Not that I haven’t already done a gazillion of them but (feeling a touch of uncertainty) I just did a search on how to review books and apparently you’re supposed to have three sections:
– A concise plot summary of the book
– An evaluation of the work
– A recommendation for the audience.
So, here goes. You Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas (a review of sorts):
A concise plot summary of the book: a multitude of characters assemble in India to get to know each other and to fight against corruption in the police force.
An evaluation of the work: man but there are a lot of people in this book and I had difficulty keeping them all straight in my head but that’s my problem. I stopped reading half way through and it took me ages to get back into it and remember who everyone was. But once you get them straight, this book is a dream (or a nightmare, depending on your perspective – most of the people in the book suffer some sort of tragedy or difficulty). It’d be really helpful to have a list of the characters at the beginning to refer to. Another of my problems is that I find it easier to remember English names rather than Hindi ones. My bad. I’m learning Hindi and so I’m getting better at that. But, yeah – people in this book have such a bad time of it. Every single one is touched by badness. Poor guys. Not that this book is really a downer to read, it’s actually quite upbeat because most of them overcome their limitations and get on in life. A testament to the strength of the human spirit really. The best thing about this book is the fact that you really get into the nitty-gritty of the lives of the characters; you get to know them in intimate depth. Yeah.
A recommendation for the audience: well, you should read it if you’re into India and the things that Indians do. You should read it if you want to know the intimate workings of society in big cities in India. You should read it if you want to know what happens when bad things happen to people. You should read it if you’re at all interested in how other people live (unless, of course, you’re already ‘other people’). Oh, I don’t know – just read it and then you’ll be able to tell if you like it yourself. Otherwise how are you going to know.
Well, that was a bit haphazard. I guess the takeaway points are: read this book all in one go and make notes as you go along as to who is who and don’t get too emotionally invested in characters who might or might not die or otherwise be injured. There, that’s that.