Friday, February 9, 2018

Book Review: Seven Stories by Ravi Bedi

The Title of the Story: Seven Stories is well suited.
Cover: Not a designer stuff but not bad. Has a classy look
Editing: Well edited 
The language of the author: Good command over the language. 
Star Rating: 4 stars. 


An author with a distinct writing style is always a pleasure to read. Bold and vivacious the words of Ravi Bedi’s Seven Stories leap out of the pages and for a first time reader of books penned by this author, it’s a treat. All the stories are written keeping different emotional quotients in mind. Personally, I reacted to each story in a different manner. A woman, a daughter, a wife and most of all as a human being. The pull of the stories is great. Some of them leave a mark and some just give you just a momentary pleasure. But after reading all the stories, one can’t deny that this author has a few tales to tell. 

Save the Words strangely appealed to the writer in me. As a writer, I have dreamed something like this happening so many times. I am sure many of us have. Though I would have loved to have a linear path followed in this story for the ending became a bit far fetched but still, it is a  page-turner. What would you do, as a writer, if you are stranded in an airport and you suddenly find out one of your greatest critics is present in that airport?

The Nude Portrait is my favorite in this collection. A man entering an art gallery only to find his wife’s nude picture being displayed there. While I don’t know the legality of this, still it made a very beautiful read. I loved the way the husband handled the situation. Those sputtering moments, those doubts - each phase is written with conviction and that tad touch of humor is very endearing. What I loved most about this story is the way the author has managed to create that nail-biting moment of wondering what the husband is going to do. 

Drifting Shadow could be more aptly named as the Lady in the Cactus House :) Just kidding. Another beautiful tale of a drifter who lands up in Cactus house where he meets another broken soul. Their relationship quotient starts as tenant and landlady and moves on to friendship. The author has managed to capture human resilience, human endurance and the art of forgiveness in this short story.

The Seven Wood changed the tone of this collection. While till now I found the author dealing only with humane behavior, a tinge of negativity is added to this tale. Though infidelity and jealousy form the crux of this story, the ending does not enthrall me. It’s my personal choice but I don’t like stories that are told the roundabout way and if the ending is supposed to be left to the sensibilities of the readers, I would rather have a clear picture where I either feel sympathy or anger towards the murderer. Here I felt nothing. Sam Baxter is a more defined character in this story rather than Mike.And here I feel one goof up has occurred unless I got the story wrong. If Sam Baxtor was screwing Mike’s wife why did he address Claire as ‘Mrs.Baxtor’ on their first meeting. This confused the story a bit for me. 

The Lady with Long Hair again shifts my mood. A very honest story of a middle-aged man helping out a beautiful woman. In a beautiful way. I like again the husband-wife quotient here and the way the man was feeling very 'manly' till the problem didn’t crop up and after that, his wife took all the decisions. 

The Great Escape is one story I didn’t like. Though it had an Agatha Christie feel, it still lacked the finesse of having a sound conclusion as a mystery should have. Too many introductions to characters at one point in time made me very confused. Though the ending was salvaged, the author’s forte is mainly emotional drama and not a mystery and he should really play more with human emotions that came across beautifully in the first few stories. 

The Last Puff was a neat end to the collection. There is one dialogue I took severe objection to though in all fairness it was not written in the wrong light. “Then why don’t you lie down and enjoy rape, if it is inevitable?” Even someone having this thought process, as a character, insults me as a woman. And it was an unnecessary comparison and not using it would not have changed the story in any way.

Concluding on this collection there is only one thing I will say. This author has a strong voice. A strong storytelling inclination. He can play with words beautifully and I felt that his sense of humor is subtle yet in some places a reader will start smiling. Drama and emotion is his forte, at least in this collection. 

Recommended read for a lazy afternoon with a cup of coffee. 

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At February 10, 2018 at 5:31 AM , Blogger Ravi Bedi said...

I am overwhelmed. Thank you for your kind words.


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