Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: The Virgins by Siddharth Tripathi

There ain't many books which talk about urban life of a particular city. Most of the novels contain glimpses of a certain city. Author Siddharth Tripathi in his debut novel "The Virgins" has tried to highlight a certain city and what all happens in it. So has he been successful in doing that? Let's check it out. 

How does one become a man?Three young boys 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 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 doesnt even know that 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. Guggis 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 schools notorious protection racket in a violent coup. The fallout drags the trio into a murky world of heartbreak, betrayal and bloody vengeance...

  • Funny, action packed and tragicomic coming-of-age story about three friends who live in Varanasi
  • Easy-to-read, fast paced writing
  • Strong backdrop of Uttar Pradeshs student mafia and protection racket

The cover page of the book is funny with three different people and a sentence each dedicated to them. The title is more of an erotic fiction title which you might not relate to the story at all. The blurb talks about three boys and Varanasi where whole lot of action is going to take place. Considering the backdrop and three bullet points the blurb will impress the readers a lot. 

The story is about three young people Pinku, Bhandu & Guggi who with their notorious and casual attitude become a nuisance for people and for many others. Their not so successful endeavors around their colony and their messed up family lives and mingling up with ruffians and local goons brings a lot of headache for all of them throughout the story. It's about the survival of the fittest among the three overcoming all the odds and numerous other problems. 

This is the first time Varanasi has become highlight in a book and full points to the author for that. The entire characterization and narration has been planned well keeping in mind the accent and the dialect of the city. The narration of the story is fluid and pacy. Author has tried his best to highlight few of the on going problems in the city like the student mafia and misuse of power through this novel which covers a major chunk in the story. The experiences of young blood and their not so good understanding in certain matters makes the book readable at times. 

The problem arises with the no. of characters and the randomness of the events happening around the trio. Some of the events don't make sense at all and plot loses its charm quite sometimes during the entire novel. The theme is confusing too because it highlights at a humor fiction but turns out to be a serious one in the end. Humor is scarce. Events like Stamp Theft, Joy's story etc. are a turn off because it doesn't adds up to the charm of the book. The book should have been shorter by a 100 pages to make sense of the entire plot and concept. 

It's a written Ranjhana. The readers who have watched the movie can relate the book to it very well but the grip on the plot is fairly loose and it becomes a monotonous narration at a certain point. The student mafia and family problems are sure to be read but rest of the plot seems to be out of sorts making it a mixed book. The title of the book confuses too. You might laugh a bit, you might get engrossed for sometime but in the end you'll get bored with the randomness of the plot. 


2 OUT OF 5.    

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