Monday, February 14, 2011

Book Review: "The Beauty of These Present Things"


Author: Avtar Singh
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Pages: 239
Cost: 250 Rs.
Publisher: Penguin Books
First Published: 2000

The Beauty of These Present Things is a first novel from Avtar Singh. Novel is portrayal of young aspiring writer’s life in contemporary Mumbai. The book is sarcasm which is enduring quality of aspiring Indian youngsters.
An editor in a publishing firm Katie try to track down aspiring young writer Arjun because she has some time in her hand on her visit to Mumbai. Arjun had sent her some short stories and she sensed promise in him so she decides to meet him. In the process of tracking down Arjun she meets some people who are Arjun’s friends or he knows them. And she surprised to know that Arjun had used all these people as characters in the short stories he sent her. His stories were based on these people lives and characters weren’t fictional but real and interacting with her. So she $is increasingly drawn into Arjun’s world. She finds him more and more interesting, and eager to meet him. Meanwhile, Arjun, unaware that Katie is looking for him, pursues his daily routine. As usual he is working as a real-estate agent.
This is the story of just one day —19 May 1999. Filling 239 pages exploring just one day is amazing. Book is simple and free flowing; it is neither idealistic nor cynic. If I have to rate this book I will give it 6 out of 10.

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