The (In)eligible Bachelors by Ruchita Misra

Oh dear.

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

8 Comments

  1. I might just be re-iterating but Christine,to enjoy this book u have to be live India(that wasn’t a grammatical error for live in india,i meant it!!).Its not your fault,its just that u’ve opted for a book which is based on a subject thats alien for non indians.And one advice,stop being a purist,pointing out the smallest of typos.Its the publisher’s fault,not the author’s.On second thoughts,why don’t u apply for an editor’s post at Rupa and Co.,I feel they really need ppl like u.U’ll do better as an editor than a book review’er’.

    Rohan Dikshit
  2. A very nice easy flowing hilarious book! if there were grammatical errors i couldnt notice them. As it is hard to when u r laughing like an ass! thoroughly enjoyed the book!I

    guess its hard for u to relate to the book 🙂

    mayb when u spend more time in india and get to know Indians more u will also start enjoyin the book!

    Dj Rob
    1. Wouldn’t advise you to go down the “getting-to-know India and Indians better route”. Trust me. Try reading my blog and you may understand why- christinepemberton.me

      christine
  3. You can’t surely be expecting people to write proper, grammatical English nowadays! my dear, noone does that! It’s up to the reader to work out what the author would have written if he/she had known how….and the reader must not get irritated by this. The reader must be grateful to the author for his/her thoughts, however trivial.

    Alternatively, I recommend a short course of relaxation with the Divine Jane (not me, obviously!) who knew how to spell and how to construct sentences…

    Jane Binstead
  4. Well Well Well! I really dont get this review!

    Was plannin to buy this Best seller and lookin for reviews on the book! Read quiet a few reviews(as i always do) and they all seem to shout what a wonderful book it was. One from this blog adda thing too, so i assume the others were nt fake or paid reviews.

    But your review i must say is…shocking! The most biased review that i have read so far. The other reviews too have pointed out the typos in the book but the points that you specifically chose to mention seem to be absurd. I believe the author has been hard on the readers by using the kind of english that can be well.. hard on people!!

    with eyes glued on the blackberry: whats wrong with that?? the word glue can be used as a verb. please refer the dictionary for the uses http://www.thefreedictionary.com/glue

    incumbent arrival: well am really impressed by the author on this. Incumbent is derived frm a latin word.. i wuldn go deep in to its etymlgy but it can also be used in reference to something that hinders freedom of motion or action. So probably thats what mr x does here.A really interesting use of the word indeed.

    Precipitated tone : now this is gettin too much! well precipitate also means acting with excessive haste. THATS WHAT IT MEANS!! a precipitate tone… nuthing wrong with this either

    I really dnt knw what to say more because that’s all what your review talks about.

    Its a very tuf job to get a book published(i am tryin from a long time and the iit tag is nt helpin) so a little impetus on the positive points of the book wud have been great.

    PS. Have written this in haste. please excuse the typos. Dnt want to be the topic of ur next post;) If u dnt plan to publish this piece of mine do get back to me on my email id!

    Rajiv

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