“Oh shit, not again!” is a novel by Mandar Kokate, an
engineer turned writer. The back cover of the book describes it as ‘hilarious
story of five friends, Raj (the flirt), Arti (sweet female lead), Andy (creepy
leader), Seema (Andy’s nightmare) and Sam (biggest problem of Sam’s messed up
life)’. The book talks about the events in Raj’s life after he is forced to
relocate with his family from Nasik to Pune. The story is written in a
narrative style from Raj’s point of view.
The book is a rollercoaster of events that follow the moving
of the lead Raj to a new city and into the lives of Arti, Andy, Seema and Sam. With
a picturesque description of colony life, the writer takes on a ride of gossips
that float around and gives our curiosity into all things scandalous a taste of
it with characters snooping around. As you read on it becomes too fast paced
with events tumbling over one other and no space between consequent incidents
to settle in with you. The author sweeps you up in a whirlwind of the small
stories with all of it just rushing past you.
After reading the book I felt my hunger for reading filled
but being satisfied by the story, left a lot to be desired. I was disappointed with
the author trying too hard to make it hip and happening, which just ends up
making the reader want to be done with it. And the style seems to ape Chetan
Bhagat’s ‘Five point someone’ to up its cool factor in all probability.
It does win some credit for the upbeat tone. The book is
targeted at the college going crowd. The author does to a certain extent
achieve the connection he wishes to make with the reader though the range of
the potential readers liking the book is limited. He is also able to generate a
mental image of the instances happening in the book with his writing.
All in all my verdict for the book would to give it a miss. There
are a lot of more books better written or with better stories or both. This definitely
lacks the zing that all of us crave and at the same time has too much of the
spice that could make or break a book. Definately 'Not Again' !