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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Our Esteemed Literary Critics

In The Hindu, Adite De writes a belated and extremely strange review of Lavanya Sankaran's The Red Carpet:

"The Red Carpet brings to the fore a talent still in waiting. A skilled raconteur whose instincts are sharply honed. A keen-eyed observer of a city in transit. A quick fire interpreter of recognisable stereotypes from the Bangalore yellow pages....But is that enough? Not quite. Where's the consummate mastery of an O. Henry, the raw sensitivity of a Mahasweta Devi, the essential humaneness of a Maupassant, the impressionistic everydayness of a Jhumpa Lahiri, the startling, amoral twists of a Roald Dahl?"

See, that's the problem with our writers. Not enough impressionistic everydayness. Not to mention amoral twists.

5 Comments:

  • But you know know that Ms. De is widely read. "Mahasweta Devi and Maupassant? Darn, this reviewer must be right."

    Think The Hindu must hate Sankaran. Older review

    Reading a book like Sankaran's is like being led to an array of badly cooked (though enticingly named) dishes, and told to make a feast out of it!

    By Anonymous Karthik, at 5:46 PM  

  • Odd. They almost seem to be nursing a grudge.

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 3:19 PM  

  • I've always trusted the Hindu's opinion about books and authors and I was really glad to see the reviews you pointed to. I could get myself to read just one story in Lavanya Shankaran's book and found it distastefully insipid. Until now, I only found glowing reviews on the internet and was looking for at least one person who felt differently. These reviews really made my day - and especially since it came from the Hindu.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:18 PM  

  • Yes, you're right, Prufrock. That was a strange review - starting off well, but blowing it by that vague, feverish listing of authors whom Sankaran does not resemble. I mean, honestly. Even Shakespeare would not survive such an odd analysis. "Did Bill write like O Henry?" No. "Like Roald Dahl, then?" No. "Okay, that means he sucks."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 AM  

  • The characters and stories potrayed a very insignificant percentage of what Bangalore is really about. Rather boring read after awhile.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:46 PM  

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