WRITING STYLE: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2/5
I still regret the day I wasted 250 bucks on Sethji by Shobhaa De. If you love to read books full of cuss words, whoring women and filthy old men, then this book is for you. If you say NO to any of the above 3 things, forget the book and don’t even bother reading this review further. Because that is what I’m going to do in the following paragraphs – vent my frustration for wasting a hard earned 250 bucks.
The central theme of Sethji by Shobhaa De is the Indian Political System. There are authors who have done a commendable job in using this theme to give us a great book, but not our Shobhaa De. She has stereotyped politicians as blood-sucking, back-stabbing and womanising dogs. The story starts with the massage session of the central character, Sethji, an Indian MP. Narrations follow about his early life, his journey to the zenith and eventual fall; about, how he protects his son who has raped a girl; about how he side-lines his opponents; about his favouritism in allotting Government Contracts. Then there are pages and pages of predictable events leading to other predictable events and then comes the awesomely predictable climax and THEN the torture ends.
The initial pages of Sethji by Shobhaa De do a very great job of building an aura around Sethji and his daughter-in-law, Amrita. Sethji is a ruthless politician, whom people fear, hate, love & respect. Amrita is the perfect daughter-in-law who manages Shanti Kutir, Sethji’s sprawling colonial bungalow. Then a rotten tomato is thrown at our face – Sethji’s & Amrita’s affair. Luck didn’t favour Ms. De in using the character Bhau as a fictitious Balasaheb. All in all, the fun of reading ends after a few pages.
On the positive side, there are two very important messages that can be drawn from the book:
“Adding an extra ‘A’ in your name does not make you a good author”
“Using cuss word of Hindi is not cool in a book & should be left only for the cinema”