Title: The Talking Stories
Author: Heena Joshi and Kartikeya Chauhan
Total Number of Pages: 93
Kindle Price: INR 100
Publication Date: 11 July 2017
Stories, if told with a dab of emotions, tint of mystery, pinch of obscurity and touch of completeness, turn into sagas. The Talking Stories is an effort for the same and brings you stories, some of which will touch you, some will leave you dumbfounded and some will charm you into their mysterious veil.
Review by Sohinee Dey
This book was provided to me in exchange of my honest opinion. So here goes—
Talking stories is a co-authored book; Heena Joshi and Kartikeya Chauhan are the authors of this book. It is a very short read which consists of only 93 pages. This book can be considered as a compilation of many short stories, i.e., each chapter stands on its own.
The cover page, well, I didn’t feel like it suited the contents of the book. It kind of gave away a gloomy and spooky vibe whereas the stories had variations and were based on different themes. Nonetheless, though not relatable, it isn’t bad either.
As described in the blurb, I can understand why the authors titled this book ‘The Talking Stories‘; each story carried a meaning and was a lesson in itself and the authors have tried to give a visionary to the eyes of the readers, but to me, they were not so successful in their mission. The title could have been a bit different, catchy and relatable to each of the chapters. I can understand, when it’s a compilation of many short stories, deciding a title becomes difficult, but a more appropriate title would have been better.
Now coming on to the chapters, as I have said earlier that this book is a compilation of many different short stories, talking about the chapters as a whole becomes a bit difficult. There are a total of 11 chapters and each is unique in their own way. My personal favourite was ‘What’s your story?’. I loved this story, not only was it well-written but that twist at the end was the cherry on top! Some chapters ended quite abruptly, leaving questions in my mind but I think that’s a good thing—to leave the readers wondering! Some stories like the ‘Deceptive Stars‘ felt more like a musing and less of a story because it didn’t really have a definite plot and ended way too soon and abruptly.
Another thing I noticed was, the font size and the font style was not maintained throughout the book. This needs to be edited.
The language was really good, I must say. The appropriate usage of words made the book a very good read and the extensive vocabulary of the authors was evident. The narration and sentence structuring was also good. The only thing in the narration which I felt was the scenes were described too much and there were lesser dialogues which made the stories more like a monologue and didn’t really give me the “feels” which I seek while reading a book. After a certain time, it started feeling monotonous; the dialogues and the characters didn’t feel lively to me. At some points, the narration felt a little bit frigid and I lost interest midway. But this is just my opinion. Other than these, it was a good read.
Now, coming on to the grammar and punctuation, I can happily say there were no such grammar errors that my eyes could detect but yes in case of punctuation, there were certain mistakes and deletion. In some of the chapters, ‘ was missing–like in the chapter title ‘What’s your story?’, the ‘ between t and s of “what’s” went missing. There were other such cases where the authors missed to put a period at the end of a story, quotation marks at the beginning and at the end of a dialogue and there were also certain cases of deletion of coma and semicolon. These, I believe were very minor mistakes and can be easily edited by a quick dose of proofreading.
The style of writing varied from chapter to chapter. Since, my personal favourite was ‘What’s your story?’; I shall discuss about it. So, this tale was a tad bit spooky and mysterious. The suspense was maintained till the end of the chapter. This was the only tale in the book that gave me the “feels”. I was really drawn into the chapter, the flow was really good and was quite intense. I could really picture this story and after completing it, when I stared at my white-washed wall, my mind made up the idea that there was indeed a garlanded photo frame hanging there; very spooky! The details lingered in my mind even after completing the chapter. The inner meaning of this particular story was distinct and the writing style made it more pronounced.
My final verdict—
There are no such major errors or mistakes. Overall, each story stood out in itself and was quite unique. The language and vocabulary is amazing and the writing is not at all bad. So, the readers out there can definitely give this a shot. It’s a short read and is good for people who are in a rush and they want to read something short or are travelling or are looking for a compilation of short stories; this book I believe will meet your needs. The authors have put in their effort and their hard work was noticeable.
I would recommend this book to all. Everyone can give this a read. The variation will keep you glued. Yes, there are chances that you might lose interest mid-way but you can take that risk! Unless you read it, you wouldn’t know. *winks*
Overall, I’ll rate this book 3.8 stars out of 5.
Thank you for reading! Next post will be a write-up. Stay tuned!