint publishing
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Author Links: Goodreads Facebook Twitter

Book Description(via Goodreads)

How does one become a man?

Three young friends are about to find out.

With six unmarried sisters and a perennially drunk father, Pinku, a 19-year-old school dropout, has only one dream left: to marry the plump girl who’d caught him stealing flowerpots. His friend and confidant, 17-year-old Bhandu, is not faring any better — his parents are divorcing, his father has abandoned him, and the American tourist he is infatuated with doesn’t even know he exists. Bhandu and Pinku seek solace in the distracting shenanigans of their friend Guggi — a pampered rich brat who can do anything for a thrill. Guggi’s reckless hedonism lands the threesome in a series of 'sexpot' escapades — each adventure weirder than the one before.
But their seemingly innocuous joyride is about to end.

With their Class 12 exams around the corner, Guggi, restless to leave a mark, takes over the school’s notorious protection racket in a violent coup. The fallout drags the trio into a murky world of heartbreak, betrayal, and bloody vengeance . . .

Fast, funny, and earthy, The Virgins is a coming-of-age novel that marks the debut of a promising writer.

My review

The virgins by Siddharth Tripathi  is an interesting story revolving around three youngsters in the holy city of Banaras.The title of the novel is catchy, attractive and so is the colorful cover image which gives strong assurance this will be an exciting and definitely different read than the other novels I have read.

In the book, we find Pinku, a poor guy who has a daunting liability to look after his mother and his six sisters. He daydreams about opening up a cassette shop and live happily ever after. Then there is obnoxious Guggi from a rich family who is considered to be evil and bad influence by his own circle of friends and is always unto some mischievous act not to mention he lives by this principle. Later in the novel, he reveals his goal in life is to become rich to richer. Bhandu is the only relief in the story, although his parents separated like Pinku’s parents, he has an otherwise happy go lucky attitude who boosts self-esteem in others.

Towards the beginning of the novel, I was very unsure of what I was reading. This could not be due to my undying inquisitiveness to figure out what the story was about. If I have to pin point particularly where I struggled, what I didn’t like during the reading process, it would be the writing style . The pace of the novel was slow(which gradually improved), the more I read, the even more I faced problems while reading it. The language was simple but the characters were not that conspicuous enough, it was as if, they were basically meant to confuse one. I convinced myself eventually after crossing few more pages, I would definitely able to follow the story and I was right.

What is the main issue one will face,   when reading the novel in my opinion is that the innumerable flashbacks. In the meantime, this too will fade away. The book has three main protagonists but according to me, the supporting characters outtake them in terms of vagaries of emotions. Let it be Sir Joy who feels guilty and seeks redemption for wrong doing,  Sushma, Pinku’s love interest who marries off a stranger to not hurt her father’s feelings, and Mannu Garg who becomes deaf in one ear after the huge thrashing by Dubey’s people, Ghansi, Sarju , Chaccha and so on.

The positive of the novel is the non-seriousness and the author’s optimistic approach. Sushma,  whom we thought married a stranger under her father’s wish, turns out she agreed because she didn’t like Pinku’s fat nose. Likewise, every time we are introduced to a serious character, somehow they  all turn out to be funny, gregarious, light-hearted, thrilling to the core. The mind voice of each of the character is also worth mentioning. Finally, these are the major things that keep “The virgins” never boring, likeable tale. Negative of the novel is the lack of clarity and suspense.

When I finished reading the novel, it was a pleasant surprise to know the author has lived in Trichy which is currently where I live. However, this does not affect my review of his book . For a debut novel, the author has done amazingly well. It is beyond doubt, "The virgins" is a well executed story.

Rating 4/5

About the author
Siddharth Tripathi was born in Allahabad and schooled in Banaras. He is a B.E from NIT Trichy and an MBA from MDI, Gurgaon. Siddharth currently lives in Gurgaon and works as a consultant for a business advisory firm. He also writes a blog on music and films. The Virgins is his first novel.
Disclaimer The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

1 comment:

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