Author-artist Manjula Padmanabhan returns with ten stories: five new, five old, some dark, some funny, all edgy.A vampire visits New Delhi, a space traveller returns to her ancestral home, a character from an ancient epic is transported into the future... To each story Padmanabhan brings an unexpected twist, a touch of satire, a whiff of cynicism, a delicious undercurrentAuthor-artist Manjula Padmanabhan returns with ten stories: five new, five old, some dark, some funny, all edgy.A vampire visits New Delhi, a space traveller returns to her ancestral home, a character from an ancient epic is transported into the future... To each story Padmanabhan brings an unexpected twist, a touch of satire, a whiff of cynicism, a delicious undercurrent of dark humour.Drawing on her earlier, highly acclaimed anthology, Hot Death Cold Soup, and adding new stories to it, Padmanabhan presents a potent and sometimes disturbing collection that will leave readers asking for more....
|Title||:||Three Virgins and Other Stories|
|Number of Pages||:||264 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Three Virgins and Other Stories Reviews
Very few have dared to rewrite mythology, but 'Exile' definitely has been one of the best. Minute details that are generally ignored take the center stage in 'Strength of Small things', as they are weaved together to form a brilliant story. 'Stains' had me nodding all along, and I simply loved the 2 lines that ended the story. 'Teaser' has been written tastefully, from a perspective that few of us would bother thinking about. Overall, the book stands tall, with its brilliant phrases and metaphors, compelling you to devour it with the kind of hunger that demands a good read.
This collection has something for at least three types of people: fans of literary fiction, fans of science fiction and fantasy, and lovers of India and its many cultures - foreign and domestic. While I'm an occasional member of the first group, I'm solidly a member of the second and third groups. Padmanabhan's unique voice is also worth mentioning: strong without being overbearing, literary without being snooty, whimsical without silliness. (Okay, there's a little bit of silliness, but it works: I imagine Padmanabhan writing with a wry smile rather than a full belly laugh).The straightforward mimetic fiction stories (like "Stains," "Khajuraho," "The Strength of Small Things," and "Three Virgins") are so well done and so imaginative that even a science fiction nerd like me can enjoy them. Literary fiction fans will claim "Hot Death, Cold Soup" as their kind of thing, but it's so odd it feels science fictional to me.There are two stories that take up characters or stories from the Ramayana ("The Other Woman" and "Exile"), albeit in Padmanabhan's unique science fictional twist. "A Government of India Undertaking" imagines modern Indian bureaucracy applied to ancient notions of reincarnation with hilarious results. "Teaser" is a bit of the odd story out. The vampire story, "Feast" originally wasn't that interesting to me (vampires aren't my thing), but it ended up being one of my favorites in the collection with a deep theme about how culture and religion shape what scares us, what gives meaning to our lives, and, of course, how we think about mortality (and immortality). It's a testament to Padmanabhan's strengths as an author that I genuinely enjoyed reading every story even when I didn't find the topic all that interesting. Her prose is like a lazy river that sweeps you along until you find yourself arriving at new, unexpected shores you didn't even know you wanted to explore.
Short story collections are always tricky. Having read couple of Manjula Padmanabhan's stories in anthologies, I was really looking forward to this. As it turned out, this collection had both the stories I had earlier read and they still remain at the top of the bunch. Those are Teaser and The Other Woman. Out of the other eight, I liked Stains which in a sense falls in the same territory as Teaser - a dramatic take on a common issue faced by women. In Teaser, it is the male PoV while in Stains it is the unusual setting. Khajuraho and The Strength of Small Things were also nice. Exile seemed too long to make the point in the end. The longest story in the collection, Hot Death Cold Soup has interesting premise but seemed too long. I lost interest somewhere along the way.The collection didn't turn out to be as delicious as I had hoped for. But certainly looking forward to read more from the author.
This very entertaining collection of contemporary short stories set in India was a treat. The stories veer between realism and fantasy. From the realism zone "Stains" was intriguing, not because the story line itself was new but because an African American girl is the protagonist, which is a rarity in Indian writing. At the fantastic end of the spectrum "The Other Woman" made me laugh out loud. Anyone who watches the news in India will be familiar with the treatment of celebrity interviews with celebrities, or, in this case, goddesses for whom English is a second language. I found Manjula Padmanabhan's voice so familiar she could be one of my neighbors in Delhi. She writes with a deft ear for spoken language and is spot on for the high, the low, and the absurdly amusing voices of India.
Something between an "it was okay" and "I like it"All were easy reads. Hot death Cold Soup is a great story. Would give a three for just that. But maybe not for the others.