Five Point Someone - Chetan Bhagat
I finally succumbed to hype. Had been avoiding reading this one for some reason or the other. Recently went out and purchased the entire-works of Mr. Bhagat. Rs. 295 for 3 books, packaging and 3 bookmarks (free). Quite a bargain you might say.
Every now and then you read a book that makes you a better person, a book that makes you identify with the main protagonist, a book that makes you laugh out loud, a book that makes you applaud at the authors style of story-telling, a book that...
Five Point Someone is not that book.
Chetan Bhagat starts his book by thanking Mr. Bill Gates and Microsoft Windows, for without the 'spell-check' ability of the 'powerful' Microsoft Word this book wouldn't have been written in the first place.
The folks at Microsoft can use this experience as an idea for their next advertisement, because Mr. Bhagat was obviously not using an original copy of Microsoft Office, or maybe someone forgot to tell him that Word can't always be trusted when it comes to "replace-alls".
The low cost of production meant that there was no money for an editor. Who needs an editor when you have Microsoft Word?
Coming to the story, FPS describes the lives of three students - Hari, Ryan and Alok during their under-graduate years at IIT-D. On the way it caters to each and every stereotype imaginable : -
Tough Professors - check
Students with high GPA's have no life - check
The low scorers are actually the smart and creative ones - check
One professor who looks beyond just GPA's - check
The girl falls for the supposedly unattractive one - check
and so on..
Ok, so you don't expect a first time author to be a Shakespeare or a Wodehouse, but a certain rudimentary amount of style is expected.
Where this book scores on is the fact that it invokes nostalgia. Being an average student, bunking classes, getting high, the parathas on the streets of Delhi and so on...
Friendly pricing and extensive marketing have helped in making this book the highest selling English language book by an Indian author.
If you're a light reader or a first time reader you might enjoy this book. But if you're someone who 'reads books' then the odds are that this one will leave you disappointed (Again, standard disclaimers apply :-))
Poor style, lack of a good plot and absolutely no character development.. not a book I would recommend..
FOR SALE: The entire works of Chetan Bhagat, the author of the highly acclaimed FPS, ONAACC and TMOML. Great condition, original packaging (2 of the 3 books have not even been touched).. Those interested can PM me (bookmarks not included!)
Have you read TMOML? Chetan Bhagat has really improved as a writer and this book is pretty good, by 'Indian author' standards! (I have nothing against Indian writers ,but they depress me or put me to sleep). The writer is only three books old, so we have to make some allowances:) Even Jane Austen's first few books were pretty insipid. And Wodehouse's were a bit long-winded. So maybe CB will improve along the way...