Saturday, April 12

The Madras Mangler by Usha Narayanan

The Madras ManglerThe Madras Mangler by Usha Narayanan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I enjoyed reading this book which has five pretty girls, all with different problems and hang-ups  who study at a college in Chennai. Add a mean serial killer who kills girls and dumps them into the coovum river , a few gundas and college rowdies , a bumbling police officer  and a delicious criminologist, and you have the recipe to counter boredom. The Madras Mangler is all the more closer to my heart as it is set in a city has been home to me for so many years. I  liked the references to the local places in the book.The best parts of the book, according to me were the parts in which Vir and his hi-fi team tries to make sense of the profile of the killer.The gadgets and the technology mentioned by Vir and team is exhilarating , and one realises that a lot of research has gone into writing the book. I loved how the author has sneaked in references to pop-culture in the narrative.The writing is young:  the swear words the girls use, the music they listen to , the books they read - all captured very well.When one reads the book, one cannot guess the fact that the author is not in her early twenties :) All these things that worked for me.

Even though there is enough banter between the girls, I thought a lot of portions where the girls were involved were rushed. Before I could think about one girl's problem, the next girl hurls herself (and us) into another soup.I would have liked a slightly slower pace that would have made me invest in every girl individually, to care about them later(why? I am not telling you why.. you have to read the book for that!). The five girls blurred into one single entity for me , after a point.I felt that there was too much of tell, than show. But considering the fact that there were so many characters to cover and a word-count to adhere to,I can understand the author's reasons for rushing through certain parts.

The only reason the book was not a 4, but a 3 for me was because I found the narrative a little choppy . Out of the 3, I'll give 1 star only for Vir :)

Usha mam, sequel please. Vir is too good a hero to be wasted on a single book!

Overall , a nice book to settle in with on a Sunday afternoon. Its got all the elements young people would want in a book.


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Stay tuned to the next author post in a few days :)

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