I’m always a little hesitant to pick up books that have either won acclaimed prizes or are hyped up. I guess I’ve had my share of disappointments and so prefer the wait-n-watch approach to reading or buying such books.
I am particularly wary of Indian authors, I guess. Though I know how difficult it is to write a good, solid story, I have higher expectations somehow of Indian authors. Many writers are competent and write well, but they fail to hook me at an emotional level. As a reader, I’m not very demanding. I’m not too particular on technique, but I do expect a well-told story, even if it is just an old plot retold.
The Shiva trilogy by Amish came as a pleasant surprise and a very satisfying experience. Right off the bat, in The Immortals of Meluha, the story gets going briskly. There is never a dull moment, plenty of interesting nuggets are thrown in, and the pace is just right. There were some odd turns of phrases that leapt out at me, but they didn’t bother me at all. I thought it was a very competent take on Shiva. When it ended, I did want to read more. And The Secret of the Nagas continued the job splendidly.
I think the books were worth all the hype surrounding Amish and his unique marketing strategy. I liked the books very much indeed and I look forward to reading the last book of the trilogy.
The other book which has apparently been doing great is Chanakya’s Chants by Ashwin Sanghvi. After the Amish experience, I am definitely going to catch that book too. It’s great to see Indian authors spreading their wings and taking off in all genres. More power to them!