It’s been a long time since I’ve done a book review. Better late than never, especially for a book like Ghachar Ghochar.
A friend and fellow reading afficiando who also wears other interesting hats was cleaning house and put up a give-away of her beloved books. Red lucked upon this particular one and the result was a Saturday night discovery of a impactful new book that both of us finished one after another.
Written very honestly and without sounding judgemental, Vivek Shanbhag does a creditable job exposing the follies and foibles of the nouveau riche whose lives become complex on account of their wealth but whose bourgeoisie never really goes away.
Written in Kannada originally and beautifully rendered in English by Srinath Perur , the book holds up a mirror to the middle class society and mentality globally (IMHO) but more specifically in the Indian context rather than just the Kannadigas.
Points in its favor are the novella form and the simple and yet engaging narrative which people will be drawn to whether or not they belong to the strata of the people portrayed. The individual character sketches too, are very believable and seem to take shape effortlessly on paper without too much of anything seeming contrived.
And while this book isn’t something that makes me spout superlatives, its stark and unflinching honesty is what makes it stand apart from a lot of other reads of the same ilk.
Reader rating-2 thumbs up.