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The Girl in Room 105 Paperback – 9 Oct 2018
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About the Author
Chetan Bhagat is the author of nine blockbuster books. These include seven novels—Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011), Half Girlfriend (2014) and One Indian Girl (2016)—and the non-fiction titles What Young India Wants (2012) and Making India Awesome (2015). Chetan’s books have remained bestsellers since their release. Several of his novels have been adapted into successful Bollywood films.
The New York Times called him the ‘the biggest-selling English language novelist in India’s history’. Time magazine named him amongst the ‘100 most influential people in the world’, and Fast Company, USA, listed him as one of the world’s ‘100 most creative people in business’.
Chetan writes columns for leading English and Hindi newspapers, focusing on youth and national development issues. He is also a motivational speaker and screenplay writer.
Chetan quit his international investment banking career in 2009 to devote his entire time to writing and make change happen in the country. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Anusha, an ex-classmate from IIM-A, and his twin boys, Shyam and Ishaan.
From the Publisher
Your previous books are more about friendship and love. Why did you write an ‘unlove story’ this time?
Chetan Bhagat: Friendship and love are still important. However, sometimes love can go too far. One can love someone too much for instance. I felt after so many love stories, it is important to explore the other side of love - too much love, the heartbreak it sometimes causes and hence the need for all of us to learn how to unlove. I did this in the form of a fun thriller, sort of a first for me.
As an author, attempting different stories is more satisfying for me personally, and that is what I have been trying to do in the last few books. One Indian girl was in a female voice, while The Girl in Room 105 is a fun thriller.
Who should read The Girl in Room 105?
Chetan Bhagat: I think everyone should! While there are thriller elements in the book, it is really hard to classify it in a particular genre. The book has a lot of humour, love, bromance and it also touches on the issues we see around us today. If you want a fun, easy read that engages you and yet makes you aware of life around you - you will enjoy The Girl in Room 105.
In the book, you have written that you heard this story from a co-passenger on a plane. How do you decide which stories are worth writing about?
Chetan Bhagat: I meet a lot of people now, owing to the popularity of my previous books and my speaking engagements as a motivational speaker. Many people come and tell me their stories. However, only a few stay stuck in my head, and eventually develop into full books.
What’s your advice for people going through heartbreak?
Chetan Bhagat: I think a heartbreak can lead to a serious loss in motivation and even cause depression. It is not to be taken lightly as a severe heartbreak can cause your self-esteem to plummet. I think taking a step back and figuring out who you are and what you want in life is a great exercise to do in such times. A focus on yourself, fitness and setting new important goals can help too. Time is still required for the wounds to heal though, more than anything, you need to learn how to unlove. Which is also partly why I wrote this book.
You have included a Kashmir angle in The Girl in Room 105. What drew you to this topic / state?
Chetan Bhagat: I feel Kashmir is an important issue, but a lot of Indian youth are not fully aware of the details and/or are not interested in it. While Kashmir has come many times in movies or in news reports, existing films and TV programs tend to focus a lot on the terrorist angle there. However, what is life for ordinary people there? What do people like you and me go through over there? I thought if I can touch upon these issues by setting part of the story in Kashmir, I will do a service to the cause of creating awareness about Kashmir. I am not an expert on Kashmir, the issues are really complex and hence The Girl in Room 105 is not a Kashmir book or has a solution in that sense. But it will help you understand Kashmir a bit better perhaps, and make you feel closer to the people there hopefully.
Have you ever drunk-texted or drunk-dialed an ex? Tell us the truth
Chetan Bhagat: Haha. Yes, indeed, haven't we all? Sometimes, you don't even need to be drunk to make a fool of yourself. You are just so heartbroken that you just call and text and do whatever to get the other's person's attention. My advice: Don't do it!
Successfully writing a book in a different genre - does it give you a confidence boost?
Chetan Bhagat: I think so. More than anything, it keeps me engaged and lets me be in the beginner mode all the time. There's always new things to learn when I do a different kind of book, which is more fun and challenging.
It keeps you humble too as you realize how much you don't know. It's much better than repeating yourself doing the same thing over and over and thinking of yourself as some genius.
Will you write any more thrillers?
Chetan Bhagat: I might. Although the approach will be different. Even in this thriller, the humour aspect makes the book different from other thrillers. In other books, maybe there will be something else in the book apart from being a thriller.
