Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two States by Chetan Bhagat

Two States: The Story of My Marriage was a typical Chetan Bhagat book.

2 States: The Story of My Marriage

Like almost everyone in the country, I was quite caught up in the 'Chetan Bhagat' fad when Five Point Someone first came out. Recently I've seen many books that tried to achieve something like that again, like 'Oh shit, not again!' (which I didn't like at all - in fact, here is a review which describes it perfectly) and I've still not seen anything like Chetan Bhagat. However, due to the time passed in the interval, and due to the horrible reviews I got of Two States at first, I wasn't very inclined to read this book. (If you remember, I talked about this here.) On the other hand, my mother had read it, and she urged me to read it, and so I brought it away with me to my mini-break, and started reading it yesterday.

I enjoyed the book.

I think the best part about Bhagat's writing is that he manages to blend interesting stories with relevant morals. This is a fine balance. You can't have just a mindless story, because no one will ever remember you. You can't just have a moral story, because then no one will read you. I think Chetan Bhagat has managed the fine art of blending morals into his stories, and that is exactly why he is so popular. From Five Point Someone (which was about the education system), One Night at a Call Center (what are you doing with your life?) and Three Mistakes of My Life (life goes on after disasters) to Two States (your state and you identity within it) Bhagat manages to write about things which concern the youth of today's India - money, marriage, love and education (to name a few). I think the reason that he is so popular is that he touches a chord among the young indians who are going through an identity crisis as they battle with old convictions and new experiences.

Chetan Bhagat - 3 Books in 1; The 3 Mistakes of My Life; One Night At The Call Center; Five Point Someone (1)

This is not to say that the books are at all boring. Bhagat's writing is not without problems (and he tends to put in random things like the Sadhu sequence in this book that really didn't add much for me) but there was no point in the book when I wanted to put aside the book because it had become too dull to get through. The book goes at a merry pace from start to end, not slow enough for you to notice the little details, but not so fast that you lose the emotional impact of each scene. The writing is humorous in parts (though, contrary to the reviews I'd received, there was no part in it which made me laugh out loud, either) and reflective in others. It is an intensely personal story (and one must admit - not the most original story in the world either) but you must admit that it is a story that most of us, at some level or the other, can emphasise with. This is enhanced by the lovable main character and crazy but cute families that we all know about.

Final thoughts: This book is not the best of all fiction. It is not even Bhagat's best book. But it is definitely worth a read, for Bhagat's easy style of writing, for his great observational skills, and for the fine art of blending a message into fiction.

Other things: Don't think I've forgotten (or stopped) the Great Classics Read (And Re-Read) Festival. Now that my break is almost over, the Festival will continue. I plan to tackle Frankenstein and (if time permits) Secret Garden this week.

16 comments:

  1. A very crisp account of the book. U seem to have caught the right nerve of the writer-

    "I think the best part about Bhagat's writing is that he manages to blend interesting stories with relevant morals. This is a fine balance." even i think this balance works best, neither too chatty nor too sermonising.

    restless

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  2. Hey Restless,

    Thanks so much for reading my blog, and I'm really glad you liked the review.

    So, did you like the book?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Sakhi,

    I beg to differ. Chetan Bhagat's writing standards have be degrading after five point some one. His last book 'Two States' is more like a movie script than a book. This is my personal opinion. I have generally seen authors set a standard and go on raising the bar. But I am sure you will agree, None of his books are as good as his first venture - Five point someone.
    Neways, very well written.
    I love the way you write a review.
    keep writing.

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  4. Hi,

    I have to agree about that. Bhagat is definitely not getting better. On the contrary, I think he really needs to find something fresh and original. (If you think about it, the plot of this book was as cliche as it is possible to get)

    And thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Sakhi,

    I read Chetan Bhagath's tow states few months back, to be honest.. I enjoyed it. I finished this book in 5 to 6 hours and laughed a lot.
    The flow of the book is much like the bollywood movie and being a movie lover .. I loved this book.

    Keep Blogging :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Sayed,
    Thanks so much for reading. Glad you liked the review.
    Sakhi.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice blog and.. A review well written..I've written one such review of 2 states. I agree the book requires so little effort to read with so easy a narrative. That's all a part of the technique that young authors now try, to lure i've-never-read-a-book-before kind of youngsters.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Sweta, thanks so much for visiting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi there! just followed your comment link and i landed here! Are u professional book reviewer or something? I agree with what u said about the book. It reflects what an inter-culture couple go through in india. It kinda prepares me for my future if u know what i mean ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Ashwin,

    Its funny, I guess you should've ended up in the front page, but anyway - thanks a lot for visiting. I'm not a professional reviewer, I'm just someone who loves to read and write. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your blog entries seem quite professional. Anyways im planning to read "And thereby hangs a tale"-jeffery archer, Im sure you have heard of it. I'd like to read your review of it before I read it ;).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Ashwin: http://inmybookshelves.blogspot.com/2010/06/and-thereby-hangs-tale-by-jeffrey.html

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice review.

    I have read the book, and my thoughts were quite similar. Certainly not his best, but still it was a good read.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Anik, thanks for visiting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, thanks for this book review.
    I also read about this book on BookChums and was impressed. I found the book reviews posted by you are original and not paid once. I am going to read this book for sure.(yeah... i know I am late)

    ReplyDelete

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