Posted in Books

Book Review: Not Totally Unbelievable, by Vibhuti Bhandarkar

Impressions off the back-cover:
An assortment of ten short stories, different characters in different lands in different situations, nothing in common between them but a sense of magic. The magic part would possibly make the stories flow along smoothly.

My thoughts on the book:
Well, I got this book in my hand more than a year back. I was one of the first to hear of this book, one of the first to say I want to read it, and congratulate the author, who is my friend as well, having read and followed her blog since long. I got it straight from the publisher, read it within within the month, and it was all set to be the first book I would ever review on this blog. But then, life happened, and I got lost in that, and writing and reading other books, and also became a little lax in reading. In doing that, I broke a promise given to Vibzz that I would review it. I don’t know if a late review is better than a no review, esp. late being well over a year, but seeing that I am on a review roll, I felt empty without having kept that promise, so I’m finally (yes, I know) doing it.

Each of the ten stories, like the cover says, has the element of magic common to them. Not the “abracadabra” types, but like a miracle, or something that totally makes no sense, yet makes complete sense. No, I’m not rambling, but the stories are such. Reading them gives you a feeling of positivity, inspiration and much more. Simple, fluid language is what Vibhuti uses for the most part, and that helps in keeping interest in the stories. There are ten stories, but the two that most appealed to me are “At the Lingnan Tea House” and “Ninny”.

“At The Lingnan Tea House” is an appealing story to me because it shows the bond of sisters, Lin and Liu. The sisters run the Lingnan Tea House, where an elderly man comes to visit, and becomes infatuated with Liu. The story spun delicately shows the bond between the two, and in the end, Liu is saved from the elderly man’s infatuation.

“Ninny” is the story of a young boy’s life. I think this story I find endearing because I can somewhat relate to being in the same shoes. The story inspires children not to give up on their goals, even when others do not believe in them or even try to deter them from reaching there. All we need is belief, even if it is one person.

“The Matchmaker” and “A Little Thing Called Love” were the others I enjoyed most.

Overall impressions:
What the cover promises, the stories deliver. Initial impressions weren’t let down at all, though perhaps, the back cover design and the front cover design could have been swapped. The title also is proven true. A good read, worth the money. The author bio says of a novella, and I am eagerly waiting for that now.

A rating of 8/10
A rating of 8/10

Book Details:
Title: Not Totally Unbelievable
Author: Vibhuti Bhandarkar
Genre: Fiction / Short Stories
Price: Rs. 95
Book ISBN: 9789381576656
Publishers: Leadstart


This is an author-requested review, given for a review copy of the book, but no other payment.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Also for the Indian Quills Reading Challenge at Tales Pensieve

(’12, Dec 04)