I was sent this recently published collection of short stories and a novella to review by www.marketmybook.in, and though I have taken a while to review it – to my shame – it was nothing to do with quality of the writing, rather my own too-busy-to-find-enough-time-to-read life.
Mr. Gupt is a skilled and accomplished writer, and his stories cover many different areas of life with equal ease – colonial history, the Naxalite movement, business tycoons – and I enjoyed them all.
There is, however, one big drawback to a good short story.
And that is its very shortness.
Caught up in the adventure of the opening story in the collection, “Hodson’s Gold”, I was taken aback to turn the page to find it had finished, leaving me with an admittedly good, clever puzzling ending, but actually wanting more…
Also, this story – because of its historical markers – made me want to learn more about Major WSR Hodson, whom I knew only as a controversial 19th century figure, and founder of Hodson’s Horse. Now, however, I want to know whether he also…ah, but I musn’t spoil the surprise for you.
It’s a great read.
This colonial/history-based story segues into another tale from a completely different world, that of West Bengal and the early days of the Naxalite movement. This story, “Friends” has such a clever ending that I can’t tell you any more, or I would spoil it…it certainly tool me by total surprise.
Yet another really clever ending (that I also absolutely didn’t see coming) was in the interesting “Will Reena?”
Mr. Gupt is super skilled at pulling a surprise out of the bag in the closing sentences of his stories, making you think “Now why in earth didn’t I see THAT coming…”
Great collection, and I look forward to reading more of this talented writer in the future.
The physical book looks good, especially the cover, which I like very much indeed.
But Mr. Gupt has been poorly served by his editors.
There are far too many sloppy typos that simply shouldn’t be there, such as inconsistent spacing/use of hyphens, all of which are (I instinctively feel) not the writer’s error.
If you use foreign words, Get Them Right. Please.
It is NOT nom-de-gurre.
Nor is it a la carté.
If you don’t know, ask that clever Mr. Google.
Such silly carelessness spoils what is otherwise a good read.
But don’t let that put you off reading “Final Cut”, please, and if you wish to buy the book, nothing could be easier. Just click on the link below.
Published in 2013 by Frog Books, the paperback costs Rs 195/$10