Tuesday, 7 October 2014

12 strokes of life by Durgesh Shastri: a review

There are a few books which will drag your attention towards them and before you read it, you will get the feeling that this book is going to be good. The quality, the cover, the color combination and the blurb of the book reflects the same kind of feeling. The first impression of the 12 stokes of life by Durgesh Shastri is quite remarkable. 

According to the back cover: 12 strokes of life is a collection of 12 short stories. From the hilly terrains of Matheran to the IT hub of the country, from the historically rich city of Bihar to one of the fastest growing cities of India, Coimbatore, these stories are set in varied locations. From an overconfident youth longing for success to a determined old man termed insane by neighbors, from a married lady in search of true love to a young girl fighting against all odds to overcome her worst fears, the characters are very much alive and can be related to people around us. The stories belong to different genres and try to send across a message to the reader which is though everyone paints a unique picture of life based on their experiences; it never stops to amaze us. After all, life has infinite strokes. Read the 12 strokes of life to know the hues and shades of the journey of a few.

The author has narrated each story in quite a simple way; no unpronounceable words and no unnecessary usage of phrases. The simple way of the narrating keeps the flow and will engage the readers till the end. I am sure the readers will love the names of the stories. Just like the name of the book, the author has given a similar effort in choosing the appropriate name for each of his stories which will definitely generate curiosity among the readers.  

The stories are very different from each other and the readers will close the book with mixed reaction. Where one story will regenerate the faith in god, then another story will make the readers heaved a sigh of relief at the end. The characters are also very different from each other and very much relatable to the readers in itself. I would be wrong if I say that this book doesn’t have love stories, but those are not the regular clich├ęd ones.

 The most interesting part about this author is, he has tried to install a positive thought among the readers through every story penned down by him. Not that he was successful every time but kudos to the author for choosing such a less traveled path. The stories of this book lack consistency. When the first story will raise the reader’s expectation then the second one isn’t able to maintain the standard set by the first one. Not that every story has flaws and can be written in a better way but most of the stories does.


 I felt sometimes the author has lacked patience and without describing the situations has concentrated more on finishing the story which will disappoint the readers. The editing was a bit weak too and could have been done in a better way.  After judging all the negative and positive points of the book, I escalate the author for such a brave attempt of writing something out of the box and will encourage him to continue writing unusual stuffs. Overall I would rate this book a 3.75 out of 5.

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