Neha's Reviews > Red Earth and Pouring Rain

Red Earth and Pouring Rain by Vikram Chandra
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's review
Mar 21, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: read-2010, kwench, indian-english
Read from March 21 to May 19, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Having read Vikram Chandra before it seemed to be a safe bet to pick up again. So I chose 'Red Earth & Pouring Rain' - the title seemed enticing and the brief seemed interesting with a monkey as the story teller and a lot of mythical characters thrown in to create the mysticism.

In 'Sacred Games' one realizes that Vikram believes in storytelling and has seriously attempted to do that, succeeding in some & failing in others , but in this book Vikram is all the time speaking about how storytelling is so important and the single most goal of his book, but ends up telling about & everything which adds up in nothing. There were too many stories just for the sake of count like say one narrator talks about this guy who becomes narrator for another guy in another story and so on and so forth. You don’t even realize when a story starts or ends infact there is no flow or depth in any story. The author has created sections in the book with certain themes like The Book of revenge or The book of mistakes, etc, but nowhere that theme is visible in the stories The stories break abruptly and get into other unrelated stories. The author has not even done enough character sketch or research as the characters keep jumping from one story to another, confusing as to who is who, and how did this guy land here whereas he was part of some other story. As per authors most of the characters are heroic with a mystic aura around them winning wards & born to fulfill destinies, but the presentation and the flow of stories depict the characters as shallow & lifeless.

The book was a mixture of too many themes. At many places the author was trying too hard to create a Rushdie, with traces of Midnight's children or children born with super powers or labyrinth of stories, well here Vikram needs to be told that even Rushdie has not been able to create another Midnight's children so Vikram should not even try. At other places it seemed like a writing by one of the NRI authors like Jhumpa or Chitra or 100s of others who try to create the dilemmas of being an Indian or American and how they are neither. Sometimes Vikram also tried to create a mythical world of Indian Gods, usage of priests & sages & age old writings, but all these have been wasted entirely and these Gods seemed more like comedians than possessing any mysticism or powers.

I would strictly advice not to read this & waste your time. I had read most of it hoping for something to happen but it just didn’t. The climax is the biggest weakness of Vikram, he starts off well but he kills his stories with the kind of endings he writes, which are so drab & dull. Vikram my advise to you would be – to really try your hands at short stories before writing something like an epic of short stories and then connecting them randomly.


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Reading Progress

03/21/2010 page 55
03/29/2010 page 150
27.68% "A labyrinth of stories.. u dont know when one starts, leads another but they never end.."
05/07/2010 page 300
55.35% "well the book & the stories are all over the place.. the characters are too many & supposed to be great but with no greatness in them"
05/11/2010 page 305
56.27% "I need a miracle to finish this book.. but now that I am half way I just don't like leaving it"
05/16/2010 page 350
64.58% "dragging thru.."
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Neha (new) - rated it 1 star

Neha i don know yaar.. they start with a bang & then they loose it.. the reader is lost whether to leave it or continue.. waiting for sthing to happen.. I don know i feel my effort would be wasted & may be i will miss thing good later.. its all in the head..

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