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I am just done reading Chetan Bhagat’s latest release “The Girl In Room 105” which has released just today itself and along with office, I have managed to read 300+ pages in whatever free time I got. Such is the craze for reading Chetan Bhagat even today despite worrying about what people would say about my reading choice as most people pretend to hate CB as he has goofed up with the English language quite often. But that’s okay. He anyway does not portray or claim to be a literary expert and accepts that he is just a story teller and not an English teacher.
CB has gone the thriller way this time with his latest release and I must say, it was a fine narration throughout the book as it ensures that you are curious about knowing who murdered the protagonist, Keshav’s girlfriend. The book starts in CB’s trademark style where in the Prologue, a character meets and tells him his whole story which CB pretends to be writing as dictated to him. The book has lot of characters and author has again ensured the chemistry between each one of them is nicely described to make the background of the story clear. The bond between Keshav and Saurabh is very nicely portrayed. The tuning between Keshav and policeman, Rana, is also very intelligently portrayed. CB has again taken care that in order to sound too intellectual, the book does not lose the simplicity and hence, keeps the timeline and narrative simple.
The locality of Delhi and Kashmir are nicely described in the book and author has ensured that it is used in the story quite significantly to give the locale descriptions. The first half of the book is interesting as you get introduced to new characters and want to understand who the possible murderer of the girl could be. But it’s in the second half where the book becomes quite slow and does not give any kind of twists and turns which can astonish the reader. Talking about the climax, the way the revelation of the murder scene is introduced and described is very childish and as expected from a thriller, there is no moment where the reader would drop the book or jump out of his bed in shock.
In the sake of maintaining his trademark style of writing simple stories, CB could not do complete justice to this thriller which could have been written 5 times better. Though this book is recommended for the new readers who haven’t read great thrillers and are still stuck in the genre of college romances. But for the thriller lovers, this book is a sure-shot disappointment. The terrorist thing is brought into the picture but left just like that without going deeper into it. Similarly, the girl is shown as a Muslim whereas boy belongs from the family that supports RSS but this angle has not been used even once in the book whereas a lot could have been done with this plot. Similarly, the way police leaves Keshav and his friend in spite of finding them at murder spot is disappointing in the initial phase of the story itself. CB has also promoted many brands upfront in this book which is quite evident and sounds foolish and obvious. This could have also been handled little more intelligently. Overall, this is a light read rather than a suspense thriller as been described in the synopsis and trailer of the book. I rate this one an average 3 stars out of 5.
UNLOVE STORY! Muslim girl and Hindu boy love each other but their parents won't agree. They break up. Girl find another boy but boy still suffering to win her back. It sounds like a love story, no? So, ladies and gentlemen, it really isn't a love story. Still it has the message of what love is all about and never love someone too much. Don't get obsessed with people or things. About the story I would say it's a read that you don't want to put back on your table before finishing it. I finished it in just two sittings in same day. The best thing about CB's novels is that they are always simple read. You don't have to bury yourself in dictionary or on internet to find meanings. Even a non novel reader can easily enjoy it.
MYSTERY! SUSPENSE! DRAMA! with LAUGH! Story runs with pace and the mystry that who is the culprit doesn't let you sleep. The drama turns more dramatic on every page. This novel has love, regrets, betrayels, suspense, confusion and everything that you want in a suspense thriller. As a non-abuser I still had to say words like 'Maadarchod' and 'Chutiya' as it has involved such calling names just so the situations and characters seem more real and connected. Oh, and have I told you that I laughed on some pages hysterically.
STRUGGLE OF A LOVELORN! Whole story runs around Keshav (the main hero of this tale), Saurabh (Keshav's best friend) and of course Zara Lone. Without spoiling story too much my feelings for these characters were keep on changing throughout story. For sometime I was kinda in love with Zara and then hated her and then again respect was back. Zara is beautiful (I tried to imagine her according to writer's description and yeah, she was), smart and practical. Keshav is smart yet loser and definitely doesn't know how to move or what's practical. He listens to his heart all the time. Which for some reason is bad. Saurabh is funny and he really made me laugh. Three characters with different messages.
SO, WHAT'S BAD? I don't find any reaon to hate it or not to read it. I didn't see anything bad. It's not some great literature work but it also has it's potential. I can read it atleast one more time. But then I will be done with it.
NOW, LET'S RATE IT! My favourite part. So I would like to rate it 3 but I will settle for 4. I could have given it 5 but then it would be too much. I give it 3 for story and it's pace and tone and characters and their depths and blah blah blah.. and all the drama CB created around them. But one extra star is for the most important trait.. I Enjoyed Reading It. It's not in my top 3 CB novels (which are Three Mistakes of My Life, Half-Girlfriend, Two States) but still it's enjoyable.
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