Fantastic 40 by Reetwika Banerjee is a collection of forty stories which are as glamorous as the title itself. If I share the feeling after completing the book then it was just similar to watch forty crackers bursting one after another in a sky shot.
A few of you might take it as my amateur behavior to compare it in this way but the concept is an exclusive one which promises the readers to be an entertaining read through micro stories. A micro story is a style of story writing wherein the writer completes the story within limited words only. Yes, it has a major drawback of leaving the readers wanting for more and sometimes it seems as if it is running fast but sometimes it works in favor as well.
This is because you get a heavy dose of colorful combination of varied emotions and plots in a short span of time which lingers on despite finishing the read. In other words, the author, the idea, the concept, the story, the characters, the plot and the feelings proceeds along with you hours after completing the book. The second benefit is of finishing the book soon without investing days and months in completing the book-in-hand and loosing the track.
The author has carefully selected the stories and their themes (plots) so that the purpose of storytelling is accomplished in a fruitful manner and the zest is maintained in a full swing. The stories are very much close to reality (as expected by readers for tagging it as an interesting book and engaging concept) and inspired by real-life incidents (which connects the readers almost instantly with the text). The topics are entertaining, painful, motivating, inspiring, educating, interesting, thought-provoking and all that you can think about to be possibly discussed in the body of story.
I admit that initially I was thinking to write one-line review (verdict) about the stories but then, I changed my idea because the stories are very well summarized to be packaged in such a way and continuing on earlier procedure might spill-out the spunk contained within.
Well, having said and discussed all the factors I would wish that she considers developing a few from the bouquet to be developed into full-fledged and full-length stories. No doubt, she has got hold of her passion of writing and essence of telling with a tight grip and she is here to stay for long. Stay tunned!
“There is an undeniable pleasure in reading a book that remains true to itself in every mount. Fantastic 40 is a collection of forty short stories or say micro stories that spell a pleasing impression on reader’s head.”
The author has dismissed the one theme concept, developing a fresh plot with various fervours of love, friendship, humor, mystery, revenge and affection. Some stories gives a déjà-vu and rejuvenating feel as it had just happened with you some day.
Trouble is the book gets patchily quirky and flatly prosaic in between leaving the readers with a flat face and wry smile. At times, I thought it will have more to justify but it was done with a finish line clearly leaving a crux of emotions to settle. Perhaps, I then settled with the notion that these are micro stories written extremely well with a conscious decision of ‘gasp-inducing shocker’ and ‘wanting more feel’ even when it’s over.
The writing style is lucid and strong; stories are twisty, crispy, witty yet sincere. Overall, they were heartfelt, solemn and sturdy enough to etch on reader’s mind.
To mention, I really liked the stories- Clumsy old lady, One Rainy Day, New Reebok Shoes, Handicap, Met Him By Chance and Last time with my boyfriend.
I would say pick this book if you are in a mood for some light hearted fluffy read.
Fantastic 40 caters to the need of a modern reader. Each of the 40 stories are like a single shot of tequila. The complete book gives you a chance to enjoy 40 refreshing shots and in the end creates a hangover in its own right. The book has stories on some hard realities and also on some fantasy stuffs making it a true fantastic read. A very promising debut book.
As the name suggests this book has 40 short stories which are varied in length. Almost all the genres are covered comedy, horror, suspense, romance etc. I loved all the stories. One recurring character in few stories was Mama and recurring state is Bengal which is not surprising as Reetwika herself if Bengali :P
Very nice collection of stories worth reading and since the book is only about 128 pages long you can finish it rather quickly too.
Now that's what we call fantastic...(40)
Well it is easy to bind the readers to a book with a long novel. But Reetwika ma'am has done the same with her short and interesting MICRO stories. All of them are truly mind-refreshing. Many of them left me smiling, or laughing...But, what matters here is that I was bound to think about the characters even after completing the stories...
Great work ma'am...Really great...
It’s a great endeavor for a reader, as well as for the author, when he reaches to the last page of the story or fiction and sighs with a sense of satisfaction. Finishing a novel at times looks as evading the battle ground or like lived altogether a different life and coming back to the present. Reading offers an awesome feeling that cannot be described in sheer words.
I had read many stories, short stories and as well as never ending fiction but I was really unaware of the term micro stories until I took out Reetwika Banerjee’s Fantastic 40. She exclaims the book as a collection of micro stories. Many a times I had observed relevance of word ‘micro’ with different hypothetical subjects of higher education such as ‘micro-biology’ or ‘micro-economics’ but it is for the first time when I have seen its use in the world of literature. I might be incorrect at the point as it would have been used earlier by other authors but Reetwika’s book was my first encounter with micro stories. I really appreciate and endorse the caliber of the author for acquiring the risk of getting her work published. Finally I would say that she has done a great job.
Well, I flipped the pages to reach to the very first story named “A Night in Solitude” and started reading. The beginning immediately transferred me from my vibrant living room to the solitary woods and the sheer sight of the leopard raised goose bumps for a while. But soon it relaxed my nerves as I progressed with the story. Hold your breath, this is just the beginning. The rest thirty nine stories will spin your head as each new story will tinge you with a unique experience.
The stories touch different colors of life and the immediate change of genre from story to story soothes or sensitizes your nerves. Where one story talks about the solitude of woods of Himalayan low lands and another elucidates about social values. And then relations, lifestyle, rituals, customs, sports, humor, suspense, and horror almost every flavor has been touched and packaged in a single book. The transition from one story to another give a sensation like you are enjoying a strawberry candy and its sweetness turns sour as the crux of having mango flavor melts into your mouth and it continues till you reach end of the book.
It becomes customary for the author to write short stories of having m vivid flavors because serving the same dish every time may become monotonous and it may also irk the reader. I believe Reetwika has done apt justice with the book which confirms that it has been written keeping the reader in mind.
Last thing that displeased me for once was its shelf price as it didn’t seemed justified for just 128 pages. A 250 pages bestseller by a top Indian author would be easily available for just Rs 100/- or so. A higher price for the book may veer the reader’s mind to go for the purchase. But, looking towards the positive side, the price calibrates with the value of the literary work presented by the author. Those who have keen interest in real literature will buy the book. It has become a trend now days to buy books of celebrity authors to decorate the bookshelves of lavish living rooms. Being and author and reader I strongly recommend that one must buy books randomly off the shelf.
The Press Release article of "Fantastic 40" is available in this link:
Reetwika Banerjee's interview as an Author has been published in "Pandragon" from United Kingdom (Correspondent: Mr. Dan Wright). Here is the link to the interview.