Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Crazy Algorithm of Love - A Book Review

'The Crazy Algorithm of Love', published by Frog Books, is a debut novel by Rajrupa Gupta, who is a good blogger friend of mine. I am normally wary of debut novels for a few reasons. The first is that, in a romantic novel such as this, debut authors tend to focus mainly on the central characters and the other characters and relationships are very seldom fleshed out. The second is that the climax that closes out the book appears like a flash of thunder without being presaged by any event in the book. Sometimes the romance itself is sugary enough to give you diabetes.

It was a pleasant surprise to read this book. I did have an idea of Rajrupa's capabilities as a writer in her short stories but it is difficult to estimate the ability of an author to maintain interest over a novel based on her short stories. In that sense, I was delighted to find that she had written a book that was pacy enough to maintain interest from start to finish.

The stand-out facet of the book was the natural manner in which the book describes the one-step-forward two-steps-back nature of the courtship dance between the main protagonists with the mental turbulence of the female protagonist vividly described. The cyber-crime climax of the story is seamlessly weaved in to the rift between the couple and does not come as an unexpected jack-in-the-box kind of surprise. Rajrupa has also brought to life the atmosphere of an IT company as well as fleshed out relationships between the female protagonist and her mother as well as her boyfriend's father quite well. The story, therefore, reads like a description of real life happenings rather than incidents occurring in the life of cardboard characters.

A couple of flaws, however. The first one is probably more a question of my taste. I do not much favor what people have taken to calling Indian English. In this book, since the story is told in the first person from the point of view of the female protagonist, it may be true to life. I, however, feel that proper English does not jar anyone whereas this sort of English does tend to jar - at least for purists like me. It is, maybe, a trend of the times and I may be the outdated person here.

The other flaw is that there is a small portion of the story that is told from the male protagonist's point of view while the rest of the novel is exclusively from the female protagonist's point. It breaks the flow of the novel at that point. It would have been better if the author had found an alternative way to bring in those happenings which happen outside the knowledge of the main point-of-view character.

Those, however, are minor hiccups in an otherwise eminently readable book. If you are looking for a pacy read in the romantic genre, this may be the book for you.





30 comments:

  1. A very balanced review, Suresh!

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  2. Interesting review! I am normally wary of romantic novels too and I share your gripe about "Indian" English. I have read only a few of Rajrupa's posts, and it is good to know that she has done justice to a full-length novel.

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  3. indeed a nice review although Suresh Ji I am not into too much of reading, thanks to nice readers like yourself who share their reviews and help me be posted about what the book/novel deals with :)

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    1. I do not do too many book reviews, mysay! :)

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  4. For purists, my prose is pedestrian too. Nevertheless, a fair assessment Suresh.

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    1. I was more talking about the Indian way of sentence construction, Alka! Literary use of words is not something that I am a stickler for :)

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  5. Congratulations to Rajrupa! ..And what a lovely review, CS. The plot and the characters sound interesting to me. Guess, I will love this one :)

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  6. Congratulations to Rajrupa . I have read her short stories. Now after reading the review I will read the book . Thanks Suresh for sharing .

    Travel India

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  7. An interesting review..can i have the privilege of my book review as well ??

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    1. I'd be honored, Alka but I think you write poetry normally and I really have no appreciation of poetry. If it is prose, then most certainly I will.

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  8. Interesting Review! have added to my list

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  9. A book review by you ...of a person whose post i cherish a lot...seems like a lovely blend...loved the way you described the plots and am sure the book would be an mind blowing read as well...am mesmerized to speak the least...!!!

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  10. Very balanced review, Suresh.

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    1. I tried to make it as balanced as I could.

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  11. Nice review. No spoilers but given an idea of what to expect.

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    1. Thanks Ramakant! Been a while since I saw you here

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    2. Yes. I keep drifting back and forth between the blogosphere and the real world :)

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  12. I initially thought of ordering the book, but then waited for a review. As was busy among traveling amidst exams, could not take it further. Now, would you be kind enough to send the free copy of yours to my address? :)

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    1. Considering I borrowed the book myself, I am unable to indulge you :)

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