Friday, May 15, 2009

Somethings are fit only for the garbage dump

When was the last time you read a book so disappointing you had to physically suppress the urge to chuck it into a dumpster partially read? If you had asked me this question this weekend, my answer would have been– ‘NEVER!’

When a book fails to engage me, I normally just leave it unread, and perhaps give it another try a few months (or a few years) later.

Sometimes, I know I am never going to want to finish the book, in which case, I either dump it in a corner of my book cupboard, or try to pass it on to someone who I feel may be more receptive to what the author is trying to say.

But this week, I finally found a book that should never have been written, much less published. The cover of the book was attractive, the tagline which spoke about kurtas falling in love with jeans was intriguing - I picked up the book, because I did not think anyone could mess up a tongue-in-cheek take on life in JNU.

I should have been warned by the author’s status as a doctoral student at JNU – the book never made up its mind if it was a thesis, a story, or pure tripe. The brief flashes of mediocrity never lived up to the expectation they created – within a couple of paragraphs, they degenerated into a meaningless string of words. If ever a book should not have been written, it is this one.

Yesterday, when the noxious fumes of partially decomposed garbage assaulted my senses, I stared deep into the jaws of the dumpster- it seemed the perfect home for the book I had in my hands. That I did not calculate trajectories had more to do with a sprained wrist than to self control.


Gouri Dange said...

ah - i picked up that book for a friend's daughter - didnt realise it was so bad. judged the book by it's cover!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious--which book is it?

Natasha Ramarathnam said...

The cover was pretty attractive, wasn't it, Gouri? But the name should have been a give away - she tries too hard to be funny or flippant or both and fails pretty miserably. But a friend's daughter may like it (if she is not too discerning a reader) - it is only when you reach a certain age that you have no patience for things that are a waste of time.

Niru, the book was Sumthing of a Mocktale ... at JNU where kurta met jeans by a Soma Das who is doing her M Phil at the august institution. She never gets down to figuring out what the book is supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

I've not heard of it, and it doesn't seem to be distributed in N.America. I'll check it out when I'm next in India--you make it sound like such a train wreck of a book that I now want to read it :)

Natasha Ramarathnam said...

The literary equivalent of a Govinda movie made with one eye on the Oscars.


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