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Saturday, September 15, 2007
What is common to writers Chetan Bhagat and Amitabha Bagchi? One--both of them are alumni of IIT Delhi. Two--both of them have written novels based on their college life. The latter of the two came up with his debut novel Above Average, earlier this year.

The theme of the book, as mentioned in the back cover, is about a boy named Arindam Chatterjee, dreaming of becoming a rock star while pursuing under-grad at IIT Delhi and how the rigors of the IIT life impede him from becoming one. I expected the book to be filled with instances of a young lad hooked to drums, cymbals and electric guitars. It was there, but only in the first half, or rather, the first quarter of the book.

The story opens in an IIT Study Circle where a few graduates are pondering over a complex theorem, dreaming of bagging a coveted seat in a premier institution. All of a sudden the story describes Arindam in his final year. Then suddenly, in his first year. After that it shows him in the USA as one who is pursuing Masters in Baltimore. The whole story lacks coherence.

The story seems more like a string of incidents from the author's college life. One chapter in the book runs to 100-odd pages but does justice to the title only for around 20 pages. Bagchi could have done better to make his Average novel more than Above Average.
Property of Sheks @ 9:32 pm   5 comments

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