Book: Dual Lives (I read the ebook version of the book)
Author: Gourab Mitra
Publisher: Patridge India
Genre: ‘Young-Adult’ drama but it doesn’t belong to the YA genre
In One Line: It is about a man who wants to find his peace and a child who wants love
Characterisation: The author might have wanted to make Kiran, the child, the protagonist of the story. But till the very end I felt that it was actually all about Ajinkya. I like this name, by the way. It is unusual and different. The other character names are common place. But that’s alright. The main ‘players’ of the story have been decently developed. The side characters like Rahul and his mother, Neha and her brother etc have been left very sketchy.
Language: I did not like the way the tale has been written. Leaving aside the fallacies in the language, the writing seemed too much like a ’school essay’. A smooth flow was missing. It clearly showed that the author was thinking in a different language and writing in another. I wish he had, instead, simply told the story to someone who would have framed it better for him or had got an editor who would have not only edited out the mistakes but even improved the writing style.
Plot Setting: Although it says Pune, I don’t know where the plot is set. Nothing is told about he city at all. Also, even though the author wrote this book with the intention of bringing to light the plight of child labour in India and what poverty can do to a kid, I somehow didn’t feel it. Yes, portions of it shows Kiran working in a tea stall and being physically misused by her comrade, Javed. But the main essence of the book seems more of a developing relationship between Ajinkya and Kiran after he ‘adopts’ Kiran and how the former manages to get over his sorrow and find his peace through Kiran.
Book Cover Art: The cover shows a girl and I am assuming she is Kiran. There is nothing ‘wow’ about the cover, but it is alright. Somehow, though, if the title and the cover had complemented each other more then it would have made more sense.
How’s the Title: The author’s aim has been to tell us Kiran’s story (even though I believe it was all about Ajinkya) and since that is the case, the title is fine. Since I don’t want to give any spoilers here, i will leave it at that.
Is The Blurb Catchy: I read the e-book version of the book and there was no blurb in it. Hence would leave my comments on tis one.
Learning From The Story: An interesting concept can go without grabbing any eyeballs and thus get lost amidst the millions of books that are being published, simply because it does not read too well.
Areas Of Improvement: Way too many grammatical errors, incorrect phrases, and fluctuation of the tense. A sort of mutilation of the English language. I honestly hope that the author keeps his promise (yes he personally told me so) of doing a better job with the words, grammar and phrases the next time and most definitely gets a better editor for himself.
The writing, in some parts seemed very abrupt. For instance, there were many such pages where each paragraph in the page began with ‘he did’ / said or ‘’she did / said’. Story writing is more of a smooth flow. One has to juggle with words. It is not newspaper reporting or essay writing.
Some portions were just not believable. For example: Ajinkya’s girlfriend’s brother beats him up till he is bleeding. Then, once he recovers, he says that he was just testing him and his love for his sister! This is the 21st century – please credit the readers with having some brains.
What Is ‘Said By Not Saying’: There are many children out there who are lonely and crave for love each day of their lives. So, if you want to give love to a child, in a small or in a big way, then go ahead and give it whole heartedly. Society’s job is always to point fingers. Don’t let that deter you.
My Reaction When I Finally Closed The Book:
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