Z for Zero-sum (Part I)

Freida Dantas stepped out of the queue to look around. The machine wasn’t that far from here–only a few hundred more. She looked behind. The queue went on for as long as she could see. She too had started from the end of the queue many hours ago. The machine took only a second to judge, so the queue had kept moving continuously. But she worried if there were more hopefuls in the queue than seconds in a day. She had been queueing up religiously for her pronouncement every day since she had died.

She’d learned of the system the day she had arrived at the purgatory. Learned is probably not the best word to describe the process. She had woken up in the purgatory a week ago knowing about it instinctively, with no recollection of her prior life. She knew exactly when and where to queue up for the machine. The machine would tell her if it was her time to ascend to the heaven yet. She’d witnessed thousands of ascensions on her first day. The ascendants one after the other had stood under the

Horseshoe Garage : A Review

Title: Horseshoe Garage

Author: Hitesha Deshpande

ISBN-13: 978-9382473459

Publishers: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd (February 19, 2014)

Length: 389 Pages

In Short:

A lot of eye-rolling and hugging. And a blatant lack of common sense.

Horseshoe Garage is a romantic novel that revolves around a fictional motor sport called 'neo-racing'. This is the second published novel by the author.

I was genuinely surprised that Hitesha (a name I had presumed to be female), had chosen to go for a first person narrative in the voice of a male character. I actually cross-checked if the author was truly a female; and she was. Maybe not the best decision ever. It is a little awkward if you notice the male characters repeatedly rolling their eyes, blushing and hugging each other effeminately. The compensation came in terms of sudden outbursts of anger and excessive cursing from the male characters. The female characters were mostly perfidious and insecure. None of the characters showed any depth.

My other big peeve with the story was the lack of consistency. Sometimes the characters behave unlike themselves. It seems that the author 'went with the flow' and wrote whatever came to her mind. Horseshoe Garage reads like it was written in bouts. Sometimes it seems that Hitesha discovered a new word or a way of expressing something and used the same word repeatedly in the next few chapters. I felt a pronounced difference in her writing style at different points in the story. The editing was definitely not very good. I even noticed a spelling mistake.

The book also has a surprisingly low threshold of intelligence for readers. The plot meanders tortuously only because it is supposed to. Some of the important plot points of the story were so banal that I read complete chapters on auto-pilot.

The author does a fairly good job of describing the romantic scenes. There is very little action in the story, but she does a fair job as well. I don't know enough about motor-sport to comment on the technicalities mentioned in the book, but I have a feeling that they might have sounded quite absurd to an aficionado.

All in all, I would recommend this book for a leisurely weekend read. Just don't expect anything great.

Rating: 2.5/5

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