Oct 17, 2014

Under Delhi [Book Review]

Buy Under Delhi by Sorabh Pant on Flipkart here.

Reach the author at:
Twitter: @hankypanty
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SorabhPant

Under Delhi. It is always interesting to see popular bloggers and stand-up comedians become authors. One, it shows if a good blogger than hold a reader's attention through an entire book as opposed to a blog post. Two, it shows if the stand-up comedian can work his way around a book the way he does with a show of his own. Sorabh Pant mainly succeeds in the second category by ensuring that is a enough hilarity in his narrative of a very average premise.

The premise is simple. The protagonist Tanya Bisht is a person who takes revenge of acts of rape by men and she is led by a Soniaji (no kidding!) Throw in a few characters including a rich land-grabber, a pervert for a boss, an attention-seeking colleague and a spineless boyfriend, you have your narrative there.

What works best to Sorabh's benefit is the fact that he uses a lot of material, which is stand-up comedy material, in the premise and those are genuinely laugh-worthy moments. I couldn't help myself from smiling or laughing when I read a few of those wordsplay, including the one on IIPM. This man is definitely someone I'd love to watch on stage sometime soon.

What also works for Sorabh is the fact that his language here is definitely appreciable and the writing doesn't read like a screenplay. There is some sincerity in the writing, and it shows. The characters, for the most part, are well-etched, except for a few of them that appear suddenly in the narrative.

What did not work for me in the book was a beaten-to-death premise. The concept of a woman who leads a dual life, over and under Delhi, trying to have her way with rapists is not completely novel. There is also an emphasis on her relationship, which seems cliched than ever. Why is it that most 'independent' women these days settle for spineless guys, at least in books?  Secondly, the book seemed to lose its steam by the time it entered the third part and it definitely appeared as though the author did not do too much thinking to write the last part. It just drags on forever. With some editing, the book could have been come well under 200 pages with a crisper narrative.

With a generous seasoning of some witty one-liners and some decent writing, Under Delhi is a book that could have been much more.

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