Love Virtually – Daniel Glattauer
Genre: Contemporary fiction, epistolary
Emmi Rothner and Leo Leike connect with each other by chance, by a small mistake in the ID of an e-mail that Emmi is writing. Soon enough, e-mails begin to flow back and forth between them, and a virtual friendship develops. Secrets are shared, and lives are talked about. In course of time, there begins building up between Emmi and Leo the pressure to meet up, in reality, out of the confines of their computer screens. Will the two meet up? Will their relationship survive the meeting? Will the real Emmi and Leo match up to their virtual counterparts? All that and more forms Daniel Glattauer’s book Love Virtually.
With such an interesting premise, how could I not pick up this book? What’s more, the story is told entirely in the form of e-mails, making this an epistolary novel, something I have always loved reading. Sadly, the book (a translation into English from the original German) disappointed me hugely. It was a big, big, big let-down. In fact, it was so ‘Meh!’ that I found it hard to plod through it to the end, but I kept going only because, these days, I am getting averse to leaving books unfinished. In the end, though, the book left me feeling frustrated and disgusted, with a bitter feeling in me.
The storyline drags, and the e-mails between Emmi and Leo seem to have no substance after the first few pages. Neither of the characters are likeable. You begin to wonder what the whole point of the e-mail exchange is, after a point. This is definitely not a book that I would recommend to anyone. If you come across this one in a bookstore, do yourself a favour and steer clear of it, I would say.
The Supreme Macaroni Company – Adriana Trigiani
Genre: Chick-lit, contemporary fiction
I loved Adriana Trigiani’s Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine, when I read them last year. So, when I learnt that there was a sequel to these two books, The Supreme Macaroni Company, I wanted to get my hands on it immediately. I managed to get a copy, too, but didn’t read it all this time because I hadn’t heard very positive things about this book. Recently, though, I decided to risk it and begin reading this book, only to be utterly disappointed.
The Supreme Macaroni Company starts where Brava, Valentine left off – at the marriage proposal that Valentine receives and accepts. This book, though, lacks the punch that the previous Valentine books had, and fails to make an impact. It feels as if the author has dashed off the novel in a hurry, without giving enough thought to the detailed sketching of her characters. Valentine comes across as confused and hard-headed, and not very likeable. The end of the story is very abrupt and disappointing. Overall, I felt very dissatisfied reading this book.
If you have read the first two books in the Valentine series and loved them, you would do better to avoid this one. Pretend that a sequel never existed, will you?
Mrs. Funnybones – Twinkle Khanna
Genre: Non-fiction, humour, celebrity writing, essays
I admit – I have never read any of Twinkle Khanna’s columns, neither have I really followed her growth as a person, in the media. When I read that she has released a book, though, I was intrigued by what she would have to say. The many good reviews I read about the book in blog-world cinched the deal for me, and I picked up a copy. How was my experience with it? I wouldn’t say I was thoroughly disappointed with the book, but I wasn’t floored by it either. It was a very average read for me.
Mrs. Funnybones is a collection of essays by Bollywood once-upon-a-time starlet Twinkle Khanna, snippets about her life and her thoughts about this and that. These essays are interspersed with witticisms by her. In my opinion, the snippets read like thoughts just off the top of the author’s head, without much thought going into them. They are something that any ordinary XYZ could type out on their keyboards, things that lack depth. Maybe that is because the book wanted to put across the feeling that the author is ‘just like you and me’, an ordinary person? Or is it because I expected more from the author, having been a Bollywood celebrity and the wife of one? I am not sure. Coming to the witticisms, some of them are funny, while the others are just PJs that we have heard a thousand times before.
Overall, I felt that this is a book best skipped, if you are looking for substance. If you are okay with a time-pass-type light read, this one does have its moments.
I have been having disappointment after disappointment, as far as books are concerned. God, are you listening? I need a brilliant read now, to make up for all these disappointments! 😐
Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts about them?
What are you reading at the moment?