Book Review : Razor Sharp : 13 Short Stories

Published November 2, 2017 by vishalvkale

This is a new genre for me; that is why I was initially skeptical of reading this book – and passed it over. Adding to it was the rather uncomfortable fact of its being an e-book, which doesn’t appeal to me. Frankly, a book should feel like a book, smell like a book… or it isn’t a book. But a friend who runs a book blog {a Top Indian Blog} recommended it to me – and suggested I read and review it. So it was that I landed up reading this e-book, based only on the recommendation of a friend, my experience with whose with suggestions on reading was 100%.


E-READING-MATERIAL
First, The E-book. I made a flat statement above; and I stand by it. I read something – and blunt, frank and straight, it wasn’t a book. It was intellectual property, a reading product, reading material – but not a book. It didn’t feel like one, smell like one, didn’t have the same interface, and more. I didn’t like it. Period. Yes, I have read E-Reading-Material before, {Ain-i-Akbari, Economic History Of India by RC Dutt, various RBI reports, Ecology / Genetics research papers etc} – and admit that this is going to be a trend. It has distinct advantages in terms of cost, but loses one hell of a lot in terms of reading comfort, especially in following complex arguments, theses etc. It will be a sad day indeed when the printed version goes out of fashion. That said – E-Reading does lower barriers for entry to new writers.
THE BOOK
Aah, now we come to the book. As I noted above, the person recommending this has a hit-rate of 100%; I have liked all suggestions. Well, to cut it short, the strike rate remains 100%. And this has introduced me to a new genre – short stories of the human-interest genre. These can be fascinating for the glimpses they give into life, culture, human psychology, society and more; they are easy to read, as each story is unconnected. That means, you can use this to disconnect from arduous tasks; 10 minutes – and you are fresh again! In a normal book, you might get distracted if you try that!
That is precisely what I got from this book – the short stories and cryptic in many ways, very short in some cases; but all of them, without exception, giving a discerning look into some aspect of life, humanity, society, people. That may or may not have been the intention; being new to this genre I cannot say. But the short, sharp and pointed observations, characteristics, situations, and life-portrayals in the book bring out some deep and most times poignant aspect of life. Most stories end with a powerful insight into some aspect of life. And yes – the title of the book says it all {Razor-Sharp}
The difficulty, you cant really review such books, at least judging from this experience – not in terms of the story or the content. Given the short nature of the content, anything I write will be a dead give-away, a spoiler. Thus, excuse me for not revealing even one word of the content of the stories. Each story is short, sharp, and well-crafted. There wasn’t a single one that I didn’t like. Each story, as noted above, revolves around one human emotion, or societal reality, or one single human factor. Each story creates a web of enchantment around your mind, and pulls you in.
The above is a feat; creating engaging content with such short notes is very hard, as most bloggers are aware. Each word has to be in place; the room for error does not exist, or the entire story suffers. And if you can manage to build a character is such a crippling disadvantaged constraint – that is realy good indeed. And that is what I liked the best – I can still recall a few characters from the short stories – meaning the author has made a connect with me on a deep level, that the character has left its imprint on me, an indelible mark that will stay with me.
CONCLUSION
E-Reading-Material : If it isn’t printed, it isn’t a book. Period, end of discussion. Jai Raam Ji Ki. Namaste. Sayonara. That says it all. But, sadly, this is here, and to stay. It has many advantages – and I concede them all, so may as well get used to them! Whoever said development is good?????? Would I read them again – yes, depending on the genre.

The Book – definitely worth a read. It is a well-crafted piece of art {book when in printed form}, that is a fast and light read. The stories make a deep connect with you, have a life of their own, and are written in simple prose. The cover the full range of human emotions, and leave you in a very different mood than when you started out; they are short, sharp, fast reads, full of the flavours of life in every form. This is a good option for a journey, as it is in easy format {E-R-M}, easily available, and light. 


“This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours.  To know more log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in
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