Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review: Unlikely Tails by Mani Padma

Author: Mani Padma

ISBN-13: 9789384901608

Binding: Hardcover

Publisher: Creative Crows Publishers LLP

Number of pages: 125

Genre: Fiction, Anthology

Language: English

Price: Rs.650 (Got a review copy)

About the Book
How much do you know about women? Do you really know them even when you know them? 
17 stories.
Various shades.
Unexpected revelations.
But...the question remains, do you still feel you know them even when you know about them?

About the Author
Mani Padma is from Assam, now based in Delhi. She is a full time government doctor, part time mother and a 'sometime' punner plus writer.
She started writing at the age of four, starting with ABC and now is a full time writer of prescriptions and reports.
Her stories and articles have appeared in online magazines and websites, Women's Era and in a couple of anthologies. 'Unlikely Tails' happens to be her solo debut.
She loves to be bright and has a compromised attention span which is the reason she has never attempted a novel but hopes to do so in future if she finds the motivation to do so.

Swarnali Says
Few times at present have I come across a debut work so enjoyable as Mani Padma's Anthology of stories about women. I knew I would love her book the moment I read the "About the author" section, I loved her humour. 

The book is a collection of 17 succinct stories involving women (the book actually has 18 stories-there is an error in the Contents page, but I could not figure how the story 'Sabjiwallah' fits in with the the rest, thus making it 17) They are not strictly women centric as you might assume but are about incidents involving women of different ages. Like any anthology, this too is an amalgamation of stories, some quite amazing, some pretty good and a selected one or two a tad bit predictable. However, I loved how she successfully captured the sometimes fragile, sometimes unpredictable, sometimes faltering,but always fearless and indomitable spirit of women in her stories. I decided not to reveal any details about any of the stories because I would love the other readers to figure them on their own and enjoy them without a bias, which is exactly what this book deserves. 

What I admired most about the book is how the author has found the most banal of situations worth exploring and writing about. There were several occassions where I could find similarities between her writing and those of some of my favourite short story writers like Ruskin Bond and Saki, a tone which puts the readers immediately at ease as they prepare themselves for a good time reading the narratives. I liked how the author dabbled with different styles and genres of writing with each story. Manipadma has quite the skill in adding unpredictable twists and thus unlikely tails to her tales. However, if you are an avid Jeffrey Archer fan, I warn you, you might be good at figuring precisely how the stories will end but be assured , you would still love the read. So go ahead grab your copy (I recommend you get one) and get reading. Do come back and tell me which ones were your favourites. As for me, I am really waiting to read her next. 

My Rating: 4/5

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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