Here is another review that I had written for an online magazine but it never got published. The review is not one of my best and is a very sloppily written thing, so please excuse me for that.
As the title of the book suggests, this is a collection of love stories submitted for a contest that Pengiun India had organized. The collection contains 25 poorly written stories edited by Ravinder Singh. Most of the stories are sort of tragedies and the concept of happily ever after is missing in a majority of them. The book is very poorly edited with lots of mistakes in grammar and spelling. But, that is the bane of a book where you have 25 stories from wannabe writers. Although the writing is amateurish, but some stories by the power of their plot and characters do make for an interesting read.
The editor, Ravinder Singh himself an author of poorly written books is hardly to be blamed for his editing. After all, what can you expect from someone who pens books such as him? Penguin India had a noble thought when they announced this contest, but unfortunately they didn’t receive any good pieces judged by the book under review. None of the authors show any real story telling talent that would shake the world or that would make anyone sit up and notice.
Some stories like, ‘A train to my marriage’ are downright laughable and one wonders how can such a story can even be featured in a collection by Penguin, while others like ‘A One Night Stand in Hariharapuram’ seems too amateurish both in writing and content. But there are some genuine gems like ‘A Pair of Shoes’ where you feel the joy, anguish and love of the protagonists in action. Some stories will make you smirk, some will make you a little sad, but unfortunately only one or two will have a deep impact on you, like you would expect from such a book. Some stories like ‘The Last Note’ or ‘Another Time, Another Place’ starts off well and you expect it to do wonders, but then there is an abrupt ending where you least expect it. The stories just trail off leaving no fragrance at all and make you wish that you picked up Erich Segal instead.
As for me, the only thing that encouraged me to buy this book was the fact that Amazon India had offered a heavy discount on the book and they were giving free shipping. Anyways, if you are the romantic mushy type, then maybe you can pick this up and read the book when you have nothing else to do. But if you hate romance, or are against love stories, then believe me this is not the book for you. But there is only one silver lining for Penguin here; this book would make a good gift to your beloved, just for the title; not for any of the content. And yes, if you fell I am partial to love stories than that is not the case, I am a fan of good love stories, but I couldn’t find any in the book.
Title: Love Stories That Touched My Heart
Editor: Ravinder Singh
Publisher: Penguin Metro Reads
Price: Rs. 140