Book 192: 2 States by Chetan Bhagat

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2 States by Chetan Bhagat

Finished reading on November 9th, 2015
Rating:for good intentions 7/10, for the execution 5/10

I read this book so I could finally watch the movie without thinking that I should have read the book first, now I can.
I feel though that maybe I’m a slightly wrong person to read this book – I know little about both South and North Indian culture. Anyway it was quite an odd, although fast read.

We have the main characters- Krish, a Punjabi from Delhi and a Tamil girl Ananya, who meet during their graduate studies, who after graduating want to get married. Knowing that their families would disapprove because first the marriage is supposed to be arrange and the boy and girl are not supposed to find a partner, but that’s rather something that the parents or matchmaker does, and also the problem of them being from two states.

As a general idea for the plot, I find it quite interesting, but how it was solved seems a bit strange to me, a little bit unbelievable, and everything was a bit too melodramatic.

There was one part that was very believable though – Krish’s depression, at every other time the focus is always on Krish and Ananya wanting to get married, convincing their parents, etc, so you don’t know the characters separately at all, sure you know where they work and who their parents are, but that rarely defines a person. The part where Krish is lying in bed awake not being able to get to sleep because of the thoughts in his head, seemed like a genuine moment. Can’t wait to see the movie to find out whether that’s in or not.

The book left me a bit confused – everything happens in a linear fashion – one success or failure after another, nothing happening at the same time.

I appreciate the idea and the cultural differences portrayed, but in the end it feels more like you’ve read an article in a magazine about a couple rather than a novel.

If you’ve read this book, what did you think of it?

Also you can find my thoughts on two other books by Chetan Bhagat here:

The 3 Mistakes of My Life

One Night @ the Call Center

Book 125: The 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan Bhagat

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The 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan Bhagat

Finished reading on April 1st, 2014

Rating: 8/10

When it comes to books by Asian authors or  that take place in Asia, there’s always the fear of the unknown – will there be a suicide bombing, or violent mobs on the street – one never can tell from just the blurb on the back.

Chetan Bhagat is a bestselling Indian author

The 3 Mistakes of My Life tells the story of three friends – Govind, Omi and Ishaan, living in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Govind is excellent at mathematics and is giving tuition, Ishaan used to be the best cricket player at his school and Omi is the son of a Hindu priest.  They start a cricket shop. A lot of this book is about cricket and business.

As a person who knows very little about either of those, it was surprising that I found the book quite interesting.

That’s because there are more themes in this book – relationships between a teacher (or tutor to be exact) and a student, politics, religion, coaching, etc.

So what is the story?

Ishaan is giving cricket tips at the shop, but he also starts to coach some of the neighborhood kids, one of whom, is Ali, a twelve-year old Muslim kid, who can score sixes (if anyone understands that… I tried to find out, but I’d rather spend more time with tensor calculus, thank you very much…) – so his really talented and Ishaan decides to do anything to make sure, that Ali becomes a great player.

At the same time, Govind is tutoring Ishaan’s sister Vidya for her medical school entrance exams in mathematics, but there’s a relationship developing there…

Okay, no more talk about the story. Now for whether or not there’ blood and gore in the book – yes, there is, as the Hindus and Muslims have some scores to settle (and it’s not in cricket).  That was kind of surprising though, as the 150 or so pages before, everything was fine, and then suddenly there’s a lot of violence.

This was the fourth book by Bhagat that I read and second I reviewed (Find One Night @ the Call Center here). I like his writing style – it’s simple and straight-forward and for most of the time, it’s pretty obvious where the story is going, and there are several themes in his books, which is fun, although it can also  get exhausting… But the books are fast paced and I read this book in about 7 hours with just a few breaks to go make some tea and finished it at around 2 am, so his books are definitely  something that’s good entertainment for long bus-rides or when you’ve just taken your computer away to get it repaired and can’t figure out what else top do…

There’s also a movie that is based on this book. I haven’t seen it yet though, because I had to read the book first naturally…

Don’t remember there being any guns in the book, so I’m interested to see what they did differently in the movie.

Book 21: One Night @ the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat

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One Night At The Call Center by Chetan Bhagat

Finished reading on December 22, 2012

Rating 8/10

I had the thought of reading this book in the back of my mind since I finished reading Bhagat’s “Five Point Someone” on one rainy northern-hemisphere autumn day.

Having finished this one so little time after Desai’s “The Inheritance of Loss” I’ve got to mention that just a few more books like that and you’d get a perfect set of books to suggest to an American tourist planning on visiting India – they’d probably change their minds and choose an European country instead… (just joking…maybe)

I didn’t find this book fun, but at least it wasn’t depressing, rather a little motivational, and despite Vroom’s rather politically and morally incorrect approach to helping the call center, I found the ending great.

As for everything else – some books give me the feeling, as if it were all about a different planet, a different species sometimes too. “One Night @ the Call Center” did it too. The Human’s ability to complain doesn’t stop surprising me… it does amaze me though, how often they’re complaining about other people..or whole nations or countries… and it just doesn’t make a difference unless the ones you’re complaining about hear it too.

Anyway, the book was good, but I liked “Five Point Someone ” better.