20 June 2014 | By: Writing Buddha

Manhattan Mango by Madhuri Iyer (Book Review-4.5*/5)!!!

1097th BLOG POST -->>

           Last time I heard "Manhattan" was in a song in which Sridevi mind-blew everyone by playing a middle-class woman. The film was English Vinglish. What would you make out of a book at a bookstore that has the title "Manhattan Mango" along with the reviews of Sonam Kapoor, Rohit Roy, Shashanka Ghosh and Sharman Joshi? You will expect a complete Bollywood riot in the book and I must tell you all, it's exactly what you would expect out of it. Not predictable but every page meets your expectation of seeing this grow better page-by-page. If you ask me to describe this book by comparing it with a movie of its type- I would suggest "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani". That has been one of my favorites and this book too, played a big part in my boring life that needed an inspiration to make it interesting.

           The 274-pages book is written by Madhuri Iyer and published by one of the promising publishers these days, Finger Prints. None of their book have still disappointed me. 100% delivery. Iyer has used a very fine language to take her story on the way of entertainment and complete delight. Her narration is so powerful that anyone reading this book might not leave the place until the last page is turned. When a book cross 250 pages, I am sure that it would have been dragged in the middle or in pre-climax or might have become boring in some chapters but here, the perfect editing and insight to the story has been maintained throughout which keeps you hooked.

            Shri, Shanks and Neel, the Ganpat Gang, who are residing in Manhattan now, does not cry of leaving their nation behind but they are keen to keep their lives moving by meeting each other weekly and sharing every details with each other. Later on Shefali enters the scene. Then comes Vivian, Layla, Ryan, Paolo, Mrs Revathi, Tathi Ma, Natasha and Shri's parents. Author has added each character at the point when you wanted something new to come and even after so many characters been discussed simultaneously, you don't get jumbled between them. That's how perfect characterization has been done for every character; and every character is protagonist in this book. 

             A great justice has been done to the characters of Neel and then Shefali. Right from the beginning, you will connect with them and various emotions that they display at different stages in their life. The way Shri's truth gets accepted in the Gang is another delighting moment in the book. The scene when it all changes for Neel, Layla and Shefali at a trip is fantastically written. The cuteness and stability shown in Shank and Vivian's relationship is another sweet thing about this book. Ryan and Natasha, as supporting characters, also plays their part well with great support to their respective partners. 

            Coming to the few drawbacks:- Instances like Shefali joining 3 male bachelors, Ryan agreeing to Shefali's deal, Natasha (a doctor) agreeing to visit male patient's home and Layla causing so much effect over Neel are few things that you'll have to believe even when you don't want to. Too superficial. When you are told that the name of the group is Ganpat Gang, you expect some raunchiness from the 3 male characters but what you get is serious traumas and romantic ups-and-downs. Neel and Shefali totally cutting down even dialogues between then even before the half of the book is completed is a let down once you realize that book is about to finish soon. Climax is too obvious to enjoy. It could have been done with little more craziness. Otherwise, this book deserves to be in your favorite shelf. I give it 4.5 out of 5. Yes! Recommended!



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