Being an avid reader, I read all kinds of books. I read almost any genre, from classics to modern day Sci-fi and from romantic novels to murder mysteries. Being a student of Comparative Literature, I had books like Mahabharata, Macbeth, Danton’s Death, Prince, Gita, Ulysses, 100 years of solitude, etc as part of my curriculum. I sincerely feel I had an awesome syllabus both in graduation and post graduation that further endorsed my reading habits.
I have often picked up books underestimating their potential but later found them to be amazing and the vice versa also happened, where I picked up a book after reading great reviews and yet found them to be boring. For example, recently I picked up the book by Twinkle Khanna called The legend of Lakshmi Prasad with very less expectation yet found it to be great book.
On the contrary, here I would like to talk about the 3 books that I found over-rated. The first one is Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I am otherwise very fond of Jhumpa Lahiri, I absolutely loved her first three books The Interpreter of Maladies, Namesake and The Unaccustomed Earth. With much expectation, I went and bought Lowland as soon as it was released in India. However the book hugely disappointed me. There was a huge hype regarding the book before it was released but I found the book pretentious. The history of the naxalite movement was in a way distorted and the main protagonist appeared confused. Jhumpa Lahiri wanted to give a feminist twist to the novel but I think she failed in characterisation of the main protagonists who appeared more cardboard than real.
The second book is Devdas by Sarat Chandra Chatterjee. I have read the original Bengali book and hated it. Yes, hated it. However Indian film industry seems to be in love with this book and the character of Devdas. Numerous movies almost in all Indian languages were made on Devdas and the book was translated in all languages from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. I fail to understand India’s obsession with an alcoholic womanizer.
The third book is The Curious incident of the Dog in the night time by Mark Haddon. The book is considered a masterpiece. It was gifted to me as a farewell gift by my colleagues from previous office. I tried to read it but somehow I am unable to read it after few pages. A mystery novel should keep the reader hooked however this book always distracts me.