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Sunday 6 July 2014

Book Review: Manhattan Mango By Madhuri Iyer

About the book:

Q. What happens when three ambitious, high-achieving, 20-something Mumbaikars become New Yorkers?

A. Madness.

Zipping through life’s ups and downs like a high-speed elevator during rush hour, buddies Shri, Shanks, and Neel hold on to each other, and their sanity, with a bro-hood bonding that chipkos them together, fevicol se.

Neel’s the driven hedge fund guy, with a weakness for scotch and women. Tam Brahm Shanks, a techie, falls for the "wrong” girl. Good Son Shri, a banker, holds a secret he means to take to his grave. Their intertwined lives buzz with high-voltage drama — explosive secrets, super-charged romances, and a-fuse-a-minute meltdowns.

There’s alcohol-fueled passion, Devdas style. Inter-racial hook-ups. Even a fake affair, because money can’t buy the real thing. When their skyscraper-sized dreams are tested, this “desified” saga of friends in Manhattan is like the city’s rapid transit express subway line. You won’t want any stops in between

About the Author:

Madhuri Iyer has studied O Levels from the London University and graduating in Applied Art from Sophia Polytech, Mumbai. She has worked as an advertising copywriter for agencies in Mumbai, Dubai and Canada, including FCB Ulka, Lintas Lowe, Everest Saatchi, Clarion McCann, and Cossette Canada. Her advertising career had spanned over two decades, culminating in a Creative Director job in Dubai. Presently, she consults for Induseye Inc, as a director.

In India,she has published work in the non-fiction category. She has written/edited the  4-WEEK COUNTDOWN DIET for Penguin India, with her own recipes and case studies, in collaboration with fitness expert Namita Jain. She has also edited fitness books for the Times of India Group, including a children’s fitness book and a home exercise instruction manual.

In the fiction genre she has written a novella, Pink Champagne, for Indireads, an online imprint. Manhattan Mango is her second work of fiction for the Indian and diaspora market

My Review:

Without any circumlocution, I will get straight to the point: Here's the thing about this novel: you will start reading it because you know its going to be chic, you continue it because you want to know what happens next in the lives of each of the characters, yes, every single one of them. And you end up willing to be in the novel as one of the characters and each time you turn the chapter, it is a different character that you want to be.
The whole aura of cosmopolitan, suave youngsters trying to become someone, and figuring out life, is so amusing.
Contrary to the blurb, the book is not just the story of Shri, Shanks and Nell, but equally of all other characters as well.
The best part is the plot: It is so unlike the cliched plots which tend to read like  happily-ever-after fairy tale. Here it is all believable and you don;t feel sad either, because it is happily believable, not the sugar-coated believable which we sometimes get so tired of reading.
So, well, yes, sure there's this "All's well that ends well" tinge to it, but it is so different from any other novel you will read.
Next best part is the energy in the novel. the author has done a commendable job to give life to the characters and scenes and incidents and whatnot.
And the characters are just so near-to-life, they are etched in a way to make the reader fall in love with them : the protagonists, and their spouses (or fake spouses) followed in quick succession by the typical Indian parents, who come with their own baggage of woes and complaints.

And then there is reality sprinkled all over in its bare, unaltered, unalloyed form. Their lives are not ALWAYS happening and fun, it is also interspersed with secrets, societal burdens, and intermittent periods of joblessness, no matter how hard they try to evade them.

They embrace the mess,and then struggle to disentangle from it.
I am gonna stay on the lookout for more from the author and from Fingerprint Publishers, because this novel was amusing throughout.

Best Lines:

Lets give you a dose of this enervating novel. At a point where all characters are battling one problem or another here is how it has been described:
"Battling a booze ban and betrayal, all at once, was enough to test anyone's limits. Observing them, an outsider would have concluded that someone near and dear had recently died."

My Judgement:

Get a slice of this mango: cosmopolitan, energetic, relevant!

Book Launch Video:

Watch these videos for some spicy bites from the book!!!

Find the book here: 

Thank you for stopping by, and reading through!

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