November 15, 2011

I'm not twenty-four- A review

“There are two types of stories. One, where you sit up and say “This is so me.” Second, when a story takes you to a world you would hardly believe exists.”

Saumya Kapoor’s story is of the latter kind, says Sachin Garg, author of I’m not Twenty Four...I've been nineteen for five years. It chronicles the experiences of city-girl Saumya, who, ‘cursed’ with a unisex name, lands up in the god-forsaken village of Toranagallu because she was mistaken to be a boy by the HR team of Lala Steel, her employer (and her first ever job).

So go to Toranagllu she does, after a lot of whining, denial, and finally acceptance. Once she reaches there, she realizes that having a unisex name is the least of her problems. Toranagallu is a village with no coffee shops, multiplexes or good-looking eye candy. She also realizes that all the crazy shopping she did during her last two days in Delhi were a complete waste, because she has to wear a uniform, like the rest of the employees at the company! Worst of all, she has to work in the Safety Department of the company. So she has to come to terms with seeing severe acid-burns, severed limbs, and all sorts of hazards. She almost runs away, but then decides to stick it out, because she doesn’t want to be known as the city-girl who quit. Also add to this a romantic angle with the intriguing and mysterious, gypsy-like Shubhrodeep Shyamchaudhary, and that’s I’m not twenty four for you.

Ok, now for the review. The story is good. By now, we have had thousands of MBA graduates churning out books by the dozen with pretty much the same story- hero/heroine, life in B-school, corporate life, good/bad boss, stroke of inspiration, girlfriend/boyfriend etc. I was starting to wonder whether simply joining for an MBA would ensure that I would eventually write a book somehow or the other. (Is ‘writing’ one of the courses they teach in the MBA course? Genuine doubt). Sachin Garg manages to take a slightly different route, thankfully. Yes, essentially, it is still about an MBA graduate and her job, but the job and the atmosphere here are very different. He takes us out of the plush AC offices and into a steel plant in a tiny little village. He describes a world that is very difficult for many of us to fathom (just as he’s promised in the synopsis).

He hasn’t cluttered up the narrative with too many characters and sub-plots. He has kept it simple. Also, the USP of the book is that it is written from a girl’s point of view, i.e., Soumya’s. I’m not sure if he has done complete justice to it, but yes, a decent job.

But, just as how at the heart of every Bollywood movie is a love-story, at heart, I’m still a Grammar Nazi. And the Grammar Nazi in me was very very VERY disappointed with the typos and grammar mistakes. Were the editors watching Bigg Boss while editing this?? At one place, he’s written ‘shows’ for ‘shoes’- TWICE! And ‘struck’ for ‘stuck’. These were just a couple of the mistakes. I was somehow not very impressed with the language. The words just did not jump out of the pages and grab my eyeballs, if you know what I mean. You don’t? Ah well… I’m not saying you have to write in flowery language to be labeled a good writer, but they did not have an impact.

So yes, while I liked the basic story and the narrative, the ordinary (for lack of a stronger word) language and poor editing kinda put me off. Over all, I would give it 2.5/5. Go for it if you aren’t a Grammar Nazi like me.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. Hmmm...wouldn't be reading you, I'm a grammar nazi!

  2. Ah. Sounds like i should keep the hell away from it. :P

    I cant handle typos. Like what were the editors doing?

    I find it difficult to write reviews like this. Well written and honest.

    I will avoid the book but. :p

  3. I wanted to read this review and I think I might just give it a shot.. Grammar Nazi.. well I tend to be put off too, by typo's and grammatical errors, but well it's okay! Good review :)

  4. Yummy review D :)

    actually i hv another frnd who's also a grammar nazi(lovely term btw :)).. she stopped readin a book cos she found spellin mistakes repeatin thmselves in 'em :)

    wsnt this an old book.. cos I rememeber the authors website gargbage :)

    nice review Spiff .. aap tho gettin more n more versatile :)

  5. That was an interesting review, and sounds like an interesting book too- hope it wasn't like those Chetan Bhagat ones. No offense to anyone,but I cannot stand those books!! Maybe I'll try reading this during the hols, but but but... I'm also a grammar Nazi! :/ The worst thing is I go about correcting the mistakes in my head!!

  6. Good question- do they teach writing at b-schools? No,they don't. there are more sinister things at play , i think. blogging for starters? nice review .. the book was littered with bad grammar and spellings.. but i guess it was ok because the story was different. I would have puked if it was about her losing her virginity or some such thing.

  7. I don't know but the copy of the book that I have is fine. Very few mistakes.
    About the book, I loved it. One of its kind and the narration and the plot- Awesome.
    I read the book in May, this year, although the book came out in 2010.

  8. wow! what a review - one of the best of the season!!

  9. I'm defi intrigued to read this book, I am a grammar nazi myself, but the fact that even you reiterated that the story takes us to a place we can hardly fanthom, is something I'd like to take up. Oh BTW grammar nazi ji....few changes needed: "Toranagallu is a village with no coffee shops, multiplexes or good-looking eye candy"....keeping in mind the other words in the sentence, the last word should be 'candies' to maintain subject verb agreement. And this one : "Also, the USP of the book is that it is written from a girl’s point of view, i.e., Soumya’s." The name is Saumya na?
    Poopy has done his MBA right, I wonder when he is gonna author a book. Imagine what it will be titled 'Chronicles/Legends/Adventures of my thing' :P (he is sooo gonna kill me for this)

  10. @PB: You can read it for the story. Have to give him credit for that.

    @Srinidhi: Thanks. :) And it's nt difficult to write reviews. Start writing one, then you'll get the hang of it.

    @Confused Soul: Thanks. :)
    Like I said, if you can overlook the grammar and typos, then it's a good read.

    @RAJ: Hehe. Thanks. :)
    I htink this book released a few months back, but BlogAdda put it up for review only recently.

    @Krishna: I actually take a notebook and pen and write down the mistakes. :/ But I would suggest htat you give it a shot for the story.

    @Bhargavi: You're right, maybe blogging does have a part to play in it.
    And ys, the story was good. If it had been about her losing her virginity, then I would've trashed the book completely. :P

    @Anuranjini: The book came out last year itself??
    And ya, maybe the second edition has a lot more mistakes than the first..

    @Nirvana: Thank you. :)

    @Pinx: This always happens you know. I point out someone else's mistakes, and in that very same post, I would have made mistakes for others to point out. :/ Dammit!
    Poopy's book will most probably be called "Of my divine poop and others stories." :P

  11. Ok now I am confused!!So should I spend the money, buy the book and read it, or go check it out at a library?!!

  12. Thank you for the free advise. I'll definitely think twice before investing on this book.

  13. @Deepthi: Hmm.. I think you can buy it. It's not all that bad. :)

    @Shadia: You're welcome. :)

  14. Even with all its chick-lit similarities, it sounds different. If I happen to read the book, your review would be the reason.

  15. Guess what!! My parents are going for this second hand sale shop, and I have asked them to look out for this book :P!!

  16. guy writing from a gal's perspective..hmm..that's dangerous territory,i must i often fear to tread..:-D


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