Hello readers! I am back! This time with an interesting post which gives you an insight into how this quarantine period was turned in a happening buddy read with Harsimar, a fellow blogger and book lover! This post is a little different and special because this time I wasn’t the one who laid the foundation for this collaboration! He reached out to me for a buddy read (alright, through commenting on one of my posts) and I was more than happy to comply. Do check his blog and give him a thumbs up on his enthralling posts.
Through the tedious process of deciding upon a book, another book of Arundhati Roy was chosen, (seriously what is with my luck?!), and then read and analysed by the two amatures. You can check my review of the same here.
After much thought and *hard work* we now present you the final draft of our collaborative post! Enjoy reading it! Cheers!
BUDDY READ- THE MAKING
Long ago, in the mists of time, ze blog post was published. It explained the logistics of buddy-reading and put out invitations for the same. A lone reader armed with his Kindle, amidst the boredom of the lockdown sent out a reply. This is where the tale began.
After the Great Comment Section Spam and exchange of social media handles, introductions unfolded. Classical music, cocktail making, and high school marks were some of the topics discussed.
Fast forward a couple of days, the consistency while making a particular brand of noodles is being talked about.
Then finally, the agenda is brought back to books and the buddy-read. Book suggestions are given out and a particular manuscript is finalized. Both readers start their journey and begin hallucinating on a dead piece of wood…
Shamefully finishing the book because your buddy already completed it a week before and you were supposed to be a “quick reader”. No guesses there! Hands down I was the tortoise reader.
Being awake till 3 am to discuss the novel, because who cares about dark circles? WE ARE GANGSTA!!!
Intense negotiations because a certain someone suggested to schedule a joint post two weeks after we completed the book. Reason: he’s just too lazy!
Brainstorming and then repeatedly changing the ideas ( and not to forget the date) for posting the bl18og!
Roasting each other brutally to keep each other sane before the post is out.
Finally coming up with the post! *Thug Life*
HARSIMAR’S QUIRKY QUESTIONS TO BHAGYASHREE
1) At any point did the writing frustrate you enough to give up on the book?
I have always been intrigued by Roy’s bold ideas channelized through her writing style and skilled use of words. Considering this novel is the apologia of the author’s art, I wouldn’t prefer to use the term ‘frustrate’, to express my disappointment with it. However, I must admit I found the writing style a bit fragmented and overly explicated, enough to make the book less enjoyable but not enough to force me to add it in the DNF pile. I guess I am a tough nut to crack! 😛
2) If you were to write a sequel for the novel, what would the basic plot line be?
To begin with, I’ll be writing an eloquent foreword congratulating myself for being able to write a sequel to a Book Prize winner work, before getting to the novel!
Jokes apart, I would love to explore the idea of how the twins, Estha and Rahel, dealt with their reality after the ending of the (first) novel, sprinkled with dashes of their lives after their mother passed on.
3) I’m sure you must have bookmarked or noted down a couple of lines or metaphors which really stood out to you. Care to share a few?
Definitely. There are two quotes which are imprinted on mind because of their depth and brutal honesty. These are-
” That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less”.
” The memory of death lasts much longer than the memory of life.”
4) Months later, if someone mentions, ‘The God of Small Things’, in a casual conversation, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind?
I read this novel as part of a buddy read and my buddy completed the novel much before me!
5) On a scale of Umbridge to Joffrey Baratheon, how much did you hate Baby Kochamma?
Baby Kochamma is one character which disgusts me and the worst part is that people like her do exist in the real world. Loathing would be better word to use for her.
Considering Umbridge being level zero and Joffrey Baratheon being level ten, I loathe her as much as I loathe Scar who stands at level hundred ( judge me all you want to, still a Disney fankid inside.)
6) Will you be re-reading this at any point in time?
I guess I’ve had had enough of the seriousness and depth associated with Arundhati Roy for the the time being. So I’ll not be re-reading this book in the near future,for sure. As far as long term is concerned, all fun lies in uncertainty!
7) Lastly, imagine the author’s reading your answers, what do you have to say to her?
OMG! What is this hypothetical world? I have become famous just after reviewing her novel and to top it all, I am writing a sequel for it! I would love to live in this world.
So Miss Roy, I love your use of metaphors! I have never come across authors who could give me goosebumps with their literary devices except you! Mire power to you.
However I feel, after reading your novels, the reader in me is left abandoned at a cliffhanger, that too unsatiated with your story and characters. I wish you could have provided a better closure to your characters and readers. I would be looking forward to reading your amazing way with the nuances of literature and language!
P.S. Your sequel writer is at your service. any time you need her!
BHAGYASHREE’S QUICK QUESTIONS TO HARSIMAR
Q1: Your initial thoughts about the book.
A: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
The Godfather: Part III, 1990
I liked the story. It was tragic; reminded me a lot of Khaled Hosseini’s stories. But the writing, was just a bit too much for me. I don’t need this many similes and metaphors to get a simple message across. The book was addictive in some parts but the writing made me wanna quit it in others. Probably won’t be reading another one by the author anytime soon. Just for the story and the real as heck characters, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5.
Q2 : Favorite lines/quotes from the book.
A: “Rahel’s toy wristwatch had the time painted on it. Ten to two. One of her ambitions was to own a watch on which she could change the time whenever she wanted to (which according to her was what Time was meant for in the first place).”
“To Ammu, her twins seemed like a pair of small bewildered frogs engrossed in each other’s company, lolloping arm in arm down a highway full of hurtling traffic. Entirely oblivious of what trucks can do to frogs.”
“…shock swelled in her like a phantom’s applause in an empty auditorium.”
Q3 : How would the book end, if you had a chance to write an alternate ending?
A : *spoilers* I wasn’t a fan of the ending to be honest. I like how the last chapter focuses on a key moment in the story but there was no closure in terms of the twins’ story arc. Why have Rahel come back to her home and meet Estha only to have a vague end ?
Would have written another chapter where the twins sit down and talk about their lives or something. I dunno, just something that gives me closure and ends their lives in a more conclusive manner.
Q4 : Any character which you would like to bring to life.
A : Baby Kochamma. So I could just shoot her point blank in the head. No, I’m not a violent person usually, why do you ask ?
Q5 : Three things you disliked about the novel.
A : 1. The overuse of unnecessarily long words and prose.
2. All the political commentary. Not a fan at all.
3. The ending.
Q6 : Series or movie adaptation of the book?
A : Probably not. The tale is tragic enough to warrant a movie but then, without the overly-descriptive writing and insight into the character’s minds and motivations, this story wouldn’t work at all.
Q7 : Would you recommend it to others ?
A : I don’t think so. You might just be so bored reading this, that you end up writing a book of your own! Or you might love it so much, you end up writing that book anyway. But then again, you might be like me, who found it okayish and is still procrastinating on his Grand Bestseller Idea.
It was so fun to be a part of something like this approximately a year later since the time I had my first buddy read. Cheers to our community of bloggers who value creativity more than anything else. Let’s see what’s more in store for me in my next collaboration!
Guys stay tuned for my blog post wherein I’ll be revealing the details of my online book club!
Until the next time,