Posted in Books

Book Review: Mice in Men, by Anirban Bose

About the author:
A doctor by profession, Anirban Bose is the author of the book Bombay Rains Bombay Girls. Other than writing, he is passionate about guitars, cricket and music. He is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine and Nephrology at the University of Rochester.

Impressions off the back:
Short stories that range from the unexpected to the bizarre… the back cover already invites us in to read the stories to find out what is bizarre. One thing the stories might have in common is medicine… each of the descriptions feel leading into that commonality.

My thoughts on the book:
Short stories are deceptively difficult I feel, not only to write but to hold the interest of the reader, or leave him wanting to go to the next story, or even to make him read the story again.

In the book, “Mice in Men”, author Anirban Bose brings together a collection of ten stories. They are interesting, but I’ll speak of the ones I liked the most.

My favorite in the book is the story titled, “The Right Way to Eat a Mango”. I liked it because it tells us how our thoughts, how a life can change in just one moment. The protagonist contemplates leaving the country because he finds a lot of things wrong with his country. In his obsession to find things wrong, he doesn’t realize he himself is doing something wrong. He realizes that when he meets a little girl not much younger than his own daughter, and his experience then changes his thoughts.

Another favorite is the story, “The Balloonwala” about a balloon seller. Spoken from the perspective of a doctor, who watches the balloon seller at work, this story brought out contrasting viewpoints of life… what we think of someone might be the same way they are thinking of us. We might not know it, but then again, we hardly ever do. It also tells me of the way we react when we’re under pressure or think something might go wrong. It is how we react to the situations that change the moments that follow after that.

The title story, “Mice in Men” is another good one. It gets my favorite vote because of the way one event leads to the other, and also because of the ending to the story. The protagonist has a humorous name, and the way his character revolves around time sort of reminded me of a villain in a Batman episode who also kept to a timetable very meticulously. The story however is more than about time. It is about kindness and love as well. A very interesting read that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Overall impressions:
Not a heavy read… these stories can be read when we want a break from seriousness. Some don’t hold your attention all the way and you skip that story halfway, but there are others that are written quite well, meant to result in a thought that is meaningful, it won’t leave you disappointed. No complicated characters, but it is simple life stories that could have happened too, so that doesn’t feel out of place. A mixed bag of stories that is border-line good… one that you’ll enjoy if you’re not expecting complex out of the world stories every time you want to read.

Rated a 6/10
Rated a 6/10

Book Details:
Title: Mice in Men (Short Stories)
Author: Anirban Bose
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 978-93-5029-025-5
Publishers: Harper Collins
Price: INR 199


The book is a personal copy. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Also for the First Reads challenge at b00k r3vi3ws and Indian Quills at Tales Pensieve.

(February 9th, 2013)