Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
I am genuinely torn between being polite and being honest.
I was sent a review copy of this début novel, so I really really would like to be polite (to the publisher) and encouraging (to the author).
But the fact of the matter is, that I thought Ruchita Misra’s “The (In)eligible Bachelors” none of the things the blurb promised me.
“A riotous adventure of adrenaline, laughter and guffaws” (guffaws – really?) it most certainly was not.
Basically, the novel – written in the form of diary entries – chronicles the attempts by our heroine, 24 year old Kasturi, to thwart her mother’s plans to arrange a marriage for her.
She moves to Delhi, makes new friends, falls in love, but still her mother controls her every move like a puppet master, phoning her to tell her whom to meet and what to wear. Which Kasturi inevitably does, despite her misgivings.
There are lots of stereotypes : mother obsessed by arranged marriages. Plucky best friend. Dorky men. Swoon-worthy boss. Evil rickshaw-wala. Accidents. Kind doctor. It all seems a tad dated, despite being set against a backdrop of non-stop sms-ing and facebook-ing.
I have decided to be nice to the author, and blame all the sloppy writing on poor editing.
From roughly the middle of the novel, the standard of writing seemed to slip, so as to whether it was the editing, proof-reading – who knows ?
All the bits of paper sticking out below are grammatical errors…
On one page alone, just one page, we have the following howlers :
“with eyes glued on his blackberry” – ouch, poor eyes. And no capital B.
“as he heard of the incumbent arrival of x” – surely the word should be imminent ?
“Rajev sir exclaimed in the same precipitated tone” – usually the character’s name is written as Rajeev (so this must be sloppy editing, right ?) but as for a precipitated tone?
I could go on, but I won’t, as there are far too many such examples.
Well done to Ms Misra for writing and getting her novel published.
She is clearly observant of Delhi people and manners, and has an ear for the nuances of speech.
I look forward to her next novel, which I hope for her sake, will be more tightly edited.
“The (In)eligible bachelors” is published by Rupa and the paperback costs Rs 195