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Panorama: A Collection of Short Stories Paperback – Import, 2 Apr 2016
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About the Author
Shilpi Chaklanobis hails from the beautiful city of Kanpur and has spent the majority of her adult life in Delhi. She currently heads the Digital Marketing division at an MNC. The amalgamation of her years spent amongst the quiet, calm streets of a small city and the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan like Delhi has lent her a unique perspective towards life. She aims to translate her experiences and understanding of human relationships into stories that not only move people but also resonate with them. She believes that the beauty of a story lies within its ability to be interpreted by the reader in the way they desire as is evident from her writing. Apart from writing, she spends her time devouring books by the dozen. This is her first endeavor as a writer and her writing not only shows promise, but also has a sense of sensitivity that compels you to think about the lives you touch every day.
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Author: Shilpi Chaklanobis
The title of the book, ' Panorama ', hints the reader that the opinions expressed in the book must be viewed with an open mind and wide eye.
The image of the book cover is a digital photograph of a young girl holding her pet dog very compassionately, depicting the book is all about unconditional love.
The book is a collection of 15 stories where the main protagonists are from varied cultures, professions, and living habitats. Every story is unique in terms of the plot, narration, mood, tone, and expression. Some stories make the readers aware about the compassion whereas others remind us of the humanitarian virtues of humans that we should inculcate. In the same manner, few stories act as eye opener towards a rational way of thinking towards religion and castes.
From a stringent grandmother to a Tarot reader, the author has tried beautifully to introduce various types of people from different walks of life. The book is a good read.
What I like:
1. The stories are short, sweet and straight to the point without much drama.
2. A distinct style yet simple narration is observed
3. The stories are simple but contain very effective content
What I didn't like:
1. I am not a big fan of pets and especially dogs, therefore I found it some difficulty in reading 'Peanut'
2. After reading the book I felt bad that I was reading a Kindle book. Some books are to be read using a paperback.
Other than this there is nothing absolutely that I haven't liked in the book.
A number of characters that are inspired from real life are portrayed very well in each of the stories. No artificiality is found.
A very smooth and neat narration can be observed.
Language & Grammar:
A good and simple English with some common and nice vocabulary is used.
My Final Verdict: A nice evening time read with a mug of coffee!
Book Title: 4/5
Book Cover: 3/5
Language & Grammar: 4/5
Final Rating: 4/5
What I love about this book is that all the stories are crisp and to the point. The writing style is simple yet intriguing and thoughtful. The author has explored a wide range of characters, right from a career-oriented mother to a "fortune-teller". The author has handled all of these characters very well even when most of the stories are in first person narration.
I don't want to give any spoilers about the book so I'll just talk a little about three of my favorite stories from Panorama.
"Peanut" is the story that I could identify with the most as its about a faithful pet dog and it reminded me of a dog I had as a child. It is one of those stories that would bring tears to any animal lovers eyes.
"Wok" is the first story in the book and although it is predictable it is an eye-opener about the miseries in the lives of the poor. It is tale of poverty and innocence. It is surely the one that got me hooked to the book.
"Destiny" is another story that captured my attention because it is a bit different from the rest of the anthology. It is one of those stories in which you know something bad is going to happen and yet you are eager to find out and the result ends up shocking you either way!
So, overall I think this is a nice book to read with some coffee and a warm blanket. It is a light read and yet it is intellectually stimulating. Some of the stories are similar to the way O Henry and Ruskin Bond wrote, but the perspective is new. I think this is the kind of stuff the youth of India should read. I also like the name of the book, Panorama is an interesting title for an anthology.
I would recommend this book to people of all ages especially teenagers because it builds a perspective about matters a certain age group is oblivious to.
Panorama by Shilpi Chaklanobis is a brilliant portrayal of how simple stories can keep you engaged and yet give you a perfectly unexpected ending. Panorama explains the human behavior with its incongruencies and Shilpa has given a stripped view of human emotions.
Weighing consequences, brushing off rationality, human frailties, Shilpa portrays each character in some semblance to the phrase -
We are not what we are....
We are what we become.
If you're in for short stories with a peek into the myriad relationships and how they shape human behavior, this book gives a perfect example of that.
Many a story in the book - I have predicted its ending - however I was outwitted by Shilpa's twists that were totally unexpected.
Why? Why did the protagonist see the other way? Why?
I have no direct answer and yet I as a reader, am able to understand the "why" that Shilpa has hidden within the story itself. You too will be able to do that. Question yourself knowing well that the answers are provided therein.
As my reviews go, I won't say which story has what - however I do say - pick up the book. It's simple and unputdownable stories enamor you without getting into psycho babble. Yes, you'll enjoy it!
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