October 18, 2011

A Romantic Journey Through Music - Review Of Live From London

 Live From London - Parinda Joshi 
 Publisher  - Rupa Publications  
 Genre - Chick Lit - Contemporary Fiction - Women Fiction
 Novel - Paperback - Pages 204 
 Price - INR 195/$ 19.95 
 Available at Amazon

This book is not just a journey from India to England. This is a crossing over from a  carefree, fun filled days of growing up to the pain and trials filled life of a grown up. It is not about going back to the roots rather about escaping the harsh realities of one world to nurture broken dreams in another.
 This story of an aspiring singer who loves her red guitar starts with her first major failure and a humiliating one at that. Anyone who had watched or been a part of reality talent shows know the trauma of failing under watchful, snickering eyes of millions. Nishi Gupta experiences this with a  false start in TV reality talent show "British’s Got Talent". This, coupled with the fact that the debut is an unplanned one makes it a double jeopardy in terms of her future career.
The tale unfolds with her trying to drown the nightmarish memory in the cacophony of an internship in one of the dominant record label companies in the U.K - Hues. Accompanying her in the roller coaster ride is a trio of friends Riya, Sarah and Zac (as different from each other as cheese, chalk and beer), a rigid boss turned friend Lynette and loving parents, who in typical Indian style of parenting, are unable to cut off the apron strings. 

It’s a kind of reverse karma that a Britain’s Got Talent reject’s first breakthrough comes from the generous, underhand plans of the American Idol runner up. The new import from USA on the UK horizon is initially the current big client material for her company but goes on the become the love of her life. The half Canadian, half Indian musician boyfriend Nick Navjot Chapman dominates a major part of the story. Nick and the well meaning but flirty friend Arjun provide the necessary drama and entertainment.
This tryst with fame causes a major upheaval in Nishi and Nick’s personal lives and she returns to India, to Mumbai, where her father is currently stationed. The search for success continues its often lighthearted and crazy journey till it meets the open gates called "co-host" for a reality TV show Indian Rockstar Season 5.

The boyfriend is initially too good to be true, but becomes more human with the classic touch of falling for (well almost) a seductive and tempting colleague. The nerdy, bossy Sarah who spearheads Nishi’s dormant desire for success is a typical alpha female whose affair with goofy, witty but less smart guitarist Zac is doomed to failure. Riya, the typical rich, happy go lucky romantic who falls for men with looks comprises the third of the band of close friends. Nishi's support system comprises of  a mom who shows her love through food and well meaning but oft rejected advice, a civil servant father who is torn between treating her as an adult and his na├»ve child and a rigid female boss who becomes her mentor. Arjun, an RJ for the popular FM Channel "Radio Mirchi", who at the onset is annoying but gradually becomes a good friend is added to this collection of interesting characters.

Nishi, the protagonist, comes across as a little heartless and insensitive to others feelings. I didn't quite feel her pain and her success in a short span of 6 months is a bit unsettling. I wish her character had been better rounded but I guess a 21 year old can be granted some leeway.

I loved the “unfinished” ending which leaves room for more possibilities even a sequel.
I liked the concept and the fact that the author has done the necessary research to provide an authentic description of the music scenario in London and Mumbai.

A major grouse I have with other chick lits or expat writers (a reason why they don’t form a major part of my reading) is the excessive caricature and stereotyping of characters. In the case of Live From Londonwhich I have rated at 3.5/5, I am glad to say the book manages to escape that quite well.

The author, Parinda Joshi, captures the moments with candid humour that often belies the tribulations and heartbreak beneath. The conversationalist style coupled with a fast paced storyline makes for a quick, entertaining read.

I would recommend this book  for those looking for a modern fairytale with its sad moments. This is not a book for those interested in an extensive study into human relations and emotions or looking for depth in characters.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.comParticipate now to get free books!

 Personal Disclaimer: Though this book was a free copy received for the purpose of review, the post in entirety is my basic impression after reading the book twice. It is not based on intervention by the author, publishing house or the blogging forum.


Anonymous said...

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nutschell said...

It's nice to see you do a book review on your blog! I'll definitely be looking into getting a copy of this book. It sounds like a good read!


The Golden Eagle said...

Thank you for the review! :)

Ram Seshadri said...

Very detailed review without giving away too much of the story. Will pick up the book

Parinda Joshi (parindajoshi.com) said...

Hey, thank you so much for such a detailed and wonderful review and for the kind words! Appreciate it.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.


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